Jose Thomas

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Godís Call
Wednesday 15th June, 2016



     

 

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Dear friends,


Itís been a while since I have written a blog. I know it would seem like Iíve been off the radar, but itís nothing but my extensively busy work schedule that has kept me off from writing.

Youíll know I usually write about my past experiences and I think I have shared enough with all of you. From now on I intend to write on topics concerning matters that could be useful to the new generation as well. Letís stay tuned once again and thank you for your understanding.

Every morning when I wake up, I try to talk to myself to get self-motivated. Of course I pray to god & ask him to show me the way to do better things in life, not just in business. In fact of late it looks like my priorities are slightly shifting and I am getting more interested in concentrating on my educational interestÖ.The Choice School. I think education the world over must be re-designed to adapt to the changes happening now and in the future. With this in mind, I have delegated many of my commercial business interests to professionals and to my family so I can chase my passion in ďRe-imagining EducationĒ.

When I was in my mid-thirties, I had a vision to give back something to the world in which we all belong. In my case the city I belong to - Kochi. The idea of starting a school may have been a long drawn vision for a young man, but the passion drove me resulting in the ďThe Choice SchoolĒ which took shape in 1991.

After running the school for 25 years, I am glad that The Choice School ranks 8th in the nation and 1st in the State of Kerala for educational excellence with close to 3000 students and over 2000 Alumni. I treat this as a major milestone in my life and the life of my organization.

Itís been a year since I started to spend a lot more time at the school especially in bringing in new ideas and improving the value systems. Every time I step into the school, I am overwhelmed to see how it has grown over a period of time from the little ones walking into the kindergarten and to the hundreds graduating from the 12th grade every year. I recognize this is a major responsibility that I along with my principal, VPs and excellent teachers have undertaken. To me, education is not a business but a commitment to the future generation. This drove me to take a complete relook, and we, as a team started to redefine the total process of teaching and learning. We want every student to walk out of the portals of The Choice School after their graduation and become a unique Choicean and a responsible citizen. A Choicean bears the mark of excellence and perfection like no other.

After gaining all the experience in the past 25 years and having learnt quite a bit from the good and the bad, we decided to expand The Choice School to other towns and cities. We decided to open two schools, one in Thiruvalla and one in Calicut. I believe this is a divine callÖ Godís call! Who is giving me the opportunity in pursuing my passion for imparting education.

Tomorrow, June 16th 2016 or 16/6/2016, The Choice School, Thiruvalla opens its doors in welcoming over one hundred children, the 1st batch. My entire team and I have been working really hard in getting the campus ready to receive the children and their parents. Finally, the doors open tomorrow.

I am in fact writing this blog from Thiruvalla, a town with some remarkable history and culture, most of which is still un-exploited which makes this region rich and prosperous. Central Travancore became the 2nd most prosperous princely state in British India and has created great personalities in the field of education, public work, and social reforms. Even now I cannot believe that we are opening the school here in Thiruvalla. When my team took me here around a year ago, showing me various properties in and around Kottayam, I had no clue as to where the school should be located. Probably as you all know, starting a school of my dream within city limits is an impossible task due to shortage of the extensive land required to run a school of my dreams. Finally, I was back here in Thiruvalla where we decided to buy the land and build the new school. Interestingly enough, my parents, both hail from Changanacherry, a town about 7 kilo meters from Thiruvalla. When I was young, my parents used to tell us stories of their life in this part of the world and the reasons for them leaving their ancestral home to migrate to Kochi where I was born and raised. I knew my parents had family and roots in this part of Kerala. However, due to my pre-occupation, it has been more than 20 years since my family and I visited this area to meet our ancestral family members. But see what God did! He brought me back to where my parents began their life. Once again I think this is nothing but the act of God.

The Choice School Thiruvalla is designed by my good friend, John Cetra based in New York. Today the school has won two international prestigious awards in architecture. The design really focuses in taking a fresh look creating a proto type school that will help re-vitalize rural communities and empower future generations. They designed it in a way that the school takes advantage to redefine and focus spaces for learning and development as well as to encourage interaction amongst children, parents and teachers.

When I drive back and forth between the school site & home, the people in Thiruvalla know that I am here to start the school and they are excited as well. I have been working relentlessly at the construction site with my team for extended hours every day, even as I type this blog out, we are at the 11th hour, doing the final cleaning procedure for tomorrow. I feel like even my shoes are so tired that it refuses to get into my feet as looks like my shoes too need a break! Presently this is my predicament, but I am enjoying the hardships as it will benefit thousands of children and families for generations to come. I thank the Almighty for giving me the strength in building a school for posterity.

I am sure all of you will agree that schools should not be run as a commercial venture and it should be run by people who have great vision and sense of responsibility in educating the next generation. Education is the only mantra that can change the future of our nation and the world. The solution to all the challenges we see today from poverty to terrorism is all due to either lack of education or education not administered correctly. The Choice School and my excellent group of faculty are fully committed in bringing in the changes to recast the entire thinking process of a child. A big dream isnít it? I am sure together we can make it happen!!

Dear friends, letís all get together to give some impetus and focus in educating our children to better this world and make it more sustainable in every aspect.

I am reminded of the words of the great poet Bharathiar, which when translated goes like this.

ďDo you think I too will?
Spend my days in mundane search of food,
Telling petty tales and gossips,
Worrying myself with unwanted thoughts,
Hurting others by my selfish acts,
Turn senile old man with grey hair
To end up as fodder to the
Relentless march of timeless Death,
As yet another faceless man???


I will be writing more frequently but I donít want to commit to any time line. Thank you all for your understanding.


Enjoy reading!!


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Responses to
 Abu Thomas says:
Respected sir it was nice reading your blog. May Almighty bless each efforts of yours in realizing your dreams and pursue it with wisdom & care. best wishes Abu Thomas Branch Manager- Choice Logistics Solutions, Tuticorin
 
 Joe Anthraper says:
Sir, A great achievement and congratulations to you! A world class school with the best of the facilities located at Thiruvalla which is regarded as the cultural capital of Central Travancore!! Your vision & passion has taken Choice school & the entire group where it is today. I pray to God to keep you in good health & strength to accomplish your passion!
 
 Anusmitha says:
Sir..I'm so glad you started a school and I got to study there for 14years. You,Molly mam and teachers have always been a great support.I terribly miss your occasional speeches and more over my teachers at school when I joined college.I'm really glad to know Choice School has come up in Calicut and Thiruvalla.
 
 Pearl Prakash says:
Proud of you Jose. You have consistently raised the bar where education is concerned and the new school is a result of that. I am proud to have been a part of the Choice Group and wish you all Gods blessings on this new venture . My granddaughter Syrah is there for the inauguration as part of the school council and I am happy for that.
 
 K K Jagannivasan says:
Wish you All the best.
 
 M.OKURIAKOSE says:
As an educationist with nearly four decades of teaching fun administrative experience as principal or director of reputed schools in India and abroad following Cambridge Edexcel or Indian curriculum I feel your vision will be worth emulating.Wish you and the choice group of schools the very best.God bless
 
 Sindhu Pillai says:
Enjoyed reading your blog Sir JT.!! Been following your blog always...As I read, I felt so happy that I have been a part of this prestigious institution for Fifteen long years and still going strong too,contributing in a small way ...cheers to Choice school .. .best wishes to you Sir..you are indeed blessed😊 Warm regards Sindhu