Dr PC Thomas, founder of Good Shepherd International School, shares his vision of providing a holistic education
What is the vision behind Good Shepherd International School?
GSIS is a unique concept, where all students and staff go through an intense residential and holistic educational experience. The school provides a conducive and happy learning environment with its welldesigned, balanced academic and co-curricular programme. Our staff-student ratio is 1:4 with an added emphasis on one to one attention. The strength of each class would not be more than twenty. Attention is given to every student’s well-being physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. The school is privileged to have counsellors to work on the holistic development of each child through regular personal and group counselling sessions.
How is the school’s motto ‘Truth, Trust, Triumph’ integrated into your teaching methods?
A great deal of importance is given to human and social values and respect for one another. There is an evident trusting relationship between staff and students. The faculty is exposed to the best teaching practices through workshops and professional development sessions. Triumph comes for us when we see our students transformed into responsible learned citizens.
What other amenities does the school offer?
We have catered to most sports and games including lawn tennis, basketball, swimming, hockey, cricket, table-tennis, rifle-shooting, a nine-hole golf course and the list goes on. There is the mountaineering programme conducted by trained personnel from the Nehru Mountaineering Institute. There are facilities for the development of performing arts like music, dance and drama. GSIS is a centre for the Trinity College of London music examinations as well as a centre for the IELTS and SAT examinations.
Do you believe in the benefits of an international education?
Of course it widens one’s outlook and perception and helps us create global minded students. This has helped us introduce the Cambridge curriculum at GSIS from 1994 and the International Baccalaureate diploma programme from 2002.
What motivated you to start the Good Shepherd Finishing School?
The girl child in India is often seen to be neglected and having a lesser status than boys. We can proudly say that Good Shepherd Finishing School, Ooty, has pioneered the effort to empower young girls in India through a multifaceted programme to make sure that ladies are able to make an equal or better stand in society and also in their personal lives.
What are your views on the quality of education in India?
With schools mushrooming all around in India, apparently to provide basic education to children, we face a great challenge of maintaining quality in terms of infrastructure and also faculty. India is blessed with an immense young population and if they are not guided well, our nation can be seriously misled.
Lastly, do you have any words of advice for young students?
Today’s young generation are in the midst of an ever-changing world, with its vast share of distractions and entertainment. They are buffeted by a flood of information, which they need to analyse and screen for veracity and usefulness in their responsible goals.
Here at GSIS we help our young seekers of knowledge to stay focussed on their academic, social and personal goals. The key is to remain focused on your goals without yielding and without giving up.
Volume 2 Issue 3