St. John Bosco

SAINT JOHN BOSCO, popularly known as Don Bosco, was born at Becchi in Piedmont, Italy, on August 16, 1815. From a very young age, he was inspired that he had been called to work for the poor boys of that era when Europe was under the grip of the industrial revolution, and many young people who came to the cities to study or in search of work fell an easy prey to the social evils of the time. After being ordained as a priest of the Catholic Church in 1841, Don Bosco came to the rescue of many poor boys with his novel method of educating them through total dedication and personal involvement in their lives and problems. He based his education on three great principles of reason religion and loving kindness, loving those to whom he dedicated his life, as a caring father, and doing everything possible for their welfare.

Don Bosco did not visualize education in isolation from the community within whose parameters it functioned. Vocational guidance, vocational training, job placement and follow-up were as integral a in Don Bosco’ scheme as they are in modern education. The system of education that emerged from these principles of Don Bosco is popularly known as the Preventive system. Joseph Zoppi, the Swiss educationalist said, “If there ever existed, a method education adapted to inspire confidence and love; it is the method of Don Bosco.” The system aims to create a generation of young men and women steeped not only in a sound language-based education but also in a strong value based education for life.

Preventive system seeks to place the students in an environment in which one can be the best. It is a congenial, friendly and holistic approach to education. It creates a climate that draws forth the best in the young people; it encourages the youth’s complete and fullest self-expression; it assists young people in acquiring habits that will lead them to opt in favour of what is good, healthy, joyful and life-enhancing. Today, Salesians of Don Bosco have spread throughout the entire world in the service of young people, of poor and suffering, with schools and colleges of every type and level, technical and professional institutes. Inspired by the spirit, charisma and conviction of Don Bosco, the Salesians do more and take up challenges to create nurturing environment to develop youth capacities and make them productive, good citizens of the country.

Salut to Don Bosco, who lived ahead of his time, had a vision and practical approach for the development of youth belonging to the poor strata of the society.