It is a great honour to be appointed the 18th Principal of Aitchison College. In accepting this appointment, I am aware of the need to move the College forward with stability, clarity and benefit to all. At the same time, I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Acting Principal, Mr. Sayed Amir Hussain, whose excellent leadership,during a long interregnum, benefited the College at large. I am delighted that he now continues to offer his skills and experience in the familiar role as Headmaster of Prep.
By way of introduction, I believe strongly in the benefits of a well-rounded education designed to develop a boy's character, self-discipline and self-esteem as much as his ability to successfully negotiate examinations. While Academics must always take priority, it is essential that a healthy and balanced lifestyle accompany this pursuit. Every boy should learn the value of teamwork in a range of sports and activities, and the joy of being part of a dynamic and busy school. I already know that many boys who enter our college discover hidden talents and interests through clubs that generate life-long interests beyond their time here. Indeed, we must see it as our duty to inspire young minds and embolden young men.
Aitchison's ability to educate is aided by a unique campus featuring expansive playing fields and specialist facilities to rival any school in the world, plus a natural environment second to none. How fortunate we are to experience this each and every day. This is why a boy must view his time at Aitchison as a gift not to be squandered. Being involved in the full life of the College is not only beneficial, it is expected. I cannot stress enough to parents the importance of developing boys in a broad fashion, exposing them to things not only handled comfortably and naturally, but also tasks requiring them to work a little harder, either individually or as part of a team. This is so in class, as it is true of sport. Character, resilience and sound friendships will blossom from these experiences.
First among my tasks will be to formulate a Strategic Plan with the help of the Core Committee of the Board of Governors. This will focus on management practices, academics, facilities, technology, admissions, boarding, pastoral care, sport and activities, recruitment, school communication, parent and alumni relations as well as friend raising. Naturally, there will be a good deal of consultation in this process. Change can be expected, but it will be gradual and well-considered in the best interests of the College. It will drill down into the way we teach and learn, as it will range broadly across the complexity of a large, residential campus. All schools must periodically look inwards as well as outwards and by undertaking this review, we make certain the legacy bestowed to us is carried forward in the best possible ways, interpreted for a brilliant new century.
On a personal note, most days you can expect to see me about the campus; welcoming juniors to school, watching sports and games, or simply being 'out and about'. I regularly dine with the boarders and interact as much as possible with all students, as far as time permits. I believe it is vital to be accessible. The proper and most helpful channels of communication for enquiries about your son's progress, however, is through their appropriate Head of School or Housemaster in the case of boarding. In this way, information is readily available and action can be taken quickly. Should you wish to see me for any other reasons, please do contact my office.
Let us celebrate, together, a long and distinguished history, as well as the continuing influx of new boys and families to the College who will contribute more chapters to an inspiring story.