Students’ Tour to Nuwara Eliya

The students and staff of Loyola Campus- Mannar organized a tour to Nuwara Eliya, the Central part of Sri Lanka from 8-10 December 2017. The staff supported by the students planned and arranged the tour. The students got the opportunity to visit a number of important places such as Nuwara Eliya town, Gregory’s Park, Horton Plains etc. For most of the students this was the first time visiting a hilly station in the Central part of Sri Lanka. It was indeed an exciting experience for the students.

Since many Sri Lankan schools do not provide coeducation opportunity and to mature and maintain healthy relationships with those of the opposite sex, tours of this nature and many of the interactions at Loyola Campus becomes crucial in the growth and development of students. It is a way of providing education which is holistic and affects the human person and not just the intellect.

While Loyola Campus provides education through classroom activities, initiatives of this nature also are expected to mould the students and help them to be better persons in the society. Two of the areas that was observed during the trip is the readiness of the students to take leadership and the amount of maturity shown during the entire trip.

Fr Daniel Hendrickson’s Visit

Rev Fr Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, the 25th president of Creighton University was on his visit to Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka to meet students, faculty, staff and senior administration. During his short visit, Fr Hendrickson visit three Loyola Campus Centres situated in Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Mannar including the Country Office in Mannar. He congratulated the staff for the successful establishment of 5 Community Learning Centres – the Loyola Campus. He noted that the collaboration of JWL-Loyola Campus will serve many young people. The campus is a shared community of learners without WALLS and attempts to reach out to the youth to bring the best of Universities to youth affected by war – who are at the margins. He further noted that this collaboration with the Sri Lanka Province is very exemplary. INTERNATIONALLY – Sri Lanka is setting some model and good standards on how to work together and keep one another informed. Thank you, Fr Hendrickson, for your visit to bring the BEST to the LEAST and for making us known internationally.

 

Fr Peter Ballais SJ’s Visit

Rev Fr Peter Ballais SJ, the Executive President of Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL), and Mr Armado Borja, Director for JWL Internal Operations visited Sri Lanka during 17-18 October 2017. The visit was a part of an annual visit of JWL in assessing the progress of the Learning Centres in Sri Lanka and planning ahead for the future. The Director of Loyola Campuses briefed Fr Peter Ballais SJ on the developments form different Centres and the desire of students for education. A number of important decisions were made during the meeting. Fr Peter Ballais SJ accepted to academically support the new learning Centres proposed by Rev Fr Milroy Fernando SJ, the Country Director of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka. Fr Peter Ballais SJ and Mr Armando Borja also briefed the team of Directors from Loyola Campus about the new courses that would be offered by JWL: Diploma in Humanities (Regis University) and English Teacher Training Programme (Creighton University).

 

QUEST 2017

 

QUEST 2017, the English Day of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka was held on 18 November 2017 at Loyola Campus- Mannar. Hon. Dr. Gnanaseelan Gunaseelan, the Minister of Health, Indigenous Medicine and Probation and Childcare Services was the Chief Guest of the Function. Rev Fr Anton Pieris SJ, the Executive Secretary and Admonitor to the Provincial of Sri Lanka Jesuit Province was the Guest of Honour. A number of guests and dignitaries attended the function.

‘QUEST 2017’, the English Day was also attended by the current students who follow English courses at Loyola Campus centres in Sri Lanka and the students of Jesuit Academies and students from different schools in Mannar. It provided the students an opportunity to meet others from various parts of Sri Lanka. The event was also instrumental in promoting peace and reconciliation among students of different ethnicities and religions.

This was the first ever effort on the part of Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka to bring together students of diverse backgrounds such as Mannar, Vavuniya, Puthukkudiyiruppu, Trincomallee, Batticaloa and Hatton to one place. Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka had two-fold aims in organizing ‘QUEST 2017’:

  1. To provide the students a platform to showcase their talents and to provide an encouragement to master the English language through a process of hardwork and dedication.
  2. Provide the students a space which is not polarized by divisions of geography, ethnicity, nationality, language and social differences. QUEST 2017 was itself a process towards reconciliation.

Loyola Campus- Sri Lanka hopes to organize such events regularly through the assistance and support of its Centres located in five different places in Sri Lanka.

Staff Empowerment Training

As part of the faulty development, one day Staff Empowerment Training was organized on Oct 5, 2017 for all the staff of Loyola Campus Vavuniya. The Staff was introduced to an in-depth reflection on the right understanding and the special nature of the concepts Teacher and Teaching. It was aimed at generating interaction among the participants which did happen in a small way. The Staff must grow in articulation capacity. However, the staff had a separate discussion session and the participation was quite achieve. The training which started at 9.00 am continued until lunch at 2.00 p.m. It was coincided with International Teachers day and therefore the staff was well treated with a sumptuous dinner. During the feedback session, the Staff felt quite happy about the training and they had something new to learn. They felt that it was very useful to them in their teaching profession.

Life Skill Training for Students

As part of the overall academic plan for the current September batch, all the students had “One-Day Training on Life Skill” on Sept 30, 2017. During the forenoon sessions, the students were exposed to different types of skills with their distinctiveness, and then focused their attention on Life Skill. In the afternoon sessions, students had an in-depth treatment of one selected life skill with four exercises. It was on Self-awareness.

During the feedback session at the end of the training, students shared that it was the first time they discovered them in-depth and they felt great after going through the process of self-discovery. The self-exploration process was aided by several statements and pertinent questions. The One-day Training was given by Fr. M. Elias SJ.

Visit by Rev. David Braithwaite SJ

Fr. David SJ, CEO & Director, Cardoner Project visited our Campus along with four young volunteers on Sep 28, 2017. The main purpose was to make on the spot study and gather relevant information about the proposed volunteering Mission. Earlier Mr. Campion Fernando who is working with Fr. David SJ in the project visited the Campus and proposed the possible collaboration with us in future. The four young men who accompanied Fr. David SJ have been working as volunteers in the Two Wolves community canteen enterprise. They interacted with our students in a common meeting along with the staff. It was cordial in which they shared the nature of their canteen project and how the young people, while pursuing their studies in the University are able to work as volunteers in the canteen project. While our staff members shared their experience, the students had raised interesting questions to the young volunteers. It was a good exposes and a time for learning to our students.