17 DecOUR DREAM HAS BECOME A REALITY
Our dream has become a reality! At least a good portion of that dream now is seen every day in Kasungu, Malawi, as Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) gets underway.
When we broke ground on the empty plot next to Juma compound in September 2012, we hoped to open LJSS in September 2014. But unexpected delays in Phase One construction moved the opening date to September 2015. And judging from the wonderful state of our facilities and what is going on today, the delay was well worth it!
On 07 September 2015, Form One (Grade Nine) learners arrived from all across Malawi. (The term “learner” is the good name used in Malawi for secondary school students.) Current enrolment is 61 girls and 62 boys – very good gender balance that we hope to maintain! All our 123 learners are full-time boarders.
Form One girls celebrate the opening of LJSS!
Our site is filled with a two story Administration Block, large Assembly Hall, classroom blocks, laboratory and IT rooms, hostels (dormitories) for girls and boys, kitchen and dining rooms. Playing fields are in place and the grounds are beautifully planted with grass, flowers and trees.
The pictures with this blog and the next one [connect to long blog] with many photos give an idea of why everyone – teachers and staff, parents, guardians and learners, visitors and government officials – are all very much impressed and encouraged at what they find on the new LJSS campus.
But a school is more than beautiful buildings and well-equipped facilities. And so Loyola Jesuit Secondary School takes very seriously a well-trained and dedicated set of teachers. Currently for our first year we have three Jesuits, six laymen and five laywomen involved in various classes. They share a variety of assignments inside classrooms and all around the campus.
In addition, good cooks, safe guards, competent maintenance workers and ground keepers assure that things run smoothly. So far, so good….
Form One boys on the steps to good Jesuit education!
And of course as we get underway we put a major emphasis on what makes LJSS distinct: our Jesuit pedagogy, set of values and ethics, priorities in discipline and development. We use all of the “right words” to describe our mission: “formation of women and men with and for others,” preparing youth “not just to make a living but to make a difference.” Putting these right words into realities is the big challenge we are all involved with day in and day out!
All of these good things at LJSS would not be possible without the very generous assistance received over the past several years from hundreds of donors from around the world: individuals, Jesuits, church groups, foundations and government agencies.
We pray for these benefactors each day, in gratitude for the past help and in anticipation for their future cooperation!
“Photos from Opening Days in September 2015”