Udonthani Don Bosco after 61 years
Udon Thani, Thailand, 12 September 2018 -- Only four Salesians (Rector Fr. Niphon) animating about 200 lay mission partners in Udon Thani Don Bosco School (Principal Fr. Smith) are serving more than 3500 young people from the Kindergarten to the Senior high school. The 130.000 city in the North East of Thailand has a strong Salesian family presence with one SDB school of 3500 students, one FMA school with 3300 students and starting school of DQM secular institute (Queenship of Mary) with 300 students at present.
As every of the seven Don Bosco schools in Thailand the long tradition and good quality of academic education attracts many new students every year. However also our lay mission partners are deeply concerned about the future of Salesian education, due to the strong challenges in social life. Among the students are only 171 Catholics and among the teachers about 51 are baptized Catholics, however the concern about the effective practice of Don Bosco preventive system is common to most of them. Among many services to the local Church is the presence of 50+ seminarians (High school) of Udon Thani diocese among our students.
Our teachers are very dynamic and faithful in their daily education ministry. Among the 9 participants in the 2018 Paranaque EAO Salesianity course were also three teachers of Don Bosco Udon Thani and their enthusiasm is spreading among the other teachers as well. When looking at the future the lay leadership (school board) points at three main priorities:
- Spiritual and moral education of our students due to the worsening situation of our society, with the focus on ‘social success’ or many bad role models. We need to strengthen our youth from within (e.g. Good morning talks, meditation). We need to make our youth good and generous, less selfish
- We need to foster good teachers, who can inspire the students and not just doing their duty, but are committed to the real education. We need to invest in the development of teachers.
- We need to guarantee the effective practice of Don Bosco Preventive system, that is getting diluted with the new generations of teachers, not just talk about the Preventive System. We need the teachers converted to the Preventive System, help them to understand and follow it as their way of life.
- 61 years after the foundation of the school, Udon Thani Don Bosco looks with optimism to the future, trying to embrace variety of challenges from the social environment, youth culture and families that are getting smaller and falling apart.
Udon Thani Don Bosco school website: http://www.donbosco.ac.th