July 10 – V.S.ST. JOHN’S, GANNAVARAM
V.S.ST. JOHN’S, GANNAVARAM
Gannavaram is situated in the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh and our school there, typically Gabrielite with several characteristics, was opened on 10 July 1969. First of all the name. The name St John’s – in honour of Br. John of God, a great educator, who died in 1968- is preceded by the initials V. S. These represent Vellivella Seetharamaiah, a philanthropist of Gannavaram, whose daughter offered us the first plot of land for the construction of the school. Some years earlier, a famous school in Trichy was named as R. S. K. to honour its founder Mr R. S. Krishnan, the general manager of the electrical company to which the school belongs.
St John’s had .a beginning similar to many other schools in India. The conditions were precarious with temporary class rooms built in haste in the midst of fields and palm trees. But the pupils were already numerous (565) from kindergarten to class 8. Like all over, there is the concern to meet the challenge of increase in number as classes are added. School bus service being insufficient, a boarding was built for about one hundred pupils. The classes were shifted to a new brick building. A branch school was opened in Patamata in the city of Vijayawada. Finally on April 1, 1976, the present school complex was inaugurated by the Chief Minister. At the end of 1999, the Institution had 1394 pupils (901 boys and 493 girls), distributed into 32 classes (an average of 44 pupils per class), 48 teachers, 17 members of the non-teaching staff, and 27 employees (transports, farm, dairy, etc.).
There is something more important. In 1994, at the celebrations of the 25 years of the Institution, the Principal of the school declared: “The educational policy enunciated in the school prospectus gives in detail the fundamental principles which guide all the Institutions administered by the Montfort Brothers. All these principles can be summed up into a two-point programme. First, the all round development of the human personality, i.e. physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Academic excellence, though important, is not the fundamental aim of education … The second basic principle on which the Institution is structured is: those who are blessed by God with plenty, intellectually, spiritually and especially materially, are obliged, under the law of natural justice, to share out of their abundance, with those less fortunate than they are… .In St John’s, the school activities are so structured that these basic philosophical trends of Montfortian education are given ample expression”.