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St. Joseph's College

Colombo 10

Life at JOES

Facets of Formation at St. Joseph's College

A person’s identity is an evolving core within which genetics, culture, faith, education, community life, personal life, choices made and life experiences come together to form the person we will eventually turn out to be.

St. Joseph‘s College has a strong focus on giving its students a holistic education so that they go into the world as young men with a strong character, unrelenting faith, a passion for justice and the ability to excel in whatever rung in the ladder of life that they decide to step on.

Faith Life

We firmly believe that the basis or foundation of true Christian Life is faith. All of us have come from God – without faith we will be relegated to our own resources, which may torture us with pride, insensitivity, stubbornness, indifference and failure.

At St. Joseph's College students’ faith is nurtured in a myriad of ways. Daily masses are conducted in the College Chapel for teachers and students. Several prayer sessions are held in the morning before school commences, after the interval and at the end of the school day. During the daily prayer session, there is also a “Thought for the Day” that has religious significance and presented by a priest with the intent that students will be spiritually enhanced during these prayer sessions.

St. Joseph's College is dedicated to a Saint — Joseph, the Foster Father of our Lord Iesus. The feast of St. Joseph — our patron saint is also celebrated on 19 March every year and all students and teachers participate in the religious festivities.

Lent is a special time that is dedicated to prayer, good works, sacrifice, penance and notifications in preparation for the celebration of the Pascal Feast. The two elements which are especially characteristic of Lent are the recalling of baptism and penance. In order to prepare students and teachers for the celebration of Easter, additional liturgical services are held on Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Students are also given the opportunity to prepare for the Lenten Season by making their confessions and actively and meaningfully taking part in the devotion of the Way of the Cross.

The recitation of the Rosary takes place during the months of May and October to honour Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. The feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated every year in the month of ]une. A procession round the quadrangular premises behind the Chapel, takes place and Holy Mass is celebrated in the Sports Complex. Students are encouraged to actively participate in organizing Liturgy, decorating the school premises, practising hymns etc. for this event.

In keeping with the theme of fostering a faith life in its students, Christmas is celebrated on a grand scale with old and current ]0es and their families attending the Midnight Service held in the College chapel. The College choir has a big presence on the day and the Chapel is beautifully decorated by the students to hail the birth of our Lord Jesus. In addition to the celebration and festivities aforesaid, students are given comprehensive spiritual guidance by experienced lecturers before they receive the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation, and the priests together with the students and teachers work tirelessly to make these events successful. A patron saint is also dedicated to each class and students are expected to conduct research on that Saint and the class celebrates the feast of that saint. There are also several religious associations and societies which students are expected to join so that they receive spiritual, moral and personal development through the spirituality of such associations.

Teachers and their families go on pilgrimages to places of religious significance. They visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health, Vailankanni in India last year and also visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu annually. Novenas and Bible studies are also held twice a week with an allocated theme.

Academic Excellence

As it is said by Francis Bacon,” Knowledge is Power”. To know is to conquer. This is best applicable in today's context where academic excellence is such an integral part in evaluating an individual. However the major question lies in the responsible utility of that power. These skills lie not in the mere

Faculties of knowledge, but in the attainment of true wisdom. That is why we must seek virtue through knowledge. "In scientia et virtute” our motto is indeed the cornerstone of the sound education we provide here at St. Joseph’s College.

St. Joseph‘s College has always strived for academic excellence as a foremost centre of education among the Catholic schools. The following is a detailed analysis of the performance of the college in the field of education over the past few years. Our students have done extremely well in both these public examinations to reiterate what was mentioned earlier about the high standards we boast of.

We have always maintained a steady pace in the Ordinary Level examination. Our focus is drawn towards the overall success of students who qualified for the Advanced Level classes and the percentage of students who attained exceptional results such as 9A‘s or 8A's and 1B. Analysis in this regard has shown us that the Ordinary Level students have produced Some truly commendable results.

Academic excellence of this nature does not come by mere staring at a book. The students who sit the Ordinary Level Examination follow a comprehensive and cohesive strategy towards success at the examination. Responding fearlessly to the prominent tuition culture, St. Joseph’s College holds a series of afternoon classes where the students are taught a subject for two extra hours after school. This paves way for the learning theory in the second term, after which more comprehensive revisions, past papers, model question papers may be done in the third term.

We also strengthen the mentalities of our students through a series of motivational talks which provide a range of relaxation and study techniques, which would be of much use, prior to the Ordinary Level Examination. Apart from this, we conduct a range of seminars and workshops along with the National Institute of Education (NIE) during the third term, which targets directly on examination material. The extra classes held for the weaker students makes sure that no one is left behind, and assures a better overall success rate.

The secret to our success at Ordinary Level Examinations is simply our strategy and commitment, along with the tireless efforts of our very own teachers at St. Joseph's College, who have made their Obligations here at school prominent over their own.

Once again, our results have always been commendable. Our focus at the Advanced Level Examination is drawn towards the percentage of students who qualified for university and in the attainment of overall exceptional results such as 3A's or 2A's and 1B.

This preparation includes a series of seminars and revision classes where the students are directly prepared for the examination. We also hold a range of motivational talks and lifestyle lectures to guide our students to a challenging, Yet ultimately rewarding period of life which, they will face in the society with their many equipped skills and talents. The efforts of the teachers in the Advanced Level Classes have been truly remarkable to bring the students up to this standard.

St. Josephs College is far from the commonplace norms of syllabus cramming and spoon feeding. Apart from this, students engage in interactive class based group assignments in which they may engage in observations, experiments and creative presentations. The conducive atmosphere set by the ecofriendly environment here at school too goes a long way in enhancing our students ‘learning experience. The Students are also rewarded with special prizes at the prize giving and at felicitation ceremonies. This includes the special plaque awarded to the students who obtain 9A's or 8A‘s and 1B at the Ordinary Level Examinations and 3A's or 2A's and 1B at the Advanced Level Examinations. In addition, pure sovereign gold medals are awarded to the students who obtain 3A's at the Advanced Level Examination. These aid a lot in motivating the academic prowess within our shores.

Academia has always been our first priority after faith life and discipline. We proceed forward towards a future that seems to grow brighter with every passing moment.


What You Want Now and What You Want Most…

Discipline is the behaviour of a person at home, at school, at office or in the society. Man is expected to be disciplined as a result of receiving his primary, secondary and tertiary education. Discipline can be maintained in two different ways. One is the willingness that comes within you to maintain discipline. The other is by implementing rules and regulations which people have to abide by.

Discipline is a ‘gift’ man carries at the time of conceiving in the mother's womb. Man develops with this great gift. It becomes inherent in man's life as a result of a mother's loving contribution to him. Discipline belongs to every part of our body. The brain, eyes, ears, hands, mouth have to be disciplined. All the ‘evil‘come into man when there is ‘no discipline’ within him.

Maintaining discipline belongs to us. The way to talk to someone, the way you look at someone, the way you treat someone, the way you respond to someone, the way you look at the society is counted as your discipline If you cannot control yourself, then you need to learn how to do it. This is where one goes wrong. Little undisciplined acts can be turned into grave acts, some which cannot even be reconciled.

Discipline is maintained at homes, at school, at institutions, at office, in society and among friends, families and neighbours. This is the most important aspect of a man‘s life where you will be judged by the entire world. One‘s appearance should read ‘discipline’ in his or her entire body. Your friends whom you keep company with, what you do with them, where you go with them, how you speak with them; would speak volumes of your discipline. Very especially when you are a Catholic, then Christian values should be in you; you are anointed and set apart by God for a particular mission.

Today, many children do not know how to select 'a friend.' If a person tries to become a ‘hero‘in a classroom, the entire class will crown him or her as the king or queen and take that person as a friend. They are not bothered or concerned about the act that he or she did, but they build up a friendship. Many have forgotten ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’; the great axiom and its meaning. The need in the first word ‘in need’ is when somebody does any wrong to correct that person. This word and the meaning has not been understood by many. We need a friend to correct us when we do mistakes. Today, in the classrooms, something very dangerous is continuously happening. When someone does a wrong thing there is a tendency not to reveal the person‘s name to the class teacher. Due to this, problems keep on dragging for long and all parties suffer and get frustrated and disappointed. A true friend should name the ‘wrong doer' and correct that person, rather than defending and making the innocents suffer.

A student's dress code is counted as a part of his discipline. You must wear neatly, decently and appropriately. You must comb your hair in the proper way. This has completely changed now and students use their hands to comb their hair. A tailor measures the waist to sew a trouser; but today a student trouser is at hip-level. These two things speak a lot about one's discipline. 'Decency' is dying and the 'HIPPY' culture has embraced the present day student. [In 1960‘s, People associated with a subculture which rejected traditional social values — those people were called HIPPIES]. It is so sad to see the students of different parts of the society being unable to abide by the rules and regulations and the lifelong traditions which have come into effect through the society.

These evil ideas come into the mind of students when they live in the world governed by the evil. Your vision is poisoned when you allow the evil to creep in to you. You may argue that it is a need in today’s society. Yes, we agree; but from the studentship of a child, there are demands that are being made. A student’s prime duty is to concentrate on education. To be a balanced person one should have a sound spiritual life. You should start your day with the Lord. If you are a Catholic, you should pray and meditate before you leave home. Automatically through praying or meditating you transform yourself into a disciplined child. The next step comes to be a ”PRAYING CHILD.” Let us try this as students and elders and how valuable it will be and precious to be a ’PRAYING PARENT ‘and a “PRAYING CHILD”!

It is with pride that we speak about the discipline of St. Joseph‘s College since it has been able to maintain great standards over the past so many years. There is an inherent tendency in our children to remain in the standards and benchmarks given to them from above. Many who visit the College have commented about the vast difference they could experience the moment they enter the premises. We are ever more joyful for our children have not embraced the outcome of the society and the world order.

This difference is nothing but because, they are being led by the Holy Spirit, they are not a burden to their superiors and their parents, but obedient, listening and enthusiastic about their career. Dear Josephians, do work towards the DREAMS of your parents. Work also towards the many dreams of your mentors who are your teachers. We are ever more thankful to you for you are not an ”undisciplined showpiece” during your school career but a “disciplined masterpiece.” May the students of St. Joseph‘s College have the courage to safeguard these great qualities and imbibe them for an inspiring way of life.

Co-Curricular Life

Whilst academia is nourished and encouraged, St. Joseph‘s College also provides students the opportunity to explore their latent talent.

Engaging in extra—curricular or co-curricular activities provides students with the opportunity to explore their physical, creative, social, political, and career interests and puts them in contact with like- minded people who share their interests and curiosity. It also helps bring people together and breaks down barriers between people. It is a proven fact that students who are involved and engaged are less likely to become addicted to bad habits, like smoking or drinking.

Participating in extra- curricular activities looks good on university and job applications and shows admission officers and employers that you're well-rounded and responsible. Curiously, there is now an evolving trend where educational establishments like Oxford and Cambridge or prospective employers are not only interested in your academic excellence but also your extra-curricular or co- curricular activities — presumably as this is a demonstration of highly sought after skills such as emotional intelligence, team spirit, leadership, drive, initiative, teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills.

Sport is intrinsic in human development and the flowering of the human personality. It promotes physical development, enhances mental strength and builds team spirit and resilience. St. ]oseph's College has produced Olympic athletes and several Josephians are members of the Sri Lankan Cricket team. Old Joes have excelled in every conceivable field of art, science and sports.

Scholars have defined “Aesthetics” as a "critical reflection” on art, culture and nature, and studies show that a student's aesthetic abilities may be related to cognitive development. St. ]oseph's College encourages students to

Develop their aesthetic abilities in the arenas of music, singing, dancing and oratory and students participate in debating and speech competitions, Cultural Days, Rhythm of the Joes, various other concerts and the College choir. It is evident from these events and competitions, that St. Joseph‘s College has produced artistes with immense talent and the prospects of a bright future in their chosen art.

Community Life

Belonging to a group, gives students a "Collective identity”, so much so that the person belonging to the group identifies himself with the group. This creates bonding, respect for peers and a sense of belonging.

Engaging in community life reinstates the bonds between the students, teachers, and the clergy and is fundamental to the community of the school and the outside community. Students are given the opportunity to interact in events such as Children's Day, School trips and volunteering in the community on Shramadana Days. Events like Teachers’ Day and Rect0r’s Day invigorates self-esteem in the teachers and affirm respect and appreciation of the valuable service rendered by teachers and the Rector. The services of minor staff, security, the gardeners, and other workers are valued and affirmed as important for the functioning of the school.

Personal Life

Although a student‘s personal life is fashioned on the home environment, theorists believe that an individuals identity is influenced by the people around them and the environment in which they live. So it is not only their home life but also their school life which contributes to the development of the student and the fostering of moral and social values and the norms of right and wrong conduct.

Educational psychology becomes important in this context and students are provided with counselling facilities if they encounter problems at home, or if they have difficulties in coping with studies or interacting with the community.

Value education is also part of the curriculum so that students learn about "self" and the “wisdom of life”, how to behave responsibly, what is good behaviour for themselves and the community and how to develop into personable and social beings. This includes social and moral reasoning, emotional learning, life skills education, health education, cleanliness, violence prevention, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and conflict resolution and mediation.

Moral values are supported and guided by spirituality or faith. Personal values stem out order to achieve moral and spiritual development while social values are cherished and practiced to keep society in harmony. It is expected that when students finish their education at St. Joseph's College they will go into the world with well-balanced moral, personal and social values.