CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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Nepal gives big wraps to Jesuit education

KATHMANDU (AsiaNews): The Hindu community in Nepal celebrated Shree Panchami on February 4, the day of wisdom and knowledge dedicated to the goddess, Saraswati.

During the celebrations this year, the Society of Jesus received a government salute as being the primary source of spreading wisdom and knowledge in the country.

“Hindus celebrate Saraswati in accordance with tradition,” veteran educator, Manaprasad Wagle, told AsiaNews, “but the history of the country shows that the Jesuits and their schools have pioneered international standards of education in Nepal.”

Wagle stressed, “We have to thank them. They incorporated Oxford standard courses in the curriculum, improving students’ knowledge and wisdom. For more than 60 years, they have improved the quality of education.”

A spokesperson for the Education Ministry, Mahasram Sharma, backed up Wagle’s remarks, saying, “We want to thank the Catholic community and the Jesuits. Their contribution is evident in the fact that all Nepali students would like to join their schools.”

Jesuit Father Thomas Augustine, the dean at St. Francis Xavier College in Kathmandu, said that he is extremely happy about this recognition and reiterated the determination of the Society of Jesus to continue its work in Nepal.

“Anything that improves man, improves the world and his soul,” he said. “We shall continue to serve in this nation with all that is necessary.”

A sister, from Regina Amoris Elementary School, added, “We are happy because we can help the poor and the abandoned children.”

Meanwhile, the festival dedicated to Saraswati touches people throughout the country deep in their hearts. As Nepali people celebrate Saraswati Puja in great numbers, thousands of Hindu students visit the temple dedicated to her in the capital, Kathmandu.

 

Traditionally, this is also a time when children begin to learn the alphabet and elderly people, who so wish, can start courses dedicated to the arts or music.

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