Gnanodaya Vidyalaya was the first name with which St. Francis De Sales School Matric Hr. Sec. School was started on 20.06.1988 at Alangayam, a small village at the foot hills of the Jawathi. Alangayam is a lovely place surrounded by hills and mountain slopes of Jawadhi and Elgris. Rev. Fr. George Puraidam msfs along with Rev. Fr. Joseph Britto Francis pioneered this adventure of founding and establishing the school. Fr. George Puraidam msfs was the first Correspondent and Fr. Joseph Britto Francis msfs was the first Principal and Mrs. Agnes Thomas was the first teacher. At that time the school had only 20 students with one teacher. The school had a bleak past and it has a glorious future. Now after two and half decades the school has the strength of 1771 students and 54 teaching staff and 9 non teaching staff. The school grew up slowly and steadily down through the years.
St. Francis De Sales Matric Hr. Sec. School, Alangayam is one of Fransalian unit of educational institutions. It stands today vibrantly as it celebrates its twenty five years of educational service which is an ample reason to thank God Almighty. It is an apt time to look back into the way we have traversed, and make a good assessment and evaluation aiming towards progress.
In the year 1981 responding to the invitation of Most Rev. Dr Michael Augustine DD then Bishop of Vellore, the Missionaries landed here in Vaniyambadi. It is the exemplary lives of the Missionaries that impelled the Bishop to extend his invitation. The Bishop has observed the gentle disposition of MSFS when he was Rector at St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary Bangalore. From the role of the Rector of the Major Seminary as he was raised to the Episcopate, we are the first missionaries who were invited into his diocese. The Parish of Our Lay Help of Christians was entrusted to us Missionaries. Fr. Johny Kanjiramparambil MSFS was the first Parish Priest. Vaniyambadi Mission was entrusted to the care of our Missionaries to provide pastoral assistance to the people and foster Christian education to the community. Rev. Fr. Midathada Mariadass MSFS then Provincial of Visakhapatnam gladly received this pastoral and educational mandate from the Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Michael Augustine.
The pioneering Missionaries were daring and adventurous. Fr. Johny Kanjiramparambil MSFS, Fr. George Puraidam MSFS, Fr. Britto Francis MSFS, Fr. Sebastian Conrad, Fr. Sebastin Raj, Fr. Arulanandam, Fr. Dharmaraj, Fr. Lawrence, Fr. Ignacimuthu, Fr. Stephe, Fr. Anthony, Fr. John Bosco then Regents hand given and initial touch to this glorious institution. It gives me great joy to remember our confreres Fr. Joseph Henry Fr. Arockiasamy, Fr. Edward Xavier, Fr. Mathias, Fr. Vincent, Fr. Victor, Fr. Alexander, Fr. Wilson Fernando, Fr. Arul Francis, Fr. Benedict, Fr. Eldin Bernard, Fr. Jeyakumar, Fr. Anthony, Fr. John Bosco, Fr. Felix, Fr. John Britto, Fr. Jospeh Xavier, Fr. Yesu Raja Bro. Ashir Johnson who did dedicated service to the growth and development of the institution.
In the year 1998 the school obtained permission to Matriculation and eventually in the year 2001 the school obtained permission for higher secondary public examination. In the year 1999, 15 students appeared Matriculation board for the first time and all the 15 came out passing in the first class. In the year 2001, 9 students appeared for higher secondary and all the nine came out passing in the first class. There has been gradual increase in the strength level, and this year the Jubilee Year we have 15th batch of SSLC consisting of 98 students and 13th batch of higher secondary consisting of 57 students. This is the highest in the 25 years of our school history.
It is no harm to give credit to all the principals who worked tirelessly to raise this institution high, starting from Fr. George Puraidam the founder and the first Principal till now enormous work has been done. The pioneers have planted the seed, the people who followed, nurtured and fostered its growth. During the initial time, obtaining permissions and order has been a Herculean task. Fr. Ignaci Muthu, Lawyer at the High Court of Madras, Councillor in charge of Education then Principal spared no energy to do all that is possible to obtain necessary permission and approvals for the stability of our institution.
During the course of these years, many batches have obtained 100% pass result. The principals right from the beginning, Fr. Sebastian Raj, Fr. Dharmaraj, Fr. Arockiasamy, Fr. Mathias, Fr. Alexander, Fr. Arul Francis, Fr. Michael, Fr. Innaci Muthu and currently Fr. Jerry Louis, there has been a steady growth in the infrastructure and the strength. During these years, the school also faced challenges and competitions from the surrounding.
Amidst these trails and tribulations Frs Arul Francis and Benedict, and Eldin managed to provide safety and security to our children by building the compound wall. As the strength was increasing they took initiative to build Mermier Block to provide class rooms for the children. It is right and fitting to give credit to all the procurators Fr. Edward Xavier, Fr. Wilson Fernando, Fr, Vincent X, who worked hard for the growth and development of our school. From the Church as its birth place, now the school has gone through tremendous transition, now the school has three blocks with 45 class rooms 2 staff rooms, one sports room and 3 science laboratories and 2 computer laboratories fit and air conditioned with 100 computers and 3 well furnished offices, broad playground, and for the kids to play a glamorous kid play garden.
All these amenities and facilities add beauty to the campus. Anyone who enter the campus can feel the enchanting glamour of beauty and grander. I wish that we continue this tempo for many more years to come. I implore God’s blessings in abundance on all the people who go though our institution.