Significance of the House System: For the purpose of eliciting in the boys the best that is in them, the school is divided into four "Houses" under the patronage of four Jesuit Saints (St. John de Britto, St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Stanislaus Kostka).
Each "House" has a motto of its own, embodying the ideals towards which St. Stanislaus wants its students to strive: Britto House : "For God and Country" Loyola House : "Ideals in Action" Xavier House : "Character in Excellence" Kostka House : "Service in Freedom"
History of the House System: OUR HOUSE SYSTEM - Interview from the Centenary Souvenir With a ream of paper and several pencils I reached the Assistant Principal's Office ready for my interview. The little den was as crowded as ever with boys of all ages, all trying to get their business transacted first. At the sight, I felt like withdrawing. Yet, as soon as Father saw me, he quickly dispatched the whole lot of them and we began right away.
Inquirer: For a start, Father, could you let me know the circumstances which led to the introduction of the House System in the School
Father: That's easy. The idea of the House System, in some form or another, must be as old as Education. Our Principal, Fr. Casale, has wanted it to be introduced in the School for several years, but there was always some obstacle or other. Finally, we had a look at the way other Schools were running it and after making our own synthesis, we went ahead. Surprisingly enough, it worked.
Inquirer: Yes, it did, if one is to judge from the interest awakened in the boys. But, Father, what is the exact aim of the House System?
Father: Well, it aims at fostering a sense of responsibility in the boys by providing them with an opportunity of taking an active apart in the general running of the School. A wonderful training for citizens living in a Democracy. Today's experience lived in the School will later on be lived in their public life.
Inquirer: There seems to be a lot of truth in what you say. But, in practice, how is this House System organized in the School?
Father: The whole School is divided into four Houses, each of them with a distinctive colour (red, yellow, blue, green) and with a Patron Saint: St. John de Britto, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier and St. Stanislaus Kostka. As a boy joins the School, he is assigned to a House right up to the S.S.C. This creates a sense of loyalty and love to that particular house. All the various activities of the School are run on a house basis: discipline, studies, sports, dramatics, etc. A system of points helps to keep alive the interest.
Inquirer: Now, to run the whole system must be time-consuming and an awful business, isn't it?
Father: There you got it wrong, because it is precisely the boys themselves who run it, especially the House Captains. They with the guidance of a House Master manage their respective Houses.
Inquirer: Are these House Captains the same as the School Captain, that big lad who moves around ordering and helping right and left.
Inquirer:You mean Arif Fazal?
Father:Not exactly. He is the School Captain, this is, the representative of all the boys before the School authorities. Hence, he belongs to no House. Yet like the House Captains, he is also elected by the boys.
Inquirer: Elected by the boys? Do you mean to say that you have free elections?
Father: Exactly. And we try to run them exactly on the same lines as is done at the public elections. This we hope will teach them to exercise wisely their franchise, as grown-ups.
Inquirer: Father, could you give a vague idea of how the election is actually conducted?
Father: That's simple. The boys who want to stand for the election conduct a real campaign with posters, speeches, and all other ways of canvassing. After a week or two of hectic campaigning, the voting is conducted as is done when we elect representatives for our Legislative Assembly. Boys themselves form the electoral board and run the elections. Those elected are solemnly installed in the presence of the whole school after taking the oath of office.
Inquirer: Could you point out the areas in which the House System comes handy?
Father: As a matter of fact, with a little imagination, I would say in all, studies, sports, extra-curricular activities etc. The main point and also difficulty is to keep alive the interest and a healthy competitive spirit among the Houses. This provides the necessary incentive that impels every boy to do his level best for his House. A little incident will put across what I mean and the tremendous potentialities of a good House System. Recently we had a Drive to collect funds for a worthy cause. First it was started on a class-basis. But we did not get very far. After a week, hardly three hundred coupons had been sold. Then we decided to run it on a House-basis to arouse the interest of the boys. It was like a miracle. In less than five days, we sold out every coupon and reached a record of five hundred.
Inquirer: That's fine,Father, but it may be a rather passing enthusiasm to which boys are so prone.
Father: There I do not agree with you. I could say the same as regards the day-to-day routine of the School. The House spirit helps everywhere: to put order in the assembly, in the classes, for tournament's,really, everywhere. Things are done more efficiently and quickly, since, after all, boys can command numbers for anything they want. Say here are some examples only this year and on their own initiative the boys have started a School Paper all written by them, a Science section, a Public Speaking Club, a second-hand books lending library for poor students, and besides solve a number of small disciplinary points to the boys satisfaction and ours. But, as I said above, the main reward is that we feel that we are preparing boys responsible and conscientious in their work, that is that we are training leaders for the morrow. Men who know to rule others by ruling themselves first!
Inquirer: Well said Father. We do need this badly in our country.
Father: Everywhere it is so. Education has become more and more of self development, if it has to be education at all. But leave that alone. This would prove, I am afraid, an exhaustive and exhausting topic, for which neither you nor I are ready now.
Inquirer: Thank you very much, Father, for the illuminating talk. You may see me again on another occasion to clarify some other points. The whole affair is rather complex to be so easily disposed of.
Father: You know it in a section. You are always welcome.
Inquirer: Hope the boys and the School keep up what has so far been done and profit immensely from the House System. God bless you,Father.
Father: Thank you.