Boroko, Port Moresby, PNG, 29 September 2021 — “All teachers are called to the mission of making the world a better place; for you, you are called to make our country Papua New Guinea a better place through the work you do for the young.” This was the challenge given by Fr. Gregorio Bicomong Jnr SDB, the Superior of the Vice-province, during his homily at the closing Mass of the first Don Bosco Education System (DBES) Educators’ Congress on 25 September, 2021, at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Boroko. Present as concelebrants were Salesians Fr. Pedro Sachitula, Fr. Roger Miranda, Fr. Pankaj Xalxo, Fr. Alex Garces, Fr. Gilbert and Fr. Albert Swer.
During his homily Fr. Gregorio shared with the congregation the struggle of Jesus to make himself understood. Jesus was the Greatest Teacher of all times, yet he too was misunderstood even by his own disciples who were also afraid to ask him questions. “It the same for us as teachers, some of our students do not understand and are even afraid to ask questions?” he said.
Highlighting 3 main lessons from the Gospel, Fr. Greg shared that learning is sequential so in order for a young person to learn a new skill, he must first master the first one. “The disciples wanted to experience the glory before the pain and suffering but we must first learn the Mystery of the Cross before we learn the Mystery of the Resurrection; a similar situation to a student who would want to graduate without studying”, he said.
He went on further to state that learning begins with a question and like Jesus, the educators should be willing to ask questions so that they can be better understood. Amidst the mystery of life, we need to make the world a better place to live in, concluded Fr Gregorio.
The Eucharist was well animated with lively and beautiful singing by the educators of Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu. In an interview with Ms. Lydia Tenakanai, an instructor of DBTS, she said the breakout sessions were very informative and a reminder for her to improve and adjust herself as a Salesian educator. “I am also very thankful to the organizers who were very brave in taking the first step in bringing together Salesian educators reminding us of the team we are in building this nation”, she added.
Ms. Mary Zeming from Caritas Technical Secondary School, Boroko said that it was wonderful to have the educators come together to get to know each other and be reminded of the Salesian Education System, the system which made them unique in the way they taught young people.
“As a student, attending the different workshops has really helped me learn more about the Preventive System of Don Bosco and how Don Bosco dealt with the young in his time so that when I also graduate and go out into the teaching field, I am to share his spirit with the students”, said Louisah Vutnamur, a 3rd year BA in Education student of DBTI, who was also part of the Congress.
The seminar concluded with light refreshments for all.