Empowering marginalised youth

Don Bosco’s Open School in Parra provides a second chance for academic success and holistic development


Established in 1999, the Don Bosco’s Open School, Parra, which was headed by a Salesian Brother, Anthony Rocha, has become a ray of hope for academically-challenged youngsters, offering them a second chance to complete their Class 10 and 12 education while equipping them with essential life skills.

“At the heart of Don Bosco’s educational philosophy lies the holistic development of the young, as envisioned by our founder, Don Bosco. Guided by the Preventive System of Education, which emphasises reason, religion, and loving kindness, we strive to empower our students to live with dignity in society and become agents of transformation for a better tomorrow,” says director of Don Bosco’s Open School Fr. Wilfred Fernandes.

Open schooling, a form of open and distance learning, provides flexible education opportunities up to pre-degree level. Unlike traditional educational institutions, this form of schooling allows students to study and work from the comfort of their homes. They can attend Personal Contact Programme (PCP) classes to enhance their subject knowledge and seek guidance from dedicated teachers at the school.

To enroll in the open school, students must meet certain requirements. For Class 10, learners must be at least 15 years of age, while for Class 12, a two-year gap after passing Class 10 is necessary. Over the years, an average of 60% of enrolled students in Class 10 and 75% in Class 12 have successfully completed their courses.

The school curriculum is carefully designed in consultation with esteemed educational bodies such as the CBSE, NCERT, and leading educationists in the country. It is structured to be relevant to real-life situations, functional, and easily understandable. This approach ensures that students not only acquire academic knowledge but also develop practical skills that prepare them for the challenges of the modern world.

Recognising the importance of skill development, the school also offers short-term skill courses in the hospitality sector, including front office management, food and beverage service, housekeeping, food production, and baking & confectionery. These courses equip students with the necessary skills to meet the employment needs of the booming hospitality industry, providing them with valuable on-the-job training opportunities in reputed organisations.

Many students who have completed their Class 10 and 12 education through this programme have seized the opportunity to pursue higher studies, while others have found success in the vocational field.

Looking ahead, Don Bosco’s Open School aims to expand its offerings by integrating skill-based training with academic education, thereby creating a comprehensive learning experience for its students.