Yesudasan Shares Formula for Success

St Boniface College principal, Mary Phyllis Yesudasan, has disputed claims by her critics who say her school excels simply because it admits only the cream of the crop of students.

She says contrary to this perception is that their successs actually comes from hard work, discipline, constant monitoring and evaluation and most of all cooperation between the principal, teachers and learners.

Yesudasan said her critics engage in mere accusations in trying to shy away from their poor performances, adding that St Boniface has among the best teachers as they look for teachers who are really qualified for a particular subject.

She said her teachers either have a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s, while some have three degrees with long years of teaching experience.

“We recruit qualified teachers to teach particular subjects,” stressed Yesudasan whose school near Rundu has been producing the country’s top Grade 12 learners for years to the envy of many.

“Just give me any 20 learners from any corner of the world and I will get good results out of them. Those saying that we only take the best learners are just escaping their responsibilities. Some learners struggle to read and write when they get here but after some time they start speaking and writing well,” countered the hard working Yesudasan.

Some schools have visited St Boniface to emulate what they are doing but they found that the school uses the same textbooks.

“We are doing the same things but they don’t produce but we produce. It’s a matter of monitoring, evaluating and then seeing what is the follow-up. I don’t just tell teachers to teach, I follow it up, make sure that they are delivering in the class and if the learners don’t do well then we find out from the teacher and make the changes that are needed to help the particular learner. We provide teachers and learners with adequate books. When I go to the book store and find a useful book, I buy it for my teachers,” she said.

When asked about how she felt about the school being on top, she said she felt proud but at the same time scared of what would happen next time.

“Though I feel proud I won’t just relax, I will be working harder, so I will change my ways so that we can still make it to the top position,” she said.

When asked how they control their learners she said she’s 24 hours in the school grounds, and so are the teachers.

“The main thing binding us is the discipline amongst the learners, amongst the teachers. We keep learners occupied with extra classes even on weekends. We fight to finish the syllabus. We have a timetable and my subjects are number one, I teach physics and mathematics,” she says.

Many of the school’s former learners are in key positions all over the country and that makes the school very proud. “They are serving the whole of Namibia, they are mainly accountants, doctors, engineers in different fields, geologists as well as nurses and pharmacists,” she enthused.

Yesudasan furthermore urged other school principals to work hard in order to compete and produce good results.

She said a principal needs to plan the school programme from the first term together with teachers and they need to finish the syllabus at least by the end of the first term by offering extra classes, and that will make time for thorough revision and tackling other difficulties.

They must not only wait for the last term to have extra classes or maybe holiday classes that don’t seem to help, according to Yesudasan.

“We don’t mind here, we take extra classes on Saturdays, Sundays even on public holidays and then see to it that learners do extra work, and as a principal I see that it is executed and you should monitor and evaluate it. If it’s not successful find other ways to do it, but constant evaluation is important and discipline, which needs cooperation from the learners as well as the teachers … because I can say anything, but if they are not cooperating with me I won’t be able to do as much.

“As a principal you need to talk to the learners and teachers as a principal interact with the teachers on a daily basis at least for five to 10 minutes, be an example to teachers by how your class performs,” Yesudasan said.

The school only has 10 classrooms, two classes per grade, from grade 8 to 12

“This year because of the pressure we have 90 Grade 8s. What we want from them is to work hard and follow instructions as well as follow the school rules regularly, and those who find it difficult will find it hell, but those who can follow the rules will find it is heaven and at the end they will come out with flying colours.

“Learners need to use the internet, their books and any other resource available plus they have to use their teachers from day one.

“Parents must get their children the necessary books available out there,” she says.

Source : New Era