OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA-A new school for Aboriginal children with problems or who have dropped out of school

Friday, 6 May 2011

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - After 60 years, the Jesuits will soon open a new school in Redfern, a suburb of Sydney. It will be a school that goes to the heart of the educational aim of the Society of Jesus, that is to say, equality and opportunity for all. The school, which probably will take the name of "Jarjum College, will be destined to Aboriginal students, particularly those who have left school or attend irregularly for various reasons of social maladjustment. According to information sent to Fides from the General Curia of the Jesuits, the school will give students the opportunity to make up for the lost years and thus have better opportunities for the future. The school was sponsored by St. Aloysius' College, of Milsons Point, but soon will be autonomous and independent. The headmistress, Mrs. Beatrice Sheen, says she is excited and honored to have been involved in this project that can change the lives of children but is also convinced that the success of a school depends largely on the support it receives from the population. "This school - she says - belongs to the community, the people, and this is how I want it to work. " The Jarjum College will offer short-term assistance to children at risk, introducing them back again, when possible, in the mainstream of the education system. But Beatrice Sheen claims that after identifying the needs of the community, the model may change. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 05/06/2011)