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‘St Vincent’s shaped me and the students with its one big quality - caring for others’

St Vincent’s High School’s oldest living teacher remembers her time at the school on the occasion of it completing 150 years

pune Updated: Dec 13, 2017 20:42 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
school,St Vincent's,Jesuit
Ninety-three-year-old former teacher of St Vincent’s High School Celine D'Sa at her residence in Baner. (HT Photo)

Celine D’Sa is the oldest serving teacher of St. Vincent’s High School. She is 93 years old. The school marks its 150th - sesquicentennial - year of existence this year. Mrs D’Sa taught at the school from 1959 till 1982. Mrs D’Sa talks about being associated with an educational institution like St Vincent’s that has become an icon in thee city. Mrs D’Sa taught at the convent of Jesus and Mary, now St Anne’s High School and was also in charge of St Claire’s school for three years.

On the 150 years of Vincent’s

At that time, there was one just school building. Now a new hall and swimming pool have been constructed. The labs are better now and computers have been added. In those days, everything had to be done by the school. The boys who studied in the school have done well and have now come forward to improve the school infrastructure. Vincent’s has always been first in sports and has scored impressive inter-school success.

On her teaching English and Math at St Vincent’s

I did Cambridge and naturally, had an advantage as the SSC syllabus is not as large as that of Cambridge. As punishment and for correction, I used to ask my students to write tables from 1 to 20 back and forth... twice. My students still remember me for the punishments I gave them as it brought a great deal of improvement for them. I started at Vincent’s with a B Ed degree and my salary was Rs 90 in 1959. After two years I got Rs 1,400. The figue was smaller than what it is today, but we were satisfied and very happy. Our students came to us with all their problems.

Her message

Teaching is the best profession in the world. You need teachers who want to work for students and students who want to learn and improve. St Vincent’s shaped me and the students with it’s one big quality - caring for others. Father Schoch cared a lot for others. One must always think for others and the students are living it till today. They believe in doing things for others which shows their selfless spirit.

First Published: Dec 12, 2017 20:45 IST