It was the German missionary fathers who laid the foundation of Jesuit education in St. Stanislaus. Known for their administrative skills, they infused strong moral values, disciplined boys with love, believed in Responsible freedom and creative expression.
St. Stanislaus began as an orphanage in 1863, housing 140 native orphans under the stewardship of Fr. Joseph Weber. Onesolitary house, a large square building (the old St. Peter’s Church), partly two storeyed, half church, half residence with a 100 x 75 ft. hall above the Chapel, served as a study hall, refectory and classrooms with a couple of resident rooms for the fathers.
At various times down to 1885, new plots were added to the original grounds and new buildings erected. In 1867, a second storey was added to the old building. In 1873 an outlying wing was added for use as the boy’s refectory and infirmary. In 1904, the back wing, parallel to a part of Waroda Road was erected to provide classrooms and a dormitory for borders. In 1913, the Demello House facing Waroda Road was purchased and used as an infirmary. At the same time, the Bombil Wadi plot was bought in order to extend the playground eastwards.
After World War I, the jurisdiction of the German fathers ceased and a new era of Spanish fathers began. The school, which started as a primary institution, got its status of a High School in 1925 – 26. The first batch of 7 candidates was sent up for the matriculation exam in 1926. With inflation on the rise and the growing demand for a Jesuit education the management faced an economic and spatial problem. In the early 70’s the fathers were forced to close down the boarding and the dormitories converted into classrooms for day scholars. Today, there are 4 divisions in each standard.
The goal of Jesuit education, also called the Ignatian Pedagogic Paradigm is best understood in the light of the ‘Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola’, the patron saint of the Jesuits. St. Stanislaus believes in providing a holistic education. The objective is to groom ‘men for others’. In the words of Fr. Kolvenbach, “men, intellectually competent, open to growth, religious, loving and committed to doing justice in generous service to people of God”.
In a materialistic world where success is perceived from mere monetary evaluation and competition is rife with selfish concerns, the Pedagogic Paradigm stresses on humanistic education. Jesuit On-Going programmes for teachers are conducted every academic year. The child is the centre of the academic system. Teachers present their subjects with emphasis on preparing the student to grow and develop as fully human persons – men of competence, conscience and compassion. A team of teachers and masters trained in different subjects are motivators and anchors to the process of learning. Parents complement the work of the school and form the support system.
The St. Stanislaus School building in its magestic green and yellow colours occupies an area of 59,556 sq. ft. It overlooks 2 playgrounds of 3555 sq. ft. each. It has on its roll around 2200 students.
Thousands of students have passed through the portals of this school and wherever they are, the stamp of a Jesuit education has left an indelible mark on their lives. A strong Ex-students’ Associaton like the one St. Stanislaus has, provides food for Nostalgia. They recall with pride and love, the work of Fr. J. J. Serrano who added to the school grounds an almost full-size hockey field for all their important fixtures. But it was Fr. D. Donnelley, a prolific writer and a hockey enthusiast who gave to St. Stanislaus its first eponymous hockey turf ground which has hosted many a prestigious inter-school tournament such as the Walter D’Souza Cup and the Oliver Andrade Trophy. The year 2005 has been declared the International Year of Sports and Physical Education by the UN and St. Stanislaus has had the distinction of grooming ‘Sportsmen for School and Country’ as it does in preparing ‘Men for Others’.
Spotting talent at a tender age is their speciality and the sprawling grounds bear testimony to this. Olympians – Leo Pinto, Francis Demello, Marcellus Gomes, Joaquim Carvalho, and presently Viren Rasquinha have had their humble beginnings here. So also did Adolf Colaco, John Fernandes, Edward Aranha, National Champions, take their training here. Our hockey team participated in the Ahmed Sailor, Agha Khan Cup, St. Andrew’s League and Oliver Andrade tournaments. In football the boys are winners all the way. Ex-students cum parents turned coach, are the wind beneath the wings of our boys. Training is given in cricket, basket ball (we have 2 basket ball courts), table tennis, badminton, volley ball, chess and swimming. Special coaching camps are held during the long vacations.
Compiled by Ex-Teacher Ms.Maria D’souza St. Stanislaus High School