Our Foundress Servant of God Mother ThatipathriGnanamma - An Educator of the Society

Gender inequality pervaded the whole world in the 19th century, and India was no exception. The condition was notably worse than in many other countries. India is a complex society with citizens from various social, religious, and economic backgrounds. However, the suppression of women was prevalent everywhere to an equal degree. From the day she is born until the day she dies, an Indian woman is expected to be under the control of a man and to serve him without question.

Mother Gnanamma was born during this period in history on planet Earth. Despite her parents treating her as equal to their male siblings and being liberal and understanding, the societal norms surrounding her exerted influence. However, Mother Gnanamma steadfastly believed that women are born free, precious in the eyes of God, and entitled to life and freedom. She was a gentle child who found it not difficult to adapt to societal expectations, yet simultaneously, she cultivated greater strength and determination to improve the situation. She resolved to set an example for women and demonstrate to the world the potential of a powerful and graceful woman. Through her efforts to establish herself, she inspired every woman who admired her.

It is hopelessly impossible to eradicate darkness, but a single lit candle is enough to illuminate an entire room and dispel the darkness silently. Spiritual individuals do not fear adverse situations, as their minds are already focused on finding solutions. Mother Gnanamma, although not highly educated herself, was deeply troubled by the illiteracy and darkness prevailing around her. Consequently, she could not simply ignore it. Thus, the first girls’ school in the entire Kilacheri mission was established on May 3rd, 1863, just three years after the inception of the first boys’ school.

Mother Gnanamma never sought mere temporary solutions for societal issues, but instead, she looked far ahead, envisioning a future beyond a hundred years. It was this foresight that led her to establish a school and a Religious Congregation, which have now stood for one hundred and fifty years. Her faith was unwavering, and her vision was steadfast, impervious to any storm. When the first two professed sisters passed away within two years of each other, one might have anticipated the collapse of her dream. Yet, with divine intervention, the Congregation was revived through the assistance of a 16-year-old novice. Isn't it the audacity of her faith that upheld the Congregation against all odds?

The daughters are in her footsteps in their living and apostolate

As the daughters of Mother Gnanamma, we have been called to continue her noble mission of educating the underprivileged in society. Our Congregation was established with a clear aim and a definite purpose, which is 'To Educate'. The educational ministry initiated by our Foundress adopts a multifaceted and comprehensive approach, as our mother believed in more than just secular education. The key aspects of secular and religious education our Mother aimed to impart include: fostering unwavering faith; experiencing God personally; cultivating wisdom and insight; promoting harmonious living; preparing for self-sufficiency; acquiring knowledge and skills; achieving economic independence; offering assistance to those in need; and innovating solutions to existing problems.

Incorporating all these aspects, our Foundress endeavored to impart holistic education to the girls under her care. This model and these principles reflect the vision of our Education Ministry, an extension of our Foundress’s vision.

A motivated quality service

The primary focus of our educational apostolate has been to provide quality education to the marginalized, downtrodden, and weaker sections of society. This charism is derived from the vision of our Foundress, Mother Gnanamma, which keeps us all marching ahead year after year, towards greater commitment. Ultimately, we are convinced that we serve the Lord through service to humanity.


To provide humanizing and liberalizing education to form responsible citizens who in solidarity with others will create a just society.


  • To empower young womenwith knowledge, skills, and competence.
  • To provide them with opportunities to understand present society and critically analyze its structures.
  • To enable them to contribute to creating a more humane and just society.

Aims and objectives

  • 01. To foster academic excellence
    Through the study of Science, Humanities, and Commerce, students who enter the portals of this institution shall acquire sound and thorough knowledge in academics, be competent in intellectual pursuits, and become preferred personnel for any organization.
  • 02. Personal and interpersonal skills
    To facilitate the discovery of their potential, develop their talents and aesthetic sense, and inculcate soft skills that would help foster harmonious interpersonal relationships and teamwork. To cultivate sincere respect for the essential dignity, freedom, and equality of every person.
  • 03. Spiritual pursuit
    The extracurricular activities shall provide young women with knowledge of the world, religions, and society, shaping them into morally sound citizens, who possess personal conviction, deep compassion, competence, and commitment to the larger world community.
  • 04. Education is an atmosphere of learning and growing
    The development of a person cannot be limited to just absorbing facts. It includes the growth of the body, mind, and soul of the learner. As schooling is a time of change, we concentrate on the all-round development of the pupils, enabling them to grow physically, psychologically, spiritually, and socially. It is a time of searching during which students strive for partnership and identity. Hence, we journey with the students and enlighten them to choose the right direction in life through holistic education.

The holistic and integral approach in our schools

To ensure the holistic and integral development of every student in all the dimensions of growth, we focus on the following:

  • 01. Availing quality education for all
    The Congregation’s primary focus is to educate the weaker sections of society and guide them toward creating a just society. The Congregation extends its services to any place where its assistance is needed to illuminate the lives of people in darkness. The education provided in our institutions is not solely academic but also life-oriented.
  • 02. Building a standard, superior, and advanced learning system
    The Congregation is committed to ensuring quality assurance. It facilitates collaboration across the system, working with all stakeholders - students, parents, and teachers - to meet the needs of learners, society, and the economy.
  • 03. Creating a learner-centered, affordable, and accessible learning system
    The Congregation ensures access to a full range of affordable, quality, and advanced learning opportunities for students. The Ministry supports flexible learner pathways, provides student financial assistance through scholarships, fee concessions, and free education, and rewards excellence through scholarships. Additionally, it collaborates with alumnae associations to support lifelong learning.
  • 04. Developing skilled persons who contribute to economic prosperity
    Education at St.Anne’s Institution aims to cultivate leadership skills to develop a skilled and productive workforce capable of meeting the evolving needs of the global economy. We are dedicated to preparing students with the necessary skills and talents to contribute to a better and more prosperous future.
  • 05. Ensuring that the students grow into value-based persons
    The Congregation prioritizes the growth of students, aiming for each one to develop into a holistic, integrated, and value-based individual capable of contributing to the construction of a better and more peaceful society.
  • 06. Fostering excellence in research, innovation, and employability
    The Congregation collaborates with students, teachers, educational departments, like-minded individuals, and parents to coordinate, cooperate, and promote research, innovation, extension, relevance, and modification. This ensures that students benefit from our institutions, enabling them to become proficient, efficient, and eligible to lead their secular, scientific, and commercial lives in society.

We are imbibed with the spirit of our Foundress

Education in its present state primarily focuses on the transmission of knowledge. A quality education possesses the transformative ability to impact both individuals and societies. W.B. Yeats famously stated, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” While some interpret ‘quality’ in education solely through academic excellence, measured by marks, we view it as the holistic development of individuals and the instilling of a sense of responsibility towards the world around us.

Educational institutions play a crucial role in articulating and imparting value systems. They aid students in developing their talents, shaping their character, establishing personal identity, facilitating social interaction, and instilling social responsibility.

We always consider imparting education as a noble mission, wherein students undergo all-round formation. We prioritize girls from marginalized sections of society. This vision is inherited from our Foundress, Servant of God Mother Thatipathri Gnanamma. In the 19th century, she contemplated the plight of women deprived of education and marginalized in society. She discerned that all her energies should be dedicated to dispelling the darkness enveloping the poor girls in Kilacheri village, Tamil Nadu. She lit the candle of education and empowered women to face life's challenges.


Our instructional style

The most significant action our Foundress undertook was to listen to the pleas of the impoverished girls and to respond with compassion, shaping them into competent and committed individuals. Therefore, the education we provide incorporates current trends and knowledge across all fields, including science, art, and history. This ensures that our students are well-informed individuals. This information and knowledge serve to reform their character by exposing them to the proper and relevant social realities. Ultimately, this reformation transforms our students into competent, committed, and compassionate individuals. This holistic formation enables them to embody values, sociability, employability, reliability, and skillfulness. In essence, the education provided at St.Anne’s aims to INFORM with appropriate knowledge, REFORM character, and TRANSFORM individuals into competent, committed, and compassionate persons, and finally, it gives a FORM of personality that is skilled, able, and noble.

01. Informing education

We are attuned to the signs of the times, and as we commence the school/college year, we aim to provide each student with the knowledge necessary to sharpen her mind and enrich her heart. We recognize that knowledge is power, and we emphasize the importance of acquiring proper knowledge. By “proper knowledge,” we refer to knowledge that stems from continuous questioning of reality; why does something work in a particular way, and why not another? It is through this ongoing inquiry that one can attain a deeper understanding. Many inventions and discoveries have arisen from such questioning. Thus, it is imperative to educate individuals to ask the right questions at the right time. Our focus is not merely on imparting bookish knowledge but on nurturing a type of knowledge that fosters the advancement of humanity and cultivates the ability to innovate and discover. We equip our students with this proper knowledge so that they may be well-prepared to compete with the brightest minds in the world.

In today’s world, often referred to as the ‘Wikipedia world’ or the ‘Google world,’ information is readily accessible at the click of a button. With the wealth of knowledge available on our laptops, accessing information has become effortless. However, the abundance of information poses a challenge - the dilemma of choosing from the plethora of options. This challenge calls upon our skills and talent to discern and select appropriate, reliable, and accurate information. Discernment entails identifying what is good, appropriate, useful, and helpful, distinguishing it from what is not. Our education system plays a crucial role in cultivating this sense of discernment. In our schools and colleges, we go beyond mere dissemination of information or data. We delve into social realities, shedding light on issues such as oppression, injustice, and inequality. By connecting classroom education with the realities outside, we provide information that has the transformative quality of reforming one’s character. This holistic approach to education not only equips students with knowledge but also instills in them the capacity to make informed choices and contribute meaningfully to society.

02. Reforming education

The information imparted in our classrooms catalyzes the reformation of students’ characters. It acts as a process of re-forming, reshaping individuals anew. While the upbringing in families may not always be ideal, the knowledge gained in our educational institutions serves to purify students. Our education aims at liberation - liberation from bondage, ignorance, backwardness, and the gravitational pulls of lower human nature. Every classroom session in our institutions instills this sense of liberation in students. This transformative experience guides students toward understanding the type of person they should aspire to become.

03. Transforming education

The information and transformation that students undergo lead them through a process of character transformation. We strive diligently to instill in the heart of every student the sense of responsibility to contribute to the betterment of the society in which they live as they progress in their lives. Therefore, social consciousness is a fundamental aspect of our educational approach. We reject the notion that education should solely aim to produce the best minds without fostering socially conscious individuals. Our education endeavors to cultivate ‘women for others’- individuals who are mindful of the needs of those around them. The knowledge and character formation imparted in our institution equip our students to become agents of change in a divided society.

Our students are deeply concerned about the disparities between the rich and the poor, religious animosities, caste discrimination, and the oppression of women and children. Moreover, they actively engage in efforts to address these issues and bring about positive change.We educate our students to embrace and celebrate our differences while rejecting divisive attitudes. We teach them to honor and celebrate the dignity inherent in diversity. Through this holistic approach to education, we strive to foster compassionate, socially conscious individuals who are committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive society.

04. Forming education

Our education aims to provide students with appropriate knowledge, reform their character, and transform their personalities. This holistic approach results in individuals who are reliable, skilled, and talented. It equips them with the necessary qualifications to secure employment, fostering economic self-confidence. As a result, they become independent individuals capable of standing on their own feet. Furthermore, they are personally formed and ready to respond to crises within society.

In conclusion, a student who learns at St. Anne’s School undergoes a multifaceted journey: first, she becomes an informed individual; secondly, she is integrally formed; and thirdly, she emerges as a dreamer, aspiring to reform society and transform humanity.

With dedication and perseverance, she works tirelessly to turn these dreams into reality, both in her own life and within society. This encapsulates our vision of education: to inform, reform, transform, and ultimately, to shape individuals who contribute positively to the world around them.

The life-oriented education for the students

01. Guidance and Counselling

(i). Career Guidance

In today’s post-school/college world, the array of career choices available to students has expanded exponentially. Recognizing this evolving landscape, educational institutions are tasked with providing students with appropriate career education. Our institutions are committed to meeting this need, with the ultimate goal of equipping young people with a well-developed sense of self-awareness, an understanding of available opportunities, the capacity to make informed decisions and plans, and the confidence to take decisive action.

(ii). Counselling

Guidance and counseling play a vital role in our schools. This program involves advising students on how to navigate emotional conflicts and personal issues both within the school environment and in their daily lives. We maintain case study records to better understand each student's situation. Before teaching lessons, we listen, analyze, and comprehend the circumstances faced by our students. We identify their challenges and, when necessary, conduct home visits to gain further insight. Through individual and group sessions, we empower students to recognize, assess, and manage their emotions effectively.

02. Humanizing Education

(i). Value Education

We are dedicated to instilling in our students a commitment to upholding morality in life through various means such as cultural programs, morning assemblies, and moral instruction sessions. We train our students to reaffirm the ethical values inherent in their lessons and to counteract any immoral influences. It is our responsibility to facilitate the growth of students in acceptance, self-introspection, respect for others, and the courage to confront life's challenges. To reinforce these values, we emphasize the use of journaling as a method for students to reflect and grow.

(ii). Student Leadership Training Programmes

Additionally, we offer a range of leadership activity-based training programs, seminars, and opportunities for practical experiences and exposure to further develop students’ leadership skills.

The life-oriented education for the students.

03. Media Education

We facilitate an understanding of the strengths and limitations of mass media through media education. This involves enabling students to access, analyze, and evaluate various media modes such as television, films, and the Internet. We utilize modern technology as a tool for educating students, and we encourage them to explore various facets of folk arts and martial arts to enhance concentration and self-defense skills

04. Cultural Education

We establish a conducive atmosphere for students to learn about and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of India. Through the celebration of national and religious festivals, we integrate these occasions to raise awareness among students about various social issues and foster their growth in social consciousness.