Locality of Don Bosco Higher Secondary school, Tura

Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Tura is surrounded in Lower Chandmari, Lower Wadanang and Sampalgre localities of Tura town. Lower Chandmari is to the east, Lower Wadanang to the North and sampalgre is towards South West of the school.

Tura is a hilly town and a municipality in West Garo Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. One of the largest towns in Meghalaya, Tura is a valley located at the foothills of the Tura Hills and right below the Tura Peak. The native god Durama was believed to reside in the hills. The name Tura (by the British) is a changed name of Durama.

The town is 220 kilometres from the nearest city, Guwahati and is also the district capital of the West Garo Hills district. It is filled with small rivulets and green valleys all around. The principal languages are Garo and English. The city has 4 colleges and a host of good number of schools. The capital city of Shillong is 323 kilometres away. The border of Bangladesh is situated at a proximity of 50 kilometers from the town.

Tura is a cultural and administrative centre of the Garo tribe. Garo tribe (Native People) makes up the majority of Tura a population. There are other community like the Bengali, Nepali Koch, Hajongs and others. According to 2011 census Tura had a population of 58,391. Tura has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 56%: The Garos have a matrilineal society.

Brief history of the School

Don Bosco Higher Secondary School was established in 1956 by Fr. Anthony Buccieri, an Italian missionary in the present day Bishop’s House. The objective was to cater to the educational needs of the Catholic population of the area. Probably after 1958 the school was shift to the present campus. Late Fr. Victor Ampanattuvila who was assistant headmaster from 1968 to 1971 in his “Reminiscences” for the Golden Jubilee magazine of the school noted that in those years the school had many poor boys who came from interior villages. They worked in families who gave them chance to study. Fr George Stadler, the then headmaster even adjusted the school timetable to suit them. The school never insisted on fees and uniform. Many could clear the matriculation and became successful in life. During the headmastership of Fr. DJ Wollaston the night school was started in St Xaviers to help the school drop-outs and working students.

The school is now 60 years old and has produced many leaders at the national and state level like the Late PA Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker, former minister in the Meghalaya government, Late LA Sangma, Late Cyprian R Sangma, Sherjee M Sangma, beaucrats and government officers like Mr Ashutosh Sangma, Income tax Commisioner, BB Sangma, RBI officer, Mrs HK Marak, IAS, many MCS and MPS officers, doctors, engineers and successful entrepreneurs. 

The headmasters/principals that served the school since 1956 are Fr. Anthony Buccieri, Fr. George Stadler, Fr. DJ Wollaston, Fr. Jim Burns, Fr. PJ Joseph, Fr. CL Thomas, Fr. George Plathottam, Fr. Charles Sangma, Fr. Januarius Sangma and currently Fr. Albert Thyrniang. The vice-principals were Late Fr. Victor Ampanattuvila, Br. TJ James, Fr. Joseph Ngamkuchung, Br. PV George, Br. Norbert Tirkey, Fr. TT Thomas, Fr. Michael Bhengra, Fr. Jacob Tottekat, Fr. KA Thomas, Fr. SK Sebastian, Fr. George Malliekal, Fr. Hubert Marak, Fr. Anthony Marak, Fr. Benedict Kharlyngdoh, Fr. Jose Josh, Fr. Sony Abraham, Fr Punit Lakra and presently Fr. Ranjeet Xalxo (The Bosconian, Golden Jubilee Souvenir 2056 – 2006).

A mile stone was in history of the house was the inauguration of the Higher Secondary section (Arts and Science) on 18th June, 2014. Bishop Andrew of Tura blessed the building. Fr. Provincial, VM Thomas and MCS officer, Mr. Ambrose C Marak, a past pupil of the school were present.

The present situation

The present enrollment of the students is about 2200 from Nursery to class XII (Science and Arts). The strength of the teaching non-teaching staff is 72 and 28 respectively. Besides regular classes the school provides numerous facilities for co-curricular activities like music, dramatics, arts, athletics and games and sports. The has excelled in these activities within and outside the school, even outside Garo Hills. The school has represented West Garo Hills in Subrato cup several time in Shillong. The school taekwondo team has won several medals in competitions conducted in the state and outside the state.

In academics the school has been performing well as the statistics of SSLC and HSSLC results below indicate:

Results of SSLC

Year Appeared Passed
2016 133 128
2015 149 140
2014 131 131
2013 153 153
2012 143 142

 

In the HSSLC the first batch performed very well.

Result of HSSLC (Arts)

2016 66 66

 

Result of HSSLC (Science)

2016 46 37

 

Other activities of the School

  1. Don Bosco Boys’ Home (Hostel)

The primary aim of Don Bosco Boy’s Home, Tura is the all-round formation of the boys to be well integrated, mature and self- reliant, that is, to be good Christian and honest citizens. The hostel tries to inculcate in the pupils, values like reverential love of God, personal conviction, piety and discipline. The hostel also emphasizes the formation of character and academic excellence. The hostel provides spiritual activities as well as  games and sports, Music practices, for catering all-round development of the boys. There are 45 students in the Don Bosco Boys’ Home Tura, from class IV to XII.  In the past some students were given concession in the hostel after enquiring the family situations. But this year (2016) after due discussion in the House Council, no student has been given concession.

  1. Night School

Responding to the educational needs of the marginalized youth, in 1988 the Don Bosco Evening School that was started in St. Xavier’s was revived by the then Rector, Fr. CL Thomas, to remember the centenary celebration of Don Bosco’s death. The evening school is going on well rendering helps to boys who work during the day as helpers in houses or shops or other establishment.

The Don Bosco Night School began in the present location of St. Xavier school by Fr. DJ Wollaston in the probably in the mid 70s. In 1988 the Don through the initiative of the then Rector, Fr. CL Thomas, the Don Bosco Night School was revived, to remember the centenary celebration of Don Bosco’s death in order serve to the educational needs of the marginalized youth of the area. The evening school is going on well rendering helps to boys who work during the day as helpers in houses or shops or other establishment.

In 2016 the enrollment is so far 110, 20 in class VIII, 45 in class IX and also 45 in class X. The school has 6 committed teachers and one support staff. The school is serves the marginalized youth who work during the day and who, without the school, would probably have no opportunity or find it hard to study and educate themselves. The boys are also given moral education through daily Assembly and general exhortations and instruction. They are also given the opportunity to develop their talents through games and sports and co-curricular activities. In the last three years 15 have passed in the SSLC examination.

  1. Don Bosco Youth Centre

 

The Don Bosco Youth Centre Tura begun way back in 1994, making use of the facilities available in the Don Bosco Book Center, as a recreational facilities for the youth of the surrounding area, providing them with moral and religious instructions.

At present the Don Bosco Youth Centre facilitates the following programmes for the youth of the area, viz., Don Bosco Tech India (DB Tech), Out-Sourcing Agency and Driving school.

The Driving School was started by Fr. Charles Ch. Sangma in 2007, on the request of the State Government to train students in driving. Presently the Youth Centre is yet to get the license to run the Driving School. At present there is one trainer for the Driving School.

The Out-Sourcing Agency, begun by Fr. Anthony Abong B. Marak, caters to youth in and around Tura town to provide them with jobs as fourth grade staffs in the Government offices. Initially trainings were conducted in the campus to equip them with the necessary skills for the job. At present no trainings are conducted for the Out-Sourcing Agency as some of the earlier trained students have yet to get jobs. Whenever job opportunity arises in the Government Offices, these students are contacted and placed in the needed Offices.

Presently the Out-Sourcing Agency ties up with North Eastern Hill University Tura Campus and Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India, Tura Campus (ICFAI University), providing them with personnel (security guard, peon, clerk, handyman, cook etc) whenever needs arise. There are three office staff working in the Out-Sourcing Agency.

The Don Bosco Tech programme (DB Tech) was begun in 2009 while Fr. Anthony Abong B. Marak was the Youth Centre Director. It is a programme for the drop-out students, who are given free training in particular domains for three months and thereafter placed in different work places within India. The hostel facility too is given freely for youth who come from the border areas. Initially it began with three domains, viz., Hospitality, Electricals and Security. Presently it has two domains that of Hospitality and Electricals. The programme was meant for youth of rural border areas. Of late, the urban youth also can avail the programme as well.

There are four trainers in the programme, who are appointed from the BRO Office Guwahati.