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Rosary Convent Celebrates 100 years of its existence

One of the very few schools in twin cities to achieve the milestone

Hyderabad: ROSARY CONVENT HIGH SCHOOL, the name to reckon with in the twin cities completed 100 years in school education and celebrated its Centenary Celebrations here in city at All Saints High School Ground recently. Mr. R.P Singh, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the Centenary Celebrations. Dr. I.V. Subba Rao, IAS, Principal Secretary to Government of A.P; Dr. Man Mohan Singh, IAS, Commissioner & Director School Education, A.P and Sr. Susan Matheikal, F.M.M (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary) Provincial, Mumbai Province were the Guests of Honour for the function. The Grand Gala celebrations were the culmination of year-long Centenary Celebrations kicked off in January 2003.

To mark the occasion, and make the celebrations memorable the sisters have made elaborate
arrangements, assembled all the 3800 students, parents, old staff, alumni and every one who was part of the glorious past. All together there were more than four thousand people who graced the occasion. Beginning with a welcome dance, the Principal Sister Mary Mathias gave the Centenary Report, Centenary Songs in three languages, felicitation of the FMM stalwarts formed few activities of the inaugural function. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. R.P Singh, City Police Commissioner attributed the present unrest and chaos in the society to falling moral values. In the race for material comforts we are losing sight of values, he said. Other speakers who spoke on the occasion too felt the need for imparting v alues and strengthening the moral fibre among children. This is all the more important with fast erosion of values, they said.

Rosary Convent High School situated in Gunfoundry, the ammunition center of the erstwhile Nizams of Hyderabad is producing dynamites of a different kind, Dynamite Girls, who are confident of facing the world and challenges of the society. The School started by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary at the invitation of the then Bishop of Hyderabad Monsignor Vigano on 15th January, 1904 with just 60 students has come a long way. The Society of the sisters was registered by the Joint Stock Company in His Excellency and Highness, the Nizamís Dominion Hyderabad under No. A-r4 dated 29th July 1942.

The Convent was established in 1903 according to the desire of the Foundress of the order Helen De Chappotin whose religious name was Mother Mary of the Passion. The area being Muslim dominated and King Koti being a stoneís throw distance from Nizamís many sprawling mansions, it was very difficult to get girls into the Most Holy Rosary Convent. But, the undaunted sisters faced many a refusal and after much persuasion, there was some acceptance. They realized the culture of the pampered girls and allowed every girl to have her own Curtained (Purdahed) carriage, her own ayah who attended on them waiting whole day in a separate ayahís shed specially made for them.

Initially it started as co-education both in English and Tamil medium and Telugu media started later on. Later it turned into only a girls school. The syllabus mainly consisted of value education, conducting oneself properly and things that a girl should know like needlework and cooking. Later the syllabus changed according to the changing needs of society. The institution has survived the rough turmoil of the Indian Independence struggle, agitations for separate Telangana state. The Polytechnic Scheme or the Multi-purpose class 12 was introduced from 1961-1968. In 1970 the SSC was introduced and is the same till date. The school received permanent recognition on 9th May 1950. The main aim of the institution which is moulding girls with high morale values, equipped with knowledge and confidence to face life, remains the same since 1903.

Now, more than ever, with the deteriorating human values, the school focuses a lot in instilling girls with a high caliber of every strength - physical, mental, emotional and religious. The Character Training, Peace and Value Education syllabus have been organized. In spite of the handicap of not having a sufficiently big playground, the sports and games take off very well. The weekly club activities include aerobics, yoga, karate, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and all other games. Together with sports activities the girls have always been provided with an excellent opportunity for a lot of extra curricular activities. The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary have introduced JPIC - Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation as the basic foundation for the all round development of the children. Rosary Convent has been the pioneer in many a programmes disseminating this message. The motto of the school is "To Love though Truth" with Mother Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary as the Patroness.

The strength of the school has grown in leaps and bound over the period of the time. From mere 54 students at the time of beginning it rose to 100 in 1930, 500 in 1943, 2000 in 1960, 3,500 in 1977 and 3,800 in the year 2004. More than 50,000 (approximately, on a conservative estimates) students have passed out of the school ever since its inception.

During the past 100 years, some of the milestone achievements of the School include beginning of Telugu medium in 1914, recognition as High School by Director of Public Instruction Nizamís state in 1950; visit of the First Indian Archbishop Mark Gopu in 1954; beginning of Montessori School in 1957; First Visit of Superior General of Mother St. Agnes in 1964; Conversion of Higher Secondary (Multipurpose) School Certificate to SSC in 1968. Many dignitaries have visited Rosary viz. M. V. Krishna Reddy, Minister of Education, AP in 1976; Archbishop Arulappa of Hyderabad Diocese in 1977; Sr. Alma Dufault - Superior General of FMMs from Rome in 1977; T. Anjaiah, Chief Minister of AP in 1978; Kumud Ben Joshi, Governor of AP in 1987; Sr. Maura Oí Connor - Superior General in 1987; P. V. Ranga Rao - Education Minister of AP in 1992; Sr. Christiane - Superior General in 2001, etc.

Today it is a name to reckon in twin cities for girls education. It is probably one of the very few schools to have completed hundred years of education to the society. From a beginning of sixty students it has bloomed over a period of time and currently has strength of over 3,800 students. Started with an objective to instill human values in girls, it is the most sought after school by many parents in twin cities. The demand for the convent education in Rosary is so much that every year the school has to turn away hundreds of candidates.

Over these hundred years Rosary has produced many stalwarts, leaders, research scholars and sports persons. The school today is rightly proud of the celebrity alumni of the likes of Smt. Parthasarthy, Managing Director of HUDA; Mrs. Della Gordrey, MLA; Ms. Mulini Reddy, Arjuna Award Winner; Mr. M. Mahendra Reddy, former Director-General of Police; Mrs. Seetha Reddy, Chairman of Zilla Parishad, Mahboobnagar; Mrs. K. Pronoti Suhasani, Director - SEERT and several others.

The Centenary was celebrated in a befitting manner all through the year 2003 with numerous activities and novel programmes involving not only the school students but students of various schools in twin cities. Some of these activities include Reading of prayers from scriptures, Republic Day, March Past & Drill Display, fetes, shows, interschool competitions, cultural programmes, literary activities, social activities, community service activities, felicitation of old staff, parent-teacher meetings, Old Rosarians meetings etc.

With Celebrations around the corner or no celebrations, the school has proved that life education is not just through books and classes. It made a lot of difference to the studentsí community in the twin cities through a lot of inter-school activities. An Inter-school cultural and literary competition has attracted students from 23 schools which was attended by over 800 students.

All this and more was achieved by determined sisters and the staff committed for the cause. It is not a small achievement. Not many schools in the twin cities or India can boast of such a remarkable performance. As the present Principal Sr. Mary Mathias rightly said, "We give the soul of the spirit". Undoubtedly, the school together with its children will achieve many more milestones. As it achieves more milestones, the biggest beneficiary is the society at large.

Reachout's News Bureau

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