In line with the school’s campaign on the protection of the environment, students and staff of Dr James Burty David State Secondary School, Bell Village, proceeded to a plant distribution event last week. Together with academic excellence, the secondary institution is proud to say that it is excelling at various levels and has recently embarked on great projects.
Opened in 2003, Dr James Burty David State Secondary School’s motto is based on three main goals, namely: Creativity, Integration and Empowerment. Throughout the years, these have set the tone for a culture of discipline, hard work, commitment and service. Today, with its population of 73 educators and 838 students, the school aims at achieving higher than ever across various fields.
In fact, the culture of the school has also been shaped and moulded under the leadership of several rectors. Rector of the institution since January this year, Mr Suren Oodit’s main aim is to groom students into responsible members of society, laying strong emphasis on the overall development of each individual alongside academic excellence. Focusing on the holistic development of students, it is in this line of thought that the institution organised on Thursday 21 September a plant distribution event.
It is under the supervision of the Rector that the ‘The Duke of Edinburg International Award (Mauritius)’ coordinator Mrs Rathacharen, the Eco School Committee members, staff and students proceeded to the ‘green’ event which goes in line with the school’s campaign on the protection of the environment. “Our campaign aims to raise awareness by sensitising the educators, students and the community at large on the importance of planting trees. The Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Youth donated 1,275 and 250 plants respectively. Plants included rare endemic ones. These were offered to various business organisations in the vicinity of the school as well as Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, L’Alliance Francaise and Ecole de la Montagne RCA, among others,” explains the Rector, Mr Oodit.
During the occasion, students showed great enthusiasm and motivation. “They planted the trees themselves at L’Alliance Francaise and at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre. It was also a pleasure for them to share their love for nature with other fellow students of Ecole de la Montagne RCA. The smile on the children’s face warmed the hearts of each participant. The students of Dr James Burty David SSS have even set their own motto which is: ‘Plant a tree and save our Planet.’ They succeeded in their endeavour to stand with nature and create awareness among every member of the school and the community,” states the Rector. The latter is also pleased to underline that at the college, great emphasis is placed on team work for the smooth running of the school and welfare of the students.
Excelling across various disciplines
Dr James Burty David SSS has already produced three laureates from among the 2013, 2015 and 2016 batches. In addition to academic excellence, the school has an excellent track record in sports and has recently embarked on significant projects.
In the 2017 athletics, the college’s athletes have won 3 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze medals. The school was also proclaimed champion in the Basketball ‘Under 20’ Vice National Inter College Competition. In addition, Casimir Adriano, Form 4 student of the institution was selected by the MFA to follow an Internship in India. Form 5 student Loic Mariette was selected by the Mauritius Federation of Triathlon to compete and to follow an internship in Tunisia.
Science and Environment
• Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program
The program, which seeks to teach the youth experimental skills using real experiments and equipment, encourages students, teachers and scientists to collaborate in a unique global learning network. The Program is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school based science and education program focusing on the environment, now active in 112 countries world-wide. Educators and students collect data for scientists from numerous international agencies, and made available on the GLOBE website.
The program provides Dr James Burty David SSS students with the opportunity to learn by taking scientifically valid atmospheric measurements and observations such as record temperature, humidity and analyse the type of clouds whether it is opaque, moving at high speed among others.
Students then report their data through the Internet, create maps and graphs to analyze data sets, and collaborate with scientists and other GLOBE students around the world. Recently the college has received an email from NASA stating that the readings correspond to theirs. The students have also worked on a mosquito larvae sample collection for the GLOBE program.
• Eco-school Program
The Eco-School program takes a holistic, participatory approach to learning for sustainability. The aim of the program is to engage students through classroom study, school and community action to raise awareness of sustainable development issues. The slogan of the Eco-School project of the Dr JBD State Secondary School is: ‘Keep calm and be Eco-friendly.’ Zapheer Bassawon, team leader of the Eco-school project, confides that at first the eco-school project was made up of only around four students. “Today it consists of around thirty students and is increasing daily,” he proudly says.
Through the program, educators and students are actively engaged in various projects, such as ‘Save water campaign’: hydroponics where Lower Six students regularly maintain the growth of the plants, Nursery: where minimum amount of water is used to irrigate plants, GEM-Greenhouse Effect Model, the setting up of and maintenance of an Endemic Garden which consist of many endemic species especially and endemic coffee plant, Waste Segregation and Vertical gardening. Zapheer Bassawon adds that the Form 4 students are currently setting up a beehive model made up of recycled paper obtained from waste segregation. Furthermore, the students, namely those from Lower Six, have built a box made from recycled materials and natural glue and placed it in a shop to collect used batteries thus engaging in battery recycling within the close community.
The JBD Eco-School committee is in fact aiming towards obtaining its first Green flag this year. The team leader of the Eco-school project shares that there are projects in the pipeline, namely an Anti-drug campaign-sensitisation program, Aquaponics: the growing fish and plants together and Decoration made from recycled materials, for example a robot made up of used aluminium cans collected from waste segregation and many other activities.
Zapheer Bassawon emphasized that the Eco-School project not only enables students to develop science knowledge but also practical skills. “We work like a family, hands in hands in an enthusiastic atmosphere.”
The Duke of Edinburg International Award (Mauritius)
The Duke of Edinburg Award was introduced in England by the Duke after World War II to cater for kids left behind by parents who went for war. This program icomprises of 4 components, namely skills, recreation, community service and expedition and camping.
The expedition and camping component, which is about learning to survive in an unfamiliar environment, has been an ongoing activity in the school since 2013. 45 boys accompanied by five educators and officers went for their expedition in Rodrigues at the end of November 2015.
To date Dr James Burty David SSS has 40 Bronze medallists, 35 Silver medallists. It has also got its first Gold Medallist in the name of Yuvraaj Modelly, Upper Six student.