The Newman Educational Society, the educational arm of the diocese, organised the competition. Some 17,000 pupils, mostly non-Christians, study in 46 schools. For a spokesman of the Northeast Church, "Books help to pass an exam. Games, praying, doing group activities, playing music, eating together, sharing and taking care of one another help instead to pass the exam called life."
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The Newman School in Neotan, in the Diocese of Miao (Arunachal Pradesh), recently held chess and Rubik's cube competitions to develop their mental abilities.
Fr Felix Anthony, spokesman for the Catholic Church in northeastern India, told AsiaNews that the goal of the games was " to contribute to the integral development of children".
The mental ability games were held in different phases, and the final was held yesterday. In total, 45 students qualified for the title.
In the junior chess category, the winners were Ongdangchai Sangwal (7th grade) and Gannem Ronrang (5th grade). Among seniors, the winners were Agem (10th grade) and Kamdong Khohai (9th grade). Rajat Lamra (9th grade) came in first in solving the Rubik's cube puzzle in 47 seconds.
Fr Felix has been teaching at the school for five years. It is the headquarters of the Newman Educational Society, the diocese’s educational arm founded in 2000 to deal with youth education, especially among the poor.
Some 450 students are enrolled at the school in Neotan, but overall, the Society runs 46 schools in eight districts, offering courses from Grade 5th to Grade 10th.
"With over 17,000 students and 500 staffm” Fr Felix said. “Most pupils are non-Christian; most receive a free education."
The purpose of the Society, according to “Bishop George Pallipparambil, is to make sure that all children receive a quality education. No one should be deprived of the right to a good education because of a lack of money."
Since pupils come from a wide area, "Almost all are housed in the hostels managed by the school: boys live with the priests, whilst girls live with the nuns. This way, children don’t have to walk many kilometres every day from their village to the school. Some come from places that are three-day walk.”
For Fr Felix, "the school does not only serve to give out diplomas. In that case, a degree is be a mere piece of paper. We believe that true education can be seen in a person's behaviour. A textbook is a good tool to become intelligent and wise, but true education is outside the classroom. "
Ultimately, “Books help to pass an exam. By contrast, games, praying, doing group activities, playing music, eating together, sharing and taking care of one another helps to pass the exam called life."
(Photo and video credit: Fr. Felix Anthony)