Mount Carmel Convent / A Bastion of Lasting Education
A hundred-and-twenty-six years ago, in 1885, Mother Veronica of the Passion, the foundress of the Congregation of the Carmelite religious order, started Mount Carmel Anglo-Indian Girls’ High School. It is among the oldest schools in India and is also top ranked in the State. The mission of the School, then as now, is the empowerment of women.
The present strength of Mount Carmel Convent (MCC) is 4000 students and increasing. Gone are the days when Standard IX presented four students – Dasme Ford, Rita Jacob, Iona Whittle and Colleen Netto for the Anglo-Indian High School Examination in 1947. MCC is now affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. Classes start at KG and go to Plus 2. In Plus 2 they branch into Information Technology, Science, and Commerce streams.
The original religious order runs the school but is not involved in active teaching, particularly at the higher levels. Religious education is confined to the lower classes. Because of the multi-denominational composition of the students, Moral Science is a part of the curriculum at the lower levels for non-Catholic students. Catholic religious components like Retreats. are a thing of the past. On major feast days,Students may attend a School Mass.
The House system is maintained but is no longer named after the Saints, e.g. Little Flower and St. Teresa of Avila as it was in the distant past. There are now four Houses, Blue, Green, Red and Yellow. The aim of the House system is to foster competitive spirit and sportswomanship through the annual Cultural Festival and Athletics. Ongoing leadership is built through class Monitors, School and House Captains.Tangy guys take note, there is no great truck between Infant Jesus Boys’ and Mount Carmel Convent on an official level, but a recent development is that Infant Jesus Boys’ has gone co-ed since MCC facilities cannot cope with any more students.
Not only has MCC been the fountainhead of education for Tangy girls but many of her daughters who took up teaching as a career have returned fondly to teach at the old school. Names that come readily to mind are the stalwart Sr. Bonafacia, the Andrade sisters, Zita D’Cruz , Claudie Bartholomeusz and Dagma D’Couto. The adventurous even ended up as Principals and Vice Principals of Infant Jesus Boys’, when they needed a firm hand there! While MCC produced its fair share of teachers for the home front as well as export, many operated from their homes in the lucrative tutoring area. In fact it was a thriving cottage industry which persists to this day under the avatars of Kindergartens, Spoken English, Broken English Fixers, etc. and, of course Boarding Houses for the children of the affluent NRIs. Directly and indirectly, MCC has made a contribution to the home economy of Tangy.
MCC. itself has responded to the changing needs of India and the world in the breadth and depth of its curriculum and meeting the pastoral needs of its students. Every Tangy woman here who is an alumnus of MCC has every right to be proud of her Alma Mater. We are indeed indebted to Mount Carmel Convent for our sound academic education and the consolidation of our Catholic upbringing, and all she has been doing down the ages to promote the empowerment of women...
Bibliography: Wikipedia & Leandra Gordon a graduate of MCC who still maintains ties with the School.