LOYOLA JESUIT SECONDARY SCHOOL
Providing solid Jesuit education for girls and boys for Malawi's future.
YOUR HELP MAKES IT POSSIBLE!
Donors can use credit cards to assist LJSS in many different ways through our endowment funds for scholarships and books, and to meet some immediate needs for Chapel supplies, library furniture, sports equipment, etc. Thank you very much for assisting us!
On 13 March 2020, The Government of Malawi shut down all schools and our LJSS students -- 600 all-boarders -- immediately left campus for home. Lack of electricity, internet connections and laptops meant that “virtual” learning was not possible. So our young women and men eagerly waited for and prayed for a decline in COVID-19 pandemic that would allow re-opening of school.
At the start of September 2020, Form Four students were re-admitted to complete their final year and prepare for an eventual graduation in late October. The other three Forms will hopefully arrive in mid-October. As the photos show, we are taking all necessary steps to guarantee safety in the midst of good learning and companionship!
Malawi is a very poor country with great potential. While about 52% of Malawians live below the poverty line, the country is peaceful and is blessed with many resources. The key to building on Malawi’s strengths is simple: educate the youth, particularly the poor. But Malawi’s education system is woefully inadequate, with only 35% of children receiving secondary education and only 44% of those reaching graduation.
The phrase “option for the poor” is central to Scripture, to our church social teaching and to our Jesuit mission documents. It indicates a preference of insight and commitment to those with minimal resources for full human development. It urges looking at the world from the perspective of the poor and working to improve the conditions that dehumanise our sisters and brothers.
Jesuits have been known for educational expertise for many centuries in many parts of the world, with a commitment to excellence in pedagogy and all-around formation. This 450 year history certainly will influence the purpose and direction of Loyola Jesuit Secondary School.
The Jesuits of Zambia-Malawi Province already have one excellent secondary school in southern Zambia – Canisius Secondary School has over 60 years of experience. In 2011, the Zambia-Malawi Province acquired an already operating school in Lusaka, Leopard’s Hill School. A private school of very good reputation, Leopard’s Hill Jesuit Secondary School is now inspired by the Jesuit ethos of education. A co-educational school, it provides both boarding and day school facilities.
In additional, the Zambia – Malawi Province operates Charles Lwanga College of Education, A tertiary Institution Training Primary School Students.
We will draw into the early start-up of our school Jesuits of good skills and strong commitment to work with other teachers to assure a school with an “ethos” of Christian values and humanistic qualities. Not all students will be Christian, so a good inter-religious spirit will be fostered.
A key element in this “ethos” is what we Jesuits refer to as ” Ignatius Pedagogy” This aims at the formation of students to be “persons with and for others.” It might sound very idealistic – maybe even a bit unrealistic! – but it is a goal we surely will work toward. The “person for others” will know that her or his education is not simply for self-achievement or personal success. Our hope is that graduates of LJSS will have both the desire and the talent to make a difference for the future of Malawi by putting what they have learned at the service of authentic development of all the people of our beautiful country.
Of many elements that go into educating “persons with and for others,” two are very central to the vision and mission of LJSS: “discernment” and “”faith and justice.”
First, in forming students, Jesuits traditionally have emphasized the need for good judgment in making important decisions. We call it “discernment,” the ability to weigh intellectually, emotionally and spiritually the various choices we are called to make in life, small choices as well as big choices. Do I become a teacher, do I marry early, do I return to work in my home village, do I serve my church in some fashion, do I start up my own business, do I go into politics, etc., etc. Discernment is a skill that helps me make the right decision at the right time, being conscious not just of myself but also of others. Everything we teach at LJSS should help form our students to be good and effective in the process of discernment!
Second, we Jesuits have seen as our mission in everything that we do “the service of faith and the promotion of justice.” This means that a true spiritual maturity – in whatever religious tradition one comes from – should be a central mark of all LJSS graduates. “Faith” shouldn’t be just a decoration on our religious school campus! It should be nurtured in all that we do. But is shouldn’t be a faith that is merely inward or removed from the social realities around us. Justice is essential if Malawi is to develop, if all Malawians are to benefit from the riches of our country. So the faith of our students must be filled with the desires and abilities not simply to make a living but to make a difference!
December 2018 -- As the latest photos from Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) very happily show, the major construction work on our campus has been completed. Administration block, classrooms, assembly hall, hostels (girls and boys dormitories), kitchen and dining facilities, and teachers’ housing – all of this very good work is getting plenty of use! Take a look at our video of the great progress we have had over the years.
Only the Chapel remains under construction and we hope that this important building – the centre of our LJSS campus! – will be complete in early 2019. Some beautiful local art work will be finished during the course of the year.
Another major work has been almost completed: the Jesuit residence. The photo below shows the entrance to the building. Work on the inside of the building is still on-going, completing the bedrooms, kitchen and dining room, sitting room and some office space.
A small chapel is also part of the building and will be open for visitors. There will be room for eight to ten Jesuits in the future – please pray for vocations!
Support for our LJSS is easy to make and is tax excmpt: please assist us! SUPPORT
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