Staff Reporter

Stalin recalls how he failed the entrance test

CHENNAI: Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan confessed to being afraid of talking on the stage at the Madras Christian College High School here on Saturday evening. "I am nervous about making mistakes in front of my former teachers and headmasters," he said at the Old Boys Association meeting at the school in Chetpet.

Nostalgia was the mood, whether it was the black and white photographs placed at the entrance to the auditorium or the alumni who replayed part of the `assembly' that marked the beginning of the school day by presenting the news of the day. Cheers broke out when he mentioned `breaking news' about a reunion at the MCC High School.

M.K. Stalin, Minister for Local Administration and Rural Development, recalled how he failed the entrance test. "Former Union Minister Murasoli Maran had to ask the then Mayor of Madras to recommend my admission." He also recalled that he returned to the school as Mayor for a function held a few years ago. He promised the school that the Government would provide all possible support.

Mr. Vasan credited his school days and his under graduation from New College with his understanding of the secular credentials of the party he belonged to, the Congress.

`Uphold secular values'

N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, said that in a social and educational scenario poisoned by communalism, minority institutions must take special care to uphold the values of secularism. He urged the institution to find the right balance between the pursuit of excellence and the need to keep its doors open to people from all strata of society.

The Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Ali, reiterated the need for educational institutions to inculcate secular values in their students.

V.K. Chandrakumar, secretary, OBA, told the gathering about the Kuruvilla Jacob initiative for excellence in education, supported by the alumni of the school, that provides training in quality management to senior teachers from private and corporation schools. A.C. Muthiah, OBA president, welcomed. The former headmasters, E.D. Savarirayan and Clement Felix, participated.

The association promised to support the new projects that were being planned at the school. It distributed aid to NGOs, a school and an alumnus who had joined the MCC High School in 1938.