Loyola High School (Pune)
|Loyola High School|
|Type||Private, boys only (school), junior college, co-educational|
|Motto||Men for Others|
|Established||11 June 1961|
|Principal||Fr. Nelton Thomas|
|Number of students||1400|
|Houses||Blue, green, red, gold|
Loyola is an English medium school but requires Marathi and Hindi as compulsory languages up to the 8th standard. High school students have the option of taking German. There is a strong emphasis on science, mathematics, and the arts. History, civics, and geography are also offered.
Loyola High School and Junior College are recognized by the Government of Maharashtra and prepare students for the Maharashtra State Secondary School Certificate (SSC, Std X) and the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC, Std XII) examinations.
The school was founded in the early 1960s. Fr. Schoch, S.J., had dreamed of the site where the school now is, and requested the National Chemical Laboratory (whose land it was) to set up the school. Land was released on lease. The school takes its name from St. Ignatius of Loyola, a sixteenth-century saint who was recognised for his devotion to education and is best known for founding the Society of Jesus. Loyola High School is run by Jesuit priests and welcomes students from all ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Establishment of the school became necessary to take the load off the highly popular St. Vincent's High School, Pune Camp, and all students not living in Pune Camp and Pune City (up to Lakdipul, i.e., the wooden bridge across the River Mutha linking Pune City with Deccan Gymkhana) were asked to shift to Loyola's. The same logic was applied to the overcrowded St Mary's School opposite St. Vincent's and the affected girls were shifted to The Convent of Jesus And Mary at St. Joseph's High School, located directly between Loyola's and Pashan Road.
Another compelling reason was that children of Faculty and Staff at the National Defence Academy, some 25 km from Pune Camp, did not have school facilities beyond Class V. The junior school at NDA was run by Jesuits, the Principal being the imposing figure of the cigar-toting Rev. Rehm, from Switzerland. This entire school and staff was merged with Loyola and all children of residents in the NDA would come to Loyola's/St Joseph's, a 15-km trip by bus. This cost them 45 minutes each day, but was actually a 30-minute saving each way compared to schooling at St. Vincent's/St. Mary's. Rev. Rehm was the first Principal of Loyola, when the school became operational, from 1961–63, handing over to Rev. A.E.Oesch.
The girls' school building was not yet complete, so girls in Classes 10 and 11 were moved to Loyola's until 1963. Loyola's had an interesting faculty amongst the Jesuit Priests. Rev. Bernadetti, an Italian, taught German, followed by Rev. Toscano, another Italian, followed thereafter by Mrs Mani and Mrs Sahasrabudhe. Rev. D'Costa, a Portuguese priest taught English. In classes 10 and 11, Rev. Oesch, an Austrian, took over German, English and Higher English. Rev. Gregory taught up to nine subjects-Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Higher Arithmetic, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Botany and Zoology - assisted by Mr. Contractor. Mr. Mahamuni, spent half his time as a Hindi teacher teaching Drawing; the Drawing teacher, Mr. Khataukar, taught Maharashtrian History.
In 1965-66, 29 boys appeared for their Matriculate (Class XI) and all 29 got a First Division, with seven Distinctions. One lad came first in the state, but was relegated to 2nd for an unknown reason. The prominent industrialist, Racehorse owner and ex- Member of the Committee at Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd., Mr. Vijay Shirke was among the seven distinctions. Rev. Oesch, Principal 1963-66, had represented Austria in the 1936 Olympics- famous for Jesse Owens' performance in Hitler's presence- in both soccer and javelin throw. Thanks to his efforts in one year thereafter, Loyola won every possible inter-school athletics or sports meet. To cite an example, in 1966 Loyola was 0-5 down in goals vs Modern School at the halfway stage in an inter-school match, when Rev. Oesch arrived and spoke to his boys at the interval. They equalised in the next 45 minutes, reaching 5-5, winning the replay next day 6-5.
The school had 474 boys and 27 girls registered in 1961. The Ground floor had class rooms, the Principal's office, the admin section, the bookshop, the watering hole and Physics laboratories. The first floor had classrooms and Chemistry laboratories. There were no Biology or Zoology labs. The 2nd/top floor was only partly constructed and housed the Jesuit priests. It took two years for completion of Phase 1 of the school and the girls returned to their school as that edifice had also been completed.
With all rooms available, it was time to move the Jesuits into a community house of their own, and use all rooms on the three floors, numbering 30, as classrooms. In the mid-eighties, the local rule on pupil strength per class was amended to increase boys per class to thirty five. The school could now accommodate over 1000 students. A small temporary seminary for eight was built behind the school, extending westwards, which was adequate, but there was no assembly hall or space for comprehensive laboratories. It was decided to integrate the extant seminary with a much larger and fully equipped Laboratory Section being erected directly behind the School and build a separate walled-in seminary just off the approach road to the School, to the East. The Principal and other Jesuits moved into this building.
List of principals
All were Jesuit priests except 2003-2007:
- 1961-63: S. Rehm
- 1963-66: Oesch
- 1966-73: R. Schoch
- 1973-76: V.G. Catao
- 1976-78: K. Misquitta
- 1978-79: V. D'souza
- 1979-83: J. Toscano
- 1983-84: T. Ambrose
- 1984-86: V.G. Catao
- 1986-90: V. Lobo
- 1990-93: S. Rodrigues
- 1993-96: A. Soares
- 1996-2003: J. Palliparam
- 2003-2007: Mrs. F.D. Oliver
- 2007-2011: J. Thorat
- 2011-2014: M. Fernandes
- 2014-2016: R. Das
- 2016-2017: F. Patekar
- 2017- : T. Nelton
The school is located in the Pashan area, 13 km from Pune railway station. It is adjacent to the St. Josephs Girls School, and is located one kilometre from the National Chemical Laboratory and the Armament Research and Development Establishment. On the other side of the hill flanking the school lies the Chaturshringi temple.
There is a two-floored library, and science and computer labs. The auditorium has a stage with lighting and balcony seating. In 2011 Esense Learning program was introduced in the school. Projectors were installed in every classroom.
Sports facilities include a 25-meter swimming pool, diving boards, children's pool, basketball courts, and football and hockey fields. The swimming pool complex was completed in 1971. Loyola remains one of the few schools in Pune with a 400m Olympic-size track for athletics.
The house system fosters a sense of collective responsibility and solidarity amongst students. It serves as the centre of school life, with students from houses competing at sports and other co-curricular activities. The four houses are Blue, Green, Red, and Gold. Every house has a Commander and Flag Bearer.
Boys from class 1 to class 8 wear half-sleeved beige shirts and dark beige shorts. Class 9 and 10 boys wear dark beige trousers and the same shirt. Junior college boys wear full-sleeved beige shirts and dark beige trousers. The rest of the uniform consists of brown shoes and a brown belt. The PT uniform consists of the house-coloured, sleeveless T-shirt and shorts.
The Ex-Loyola Students' Association (ELSA) arranged career seminars, inter-school quiz competitions, sponsored the school magazine, and arranged the school's 25th year celebrations. Today ELSA stands inactive but the Ex-Loyola Alumni Network (ELAN) was formed by another generation alumni. ELAN has been active since 1997. It organises annual get-togethers for ex-students. It is now the official alumni body of the school and ELSA is merged to ELAN. ELAN supports school activities and assists former teachers. ELAN planned the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the school in 2010-2011.
Golden Jubilee year
As part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations :
- The biology, physics, chemistry labs were renovated.
- The E-Learning program was introduced.
- The assembly stage was re-built.
- Loyola hosted IDEA, a science exhibition in which ten schools participated.
- Loyola High School and St. Vincent's High School (a sister-school of Loyola High School) share a rivalry in sports.
- Loyola was voted one of the top 10 schools in Pune.
- Loyola is one of the few schools which has cross-country running as part of physical training for its students.
- Loyola won the PSAA (Pune Schools Athletic Association) Under-12 Championship, Under-14 Football Championship, and Chess Championship.
- "Ex-Loyola Alumni Network, Pune". www.elanpune.org. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
- "Vijay B. Shirke Esq.: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
- Gp Capt Noel Moitra VM, 1961-66
- "Ex-Loyola Alumni Network, Pune". www.elanpune.org. Retrieved 2017-08-26.