Claret Academy Secondary School, New Owerri
BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF CLARET ACADEMY
The Claret Academy is a catholic mission educational institute established, organized and directly administered by the East Province of the Religious Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, otherwise known as the Claretian Missionaries. Claret Academy was formally opened in September 1998 as a nursery/primary school under the insightful leadership of Very Rev. Fr. Dodwin Okechukwu Nzeh, Cmf; the then Provincial Superior. The title “Claret Academy” was chosen because of the intended plan of the Province to establish with time a full-fledged educational institution that will cover the various levels of education – nursery/primary, secondary and tertiary levels or education, with perhaps different campuses in several places in Nigeria. The aim of this educational institute is to impart knowledge and balanced education to the young at all levels and to contribute3 to the developmental effort of the Catholic Church and the Nigerian government in the formation of children and the youth in Nigeria and beyond.
Claret Academy (Secondary School), which is now the secondary arm of Claret Academy, started in 2004 and so far has since then nurtured several sets of Secondary School finalists who graduated out of the school with excellent results. Our secondary school is a co-educational (Boys & Girls) institute, and runs both day and boarding school facilities for both boys and girls. Claret Academy (Secondary School) is the first among the four Secondary schools that now constitute the Secondary arm of the Claretian Educational Project in East Nigeria Province. Our school brings to practical realization the basic rights that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria grants to all natural and artificial person to found Educational Centers, within the constitutional provisions and principles
As a mission (Catholic) school located at Area “A” World Bank Housing Estate New Owerri and within the territory of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, the school is managed in strict observance of the general Educational Policy of the Catholic Church, and in accordance with the Owerri Archdiocesan Educational Policy for all Catholic Schools. It distinguishes itself by characteristically by the special Claretian Missionary touch in the organization, administration, planning and execution of its programs and activities. We offer our students appropriate intellectual and moral formation that prepares them for the tertiary level of their educational journey, and equip them with necessary potentials that will enable them adequately face the challenges of modern society.
Our mission in the educational apostolate is “To form intellectually competent, professionally skilled, spiritually evolved, morally upright, socially responsive and culturally tolerant citizens, through holistic Claretian education, for the creation of a civilization of love.
The philosophy of Claretian educational apostolate adheres to the missionary mandate of the Catholic Church, as stated in the Vatican 11 Declaration on Christian Education: “all men of whatever rae, condition or age, in virtue of their dignity as human persons, have an inalienable right to education.” Thus, education apostolate has always been essential for the Catholic Church in its evangelization potential and service of value. As Pope Pius the X1 declared in 1929, education “consists essentially in preparing man for what he must do here below in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created.” This essential character of Catholic education was thus articulsted by Bishop David Konstant:
“Catholic education should be characterized essentially by its communication of a perspective of human life centered in Jesus Christ by its respect for the individual and integrity of all; by its consequent concern with education for freedom, proceeding by way of illumination rather indoctrination; and by its promotion of a sense of justice and of mission. A fitst concern of the Church’s educational mission must be for the poor and disadvantaged. In a word its task is redemptive.”
It is, therefore, the duty of the Chruch to educate, not only as a merely human society is able to educate, but also above all, because she has the duty of announcing to all men and women the one way of salvation. Thus Catholic Schools ar accordingly expected to make significant contributions to culture and the society bt large; make significant contributions to culture and the society at large; maintain the balance between ethical and cultural values while still allowing present day society to still see her as capable of building society.
In response to this education apostolate and ministry of the Church, St Anthony Mary Claret, founder of THE CONGREGATION OF MISSIONARY SONS OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY (THE CLAREWTIAN MISSIONARIES), reflecting deeply about childhood and youth emphasized the importance and influence of educational sector. During his day in the Court of Madrid – Spain- he tried, with the means within his reach, to influence the educational projects of his time. In doing this, he brought forward certain original ideas through his writings to the institutions that he founded and directed, by charging them to take up among their ministries, the schools apostolate.
Faithful to this spirit of our Father Founder, the Claretian Congregation, since its foundation has always sought for ways to extend its action promptly in the integration of faith in the culture and the human person by means of the Christian Education through the establishment of schools. The Catholic schools enter fully into the salvific mission of the church and particularly in the demands of Education in the faith.
In recognition of the many educational challenges of our times, we the CLARETIAN MISSIONARIES of East Nigeria Province, dedicate ourselves to fostering sound, qualitative education in Nigeria and all over the world. We feel, in the present times, the need to respond to and contextualize the basic objectives of our educational tasks. The essential apostolic response is urgently needed given the deplorable condition of education in Nigeria today. Government schools are in very poor standards and there is incessant suspension of studies due to interminable industrial actions by teachers’ unions. Consequently, numerous children from dilapidated government schools, as well as children of families from the Northern States that were displaced because of incessant religious riots, are looking for good schools. Claretian schools are designed to attend to such contemporary educational inefficiencies in our society. Thus we the Claretian Missionaries have embarked on school apostolate, not as business but as a ministry to all God’s children.
OUR EDUCATIONAL VISION
The vision of Claretian educational apostolate is to provide for our pupils and students an academic environment where they will not only gain needed knowledge, but also where they will encounter Jesus Christ and learn to love and live as He taught us, as a people of peace and joy. Our target is to offer our youth a balanced and holistic edu9cation that forms them into polished and responsible human beings, useful to themselves, their families and society at large. Based on the above vision, our educational apostolate is guided by the following principles:
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE “CLARETIAN” SCHOOL
- Promote a solid foundation in the Child’s development
- To develop and enhance Children’s potentials.
- To bring up the children’s awareness of their social and cultural environment.
- To equip students in order to contribute meaningfully towards the attainment of the individual and national goals.
- Make a bold, explicit and consistent proclamation of Jesus Christ as Savior.
- Offer to management, teachers and students, an educational project inspired by a Christian conception of the world, of life and of the person.
- Create an atmosphere that facilitates evangelization and the celebration and living of the Christian mystery.
- Promote a systematic teaching of religion, in conformity with the doctrine of the church.
- Seek to help each person to discover the profound and inculcate the virtues that moderated the spirit of Claret, among which were: fidelity to the Church, missionary preoccupation and zeal for the salvation of all people, a deep sense of Marian filiation, centered in, and molded by her Immaculate Heart, creative search for the most opportune/timely and efficacious means of service to others.
- Humanize and dignify men and women, to create in them a place where the Good News; the Father’s salvific plan in Christ and the Church can be revealed and be listened to.
- Be integrated in the Nigerian social process impregnated by a radically Christian culture, in the one which, however, values and anti-values, lights and shades coexist; and, therefore, they need be constantly re-evangelized.
- Educate for justice and service through its teaching in the humanities, arts, sciences and technology.
- Prepare agents for the permanent and organic change that the society requires.
- Enabling each person, both those being educated and those educating others to discover the deep sense of the Gospel, like St. Anthony Mary Claret did.
- To orient one’s life in total union to the person of Jesus Christ.
- To inculcate the virtues that modeled the spirit of Claret
- Fidelity to the Church
- Missionary concern for the salvation of all people.
- Creativity in looking for the most opportune and effective means.
- Acknowledge and accept their responsibility to be their primary religious social educators of their children.
- Participate consistently and actively in the Sunday Eucharist or the weekly religious liturgy of their particular confession.
- Speak to their children about the things of God, of the environment of the home. To support the moral teachings of the Catholic Faith in order not to contradict in the home what is proclaim and taught the children in the school.
- Participate and cooperate, as our school requests, in the religious education, the sacramental preparation of their children, and in human sexuality education.
- Teach their children by word and example to have a love and concern for the need of others, especially the poor.
- Do their fair share in financially supporting the school and school programs through their individual donations, paying of school fees and other levies in due time and cooperating with PTA projects.
- Attend PTA meetings, periodic conferences and events organized by school administration or its organs, geared towards the good of the students, the improvement of the learning environment and the spirit of co-responsibility and “shared mission” of the school
- Children, as creations of Almighty God, are to be respected, loved, cared for by parents as their most precious gifts, these gifts, the priests and faculty, too, must cherish.
- It is the task of our Catholic School, as a vital part of the entire Christian community, to aid parents, the prime teachers, in the Christian education of their children.
- In justice to the students in our school, our academic program must be the best we are able to offer in order to help prepare the students well for their future lives. This means that while we value s s program of academia, we likewise consider the teaching of religion and religious values of paramount importance. Special effort must be made to meet the needs of our students at whatever level each is.
- As parents and teachers entrusted with such a challenging task as Christian education, we must be prepared, through academic courses, private study and active involvement, to participate to the best of our ability in the Claret Academy program of child development.
- Students, in a spirit of Christian charity and justice, must be encouraged to assume personal responsibility in their education and also be furnished opportunities to be of service to others. This service may express itself both locally and in the larger community.