St John Bosco Primary School in West Bromwich welcomed a guest to school recently: Fr Paul Raj, a priest and teacher from Godhora, India, writes Paul Mobberley.
His visit to the school followed on from a visit to India by four teachers from the West Midlands school during the half-term break in February where they experienced Indian culture and spent time in several Indian schools.
To celebrate the visit of Fr Raj many of the children and staff at St John Bosco dressed in either traditional Indian dress or colours of the Indian flag: green, orange and white. The children made banners and bunting and decorated the hall accordingly.
On arrival Fr Raj had lunch with the school prefects and some staff and was then treated to a special assembly where each class took turns to present him with a gift. The staff who had visited India presented a slide show to tell of their experiences. Fr Raj then told the children something about life in India and the differences between life there and here, particularly for children.
Following the assembly there was a tour of the school led by the Year 6 prefects during which Fr Raj spent time in each classroom.
He was particularly impressed with the amazing ICT facilities which were different to those in his own school back home. When he saw that each pupil in Year 6 had a laptop to use he asked if they ever did any writing. They assured him they did.
After the children had gone home the staff and Fr Raj were joined by some of the school governors along with school priests Fr Burke from Holy Cross and Ugo and Erasmus from St Michael’s, where they enjoyed a buffet and talked further of life in India. The day finished with Fr Raj blessing the new plaque of St John Bosco outside the school.
Everyone from the school community learned a great deal from the day and Fr Raj enjoyed the hospitality. The school hopes this is the beginning of a long and sustained partnership.