A BRIEF HISTORY OF DON BOSCO SCHOOL, IRINJALAKUDA
The Beginning (1962)
The tiny seed that blossomed into the present magnificent institution known as Don Bosco, Irinjalakuda was planted in March 1962 when Fr. John Med, the then Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco in South India came from Madras at the invitation of the late Bishop of Trichur, Mar George Alapatt. He took the preliminary steps for the establishment of a Don Bosco institution to look after the interests of the youth of the locality especially the Christian youth. In April of the same year Fr. Med sent in his application for an unaided recognized high school to the Director of Public Instruction, Trivandrum.
The First Collaborators (1962)
At the arrival of Fr. John Med in Irinjalakuda, he was received by a team of generous and far-sighted collaborators who were instruments in bringing the Salesians to this place. The initiative was taken by Mr. K. L. Francis who got Mr. M. P. Kochudevassy the then Municipal Chairman interested in the project. The other prominent citizens who took an active interest in the project were: Mr. P. V. Devassy Pokkath, Mr. T. T. John, Mr. Lonappan Thaliyath, Mr. Pottackal Ittikuru, Mr. M. C. Paul, Mr. C. O. Jacob, the late Mr. Kuriappan KO Divalappil and Mr. K. P. Johny. Fr. George Cherpanath of St. Mary’s Church and the late Fr. Anthony Thekkeniath, the then parish priest of St. George’s Church took a keen interest in the matter. We owe it to posterity that these first collaborators are remembered.
The Hunt for a Site (1962)
Then there began the hunt for a school site and the results were not very encouraging. But finally a spot was found in the southern part of the town. It was just a paddy field but the decision was taken to put up the school there. A plot of 11 acres was bought at a cost of Rs. 40.000/- provided by the generous citizens of Irinjalakuda and presented to the Salesians. Mr. T. P. Kunjuvareed Thaliath put his own house at the disposal of the Fathers for the celebration of Holy Mass and for their stay.
The Beginning of Upper Primary and High School (1962)
On 6th May 1962 the Government of Kerala had sanctioned Don Bosco High School, as an unaided but recognized School. A fortnight later the admissions began. All those who came were taken. There weren’t enough students to choose from. To begin the classes a shed was to be put up but before it could be completed the school year commenced and a shed was provided free of rent in the adjacent plot of land through the generosity of Mr. M. P. Kochudevassy and the classes got off to a humble beginning. Rev. Fr. Anthony Thekkeniath, Vicar Forane, St. George’s Church blessed the school. Rev. Fr. Andrew Dorairaj took charge as Rector, headmaster and correspondent. The students numbered 130 and the staff consisted of 4 teachers. On 29th June, the school was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus the supreme Master of Don Bosco School. It consisted then of the U. P. section and Std. VIII. Lessons were imparted both in English and Malayalam. The strength of the staff had risen to 9 by the end of the month. On 11th October the classes were shifted from the thatched shed to the new building. Rev. Fr. George Cherpanath blessed the building.
Boarding School (1963)
2nd January 1963 saw the humble beginning of the boarding school. The cramped conditions continued for the boarding students till plans were laid to put up a new building for the boarders during the rectorship of Fr. Abraham Poonnoly.
Don Bosco LP School (1963)
The lower primary school was started in 1963 with a batch of 15 students and 3 teachers. From 1969 the headmistress used to be from the Holy Family congregation.
New Boarding Building (1971)
The foundation stone for the new boarding building was laid on 31st January 1970 and the three-storeyed building was completed on May 27, 1971. It was blessed by Mar Joseph Kundukulam, the bishop of Trichur. It offered accommodation for 160 students.
Prayer plays a central role in the educative system of Don Bosco. The soul of the Don Bosco School lies in the chapel. The chapel was blessed and consecrated on 18th January 1982 by Mar James Pazhayattil, the bishop of Irinjalakuda.
Silver Jubilee Memorial Indoor Stadium (1987)
To mark the silver jubilee celebration of the school, an indoor stadium for sports and games and for other school activities was constructed in 1987. The foundation stone for this project was blessed by Rev. Fr. Thomas Myladoor, the Vice Provincial of Bangalore Province and laid by Sri. A C Jose, the President of Kerala Sports Council on 8th December 1985. This stadium was blessed by Mar James Pazhayattil, the bishop of Irinjalakuda and formally opened by Sri. A L Jacob, the honorable minister for fisheries, Kerala on 7th January 1987.
New School building (1996)
The new higher secondary school building was constructed with the financial support of the management, parents and well-wishers. The foundation stone for this project was blessed on 19th December 1991 by Mar James Pazhayattil, the bishop of Irinjalakuda and laid by Rev. Fr. Thomas Myladoor the provincial of Bangalore. It was blessed and inaugurated on 15th September 1996 by Rev. Fr. Thomas Myladoor, the provincial of Bangalore.
Beginning of the ICSE School (2002)
It was the cherished dream of the parent community and the management to begin a central syllabus school in the campus. On 6th June 2002 the ICSE School was started in the boarding building which was closed down in 1999. On 24th July 2007 the school was formally affiliated to the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination in New Delhi.
Beginning of higher secondary course (2003)
In 2002 the educational set up underwent a change in Kerala. The Junior College section known as PDC (Pre-Degree course) was separated from the university and attached to the high school and was to be known as higher secondary school. In 2002 Don Bosco School was elevated to the level of a Higher Secondary School with the permission to start a science batch with biology and later science with computer batch was added.
Minority Status Certificate (2011)
On 13th October 2011 the school formally obtained Minority Status Certificate from the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
Golden Jubilee Celebration (2013)
The Golden Jubilee celebration of the School was held on 12th &15th January 2013. On 12th January Mar Andrews Thazhath the archbishop of Thrissur presided over the Jubilee Mass at 10.30am. Mar Pauly Kannookadan, the bishop of Irinjalakuda and Mar James Pazhayattil, the Bishop emeritus of Irinjalakuda were the concelebrants.
During the public meeting in the evening on 15th January, Mar Pauly Kannookadan, the bishop of Irinjalkuda inaugurated the jubilee celebration. Rev. Fr. Thomas Anchukandam, the Provincial Superior of the Province of Bangalore delivered the Benedictory Address. Sri. Thomas Unniyadan, the MLA of Irinjalakuda presided over the public Function. Parents and well-wishers numbering 4000 witnessed the dazzling fiesta of our Bostonians on this mega jubilee celebration.
The Kindergarten Block (2014)
A modern building with all the facilities for the pre-primary school children was a felt need by the parent community. And so it was built and blessed on 07th October 2014 by Rev. Fr. Thomas Anchukandam, the provincial superior of Bangalore province and inaugurated by Sri Abdu Rabb, the honorable education minister of Kerala.
Aquatic Complex (2017)
An indoor swimming pool in the school campus was a cherished dream of all the parents and management. And so the project began in 2015 was completed in 2017. On 28th January 2017, the complex was blessed by Rev. Fr. Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, the provincial of Bangalore and formally inaugurated by Prof. K U Arunan, the honourable MLA of Irinjalakuda.