Alphonso D’Costa: Dedicated and Disciplined teacher and a versatile personality

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 17 October 2010: Few people excel in multiple spheres of life and make a distinct mark in the chosen field of their career. Here is one such person, Alphonso D’Costa who not only earned reputation as a dedicated and disciplined teacher of Mathematics but also a multi-talented and versatile personality. Besides being an excellent teacher, Alphonso D’Costa has also proved to be a good administrator, meticulous organizer, social worker, writer, actor and above all a fine human being. He has rendered his service in various fields and has earned respect from all and honour from many organizations. His dedication as a teacher and discipline has been appreciated by one and all and he had the privilege of being conferred with the award of the ‘Best Teacher at the Udupi District Level’ on the Teachers’ Day on 5th September 2010.



Alphonso D’Costa was born on 23rd October 1952 as the eldest offspring among eight children, five sons and three daughters of Emmanuel and Gertrude D’Costa of Bellur in Bantwal taluka. Alphonso’s father-Emmanuel D’Costa had served in the artillery department of Indian Army and was one of the members in the first batch of parachute jumpers of the army.  Alphonso’s mother-Gertrude had a long stint as a teacher and was the Headmistress of the Primary School in Bellur for thirty-seven years. Thus, Alphonso inherited the discipline of his father and teaching qualities from his mother.


The journey of education of Alphonso started from St. Michaels’s Higher Primary School in his native place, Bellur and continued high school studies in the Government High School at Benjanapadav in Bantwal from where he passed SSLC examination in 1967. As Alphonso was keen in continuing higher studies, his parents sent him to St. Aloysius College, Mangalore for the Pre-University and graduate courses. He acquired the BSc degree with Mathematics as the special subject in 1973. For a year after graduation, Alphonso wanted to acquire some skill which would help him to acquire a job and did short hand and typing which was a common trend at that time for those who wanted to secure a job in offices.


Mother being in the teaching profession for quite a long time, Alphonso was inspired to take up teaching as a career and joined the B.Ed. course in the Government College of Education, Mangalore which he completed in 1975.


As a student, Alphonso manifested his talents in many fields especially in games and sports. He was quite good in athletics and court and filed games such as kabaddi, volleyball, kho-kho, and cricket. Up to SSLC, Alphonso represented his school at these games and sports and even won a number of medals at the taluka level. While studying in the St. Aloysius College, Alphonse developed an interest in hockey, basketball and football and played these games at the college level. While studying for the B. Ed. course he developed interest in other sports such as ball badminton and table tennis and also represented his college in the inter-collegiate competitions and won individual medals in athletics and team games. Interest and participation in these various games and sports enabled Alphonso to develop discipline, hard work, dedication and team spirit besides maintaining himself physically fit.



After completing the B. Ed. course, Alphonso was sent by the Catholic Board of Education (CBE) to St. Joseph’s High School at Bajpe on his first teaching assignment where he worked for a year and was sent to St. Lawrence High School at Moodubelle where he started his long and memorable teaching career as the Mathematics teacher from 1st June 1977. Alphonso rendered 30 years of dedicated service in this institution and came to be known as an effective teacher of Mathematics whose simple methods of teaching the difficult subject seemed to work well and all students began to take greater interest in Mathematics.


The capability of Alphonso Sir in teaching Mathematics can be understood by the fact that while he was teaching in St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle, the result in the Mathematics subject in SSLC was  cent percent six times, above 95 percent seventeen times and between 85 and 95 percent at other times.  The past students of St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle still fondly remember the method of teaching of the Mathematics subject by D’Costa Sir and whenever they used to meet him would remind him that they have not forgotten the way he taught them Mathematics. They also appreciate the sense of discipline that he had instilled in them which has been of great help in their life and career.


After thirty years of long and dedicated service in St. Lawrence High School, Alphonso D’Costa was promoted and transferred by the Catholic Board of Education as the Headmaster of St. Mary’s High School, Udupi since 1st July 2007 where he has been recognised besides being a dedicated, discipline and versatile teacher, an efficient administrator and a fine human being.


Since three years as the Headmaster of St. Mary’s High School, Udupi, Alphonso D’Costa has been trying to improve the facilities to the students and the staff. He has made provision for clean drinking water, computer training, additional new books for the library and midday meal.



Understanding the problems of the students and their parents and suggesting appropriate remedies for these problems have been some of the important qualities of D’Costa Sir. He has been quietly helping the poorer students in many ways to enable to continue their studies. He is said to have enrolled in his school the drop out students from other schools and has seen to it that they did well academically by paying special attention to their needs. Since he had taken up the administration of St. Mary’s High School, the results in the SSLC examinations have been consecutively above 90 percent.


When asked about his success as a teacher and later as the Headmaster, Alphonso D’Costa said that maintaining good relationship with the students, their parents, teaching and non-teaching staff and the Correspondents is very essential for the smooth and healthy functioning of any educational institution.


Besides being an effective teacher and efficient Headmaster, Alphonso D’Costa has been known for many talents and qualities that set him apart from many others. While in Moodubelle, he was the Scout Master for three years, NCC officer for four years and Young Christian Students (YCS) Animator for 16 years. He has been an effective participant in various parish activities. He has rendered service to the Udupi Varado Pastoral Council as Secretary. He was the President of the Central Committee of the Catholic Sabha of the Diocese of Mangalore, Convenor the Konkani journals-‘Amcho Sandesh’ and ‘Ekvott’, one of the trustees of the Manasa-Rehabilitation and Training Centre at Pamboor, member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council and Catholic Council of India, President of the District Minority Forum, President of the Don Bosco Club, Udupi and Director of the Youth Association.


In the professional field, Alphonso D’Costa has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Headmasters’ Association at the Udupi Taluka and District level. He has been a much sought after resource person in training camps and other fields.



In spite of his busy teaching profession, Alphonso D’Costa has been a good writer and dramatist in the Konkani language.  Besides contributing articles in various Konkani magazines, Alphonso D’Costa has written three plays-‘Botler Pedru’, ‘Bosthuchi Khithafathi’ and ‘Vel-ghaddi’. He has also written nine skits and a number of programmes including skits, poems and stories. He has presented a number of Konkani programmes on the Mangalore all India Radio. He has not only written plays but also directed and acted in a number of other plays as well for which he has been honoured and felicitated. In order to bring the students in the mainstream, Alphonso D’Costa trained his students in Yakshagana and the students of St. Mary’s High School presented a Yakshagana play named ‘Meenakshi Kalyana’ in the Rajangana of Udupi Shri Krishna temple which was attended by the then Paryaya Swamiji, Shri Puttige Sugunendra Swamiji. As the Master of Ceremonies (MC) Alphonso D’Costa has been conducting a number of social as well as cultural programmes. He believes in training young people as MCs so that they can conduct programmes of different kinds.



For this great service as a teacher and Headmaster and other accomplishments, Alphonso D’Costa was felicitated and honoured by various  associations and organisations such as  Don Bosco Club, Catholic Sabha Udupi Varado, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Udupi District Minority Forum and  ICYM Moodubelle. In 2009, on the occasion of the Teachers Day Celebration, Alphonso D’Costa was honoured by the Udupi Rotary Club with the ‘Rotary Teacher Prashasthi’.



The greatest honour received by Alphonso D’Costa was the ‘Udupi District Level Best Teacher Award’ which was conferred on him on the Teachers Day celebration on 5th September 2010 along with other nine teachers from different parts of the district.  His excellent teaching qualities, administrative capabilities as the Headmaster, rapport with students, parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, the management, education department and government officials and many other social and cultural activities earned him this prestigious award.



Alphonso D’Costa married Lucy Andrade of Kidiyoor, Kalmady on 6th May 1981. Lucy was working for the State Bank of India and has taken voluntary retirement. The D’Costas have been blessed with two children. Eldest son-Herman, after completing BHM course has been working in an American Cruise-line -‘Royal Caribbean’ and younger daughter-Hazel who has done B.Com and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) has been working for DELL Computers at Bangalore.



It is indeed a matter of great satisfaction to Alphonso D’Costa, his family, friends, well-wishers and his institutions where he had served earlier and presently serving that his service as a dedicated and disciplined teacher and efficient administrator has been recognised.


In spite of his achievements and excellent track record as a teacher and administrator, Alphonso D’Costa manifests simplicity and down to earth approach. He says that he never did anything for honour or rewards, but believed in doing maximum according to his ability so that the talents that he possessed could be utilized for the maximum benefit of the students whom he taught and the institutions where he served. Moreover, he did not believe just in confining himself to his own profession of teaching, and did whatever he could in social service and cultural fields which gave him immense satisfaction and joy.



Comments on this Article
shalet martis, kattingeri Sat, October-30-2010, 2:53
DeCosta sir was a very very good teacher.When i was 9th standerd,he Used to teach me mathamatics.He is very good teacher.
Prakash Acharya, Thirlapalke/Nigeria Mon, October-25-2010, 10:57
Many congratulations to you D\\ costa Sir. You were our class teacher at 8th C std. I still remember your Maths teaching and NCC training. Because of that I was able to get the highest rank in NCC (Cadet Senoir Under Officer) when I was doing my B.E. in KREC Surathkal.I wish you all the best.
Sathish Suvarna, Moodubelle/ Dubai Sun, October-24-2010, 2:50
Hatts Off to u Sir, I am really proud to be yours student. One of the main things i learned from u apart from maths is decipline. You realy deserve this award.May the God cherish you with many more awards.All the Best Sir.
Baptist Sequeira, Belle Sat, October-23-2010, 5:13
D Costa Sir is a very deciplined strict Teacher but Heartly a very kind person. Thanks for BV for providing a wonderfull article about Mr. D Costa. Long Live Sir.
Ronald, Mangalore Thu, October-21-2010, 7:23
D costa sir is wonderful teacher. I had secured good marks in Maths when he was my teacher. Thank you Sir. Wishin you all the best. Thanks to Dr.Eugene for the coverage.
Sukanya Shetty, Kunthalnager,Moodubelle Wed, October-20-2010, 11:21
Dear Sir,all the best.
Marian, Moodubelle / Kuwait Wed, October-20-2010, 2:23
Congrats, Sir!!!. You are truely deserved greater awards and recognition very many years ago. You surely have uncanny knack of teaching maths in a simple intresting way. You taught formulas(sutras)in a such way, they just got imprinted in the mind. Maths was a nightmare till D costa sir taught it and then on it was most intresting subject. Though you had very serious tough look, you were equally twice soft at heart. I will never forget superlatives - good better best bread butter toast. Thank god for giving us such a wonderful teacher and personality in you. May God bless you with good health and long life. May God shower with many more rewards awards to your credentials. We salute you and pay great tribute.
Valerian Castelino, Moodubelle Wed, October-20-2010, 3:03
First and foremost Congratulations to you dear Sir. We, your students rejoice with your achievements. Wish you good health and happiness throughtout your life.
Arun Jossy Dsouza, Perampally/Kuwait Wed, October-20-2010, 2:59
Congratulations Mr. Alphonse Dcosta. We are proud of you Sir !!! May god bless you.
Pradeep Kumar, moodubelle Wed, October-20-2010, 1:29
Congratulations dear Sir. You deserve this award. You are a great teacher i have ever seen in my life. I have learnt many things from you. Thanks a lot for everything.
Wilfred Castelino, Moodubelle/ Dubai Tue, October-19-2010, 11:44
Dear Sir, Congratulations, and May God give you Good Health and Happy life ahead. HAPPY BITHDAY TO YOU, and many more to come. You are my Maths teacher in 1990, and the best thing i learned from you discipline and giving respect to others apart from Wonderful Maths studies.
Joy lobo, moodubelle/mangalore Tue, October-19-2010, 10:02
Dear sir, congrates. We are proud of you because we were your students. Everybody cant get a chance.
savitha, moodubelle/dubai Tue, October-19-2010, 7:14
congradulations dear sir, for yr wonderful maths teaching.:). We are all proud students of yours. Tks a lot for a bright future.
Hilda Almeida/Dsa, Moodubelle/Bahrain Tue, October-19-2010, 2:43
We 5 sisters always remember you as the Sir who guessed what we had for lunch by looking at our face when we were small..:) We still don\ t know how you did this because you were always right!! Congratulations Sir.
Paul Castelino, Moodubelle/USA Mon, October-18-2010, 8:48
Congratulations on a well deserved award Sir! Reading the article brought up a lot of good memories of you during my high school years! Besides being an excellent math teacher, you certainly made a lasting impression on me that I continue to fondly remember. And who can forget those thick moustache and the stern look from the corner of his eye? Thanks for your dedication and many years of service to the people of Belle! Batch of 1981
Irene Lobo, Moodubelle/London Mon, October-18-2010, 4:41
Congratulations Sir.I am pround that i was your student and I remember that I used to do extreemly well in maths.
Wilfred H Menezes, Moodubelle, Dubai Mon, October-18-2010, 11:17
Hi D Costa Master; congratulations on all your achievements the success that you gained over the years..!. By the way you still look so young as you were about 20 years ago...!!!, no doubt you are one of those most talented dynamic an aggressive teacher that our school had. I’m glad that I had the privilege to study under you for Mathematics. Your teaching style
Remous D,souza, padubelle Mon, October-18-2010, 11:14
Dear sir, all the best and congrants
Precilla Quadras, Moodubelle/Mumbai Mon, October-18-2010, 7:13
Congratulations Sir!!! You deserved the award long back. You are an outstanding Maths Teacher. I wish you good health and success in your future life.
Noel Nelson Dsouza, Moodubelle Mon, October-18-2010, 7:01
Dear sir, Our Best wishes with you sir.. All the best sir..
Anil Alva,Anil Studio, Moodubelle Mon, October-18-2010, 3:19
Franky D Souza, Podikambla/ Vapi Mon, October-18-2010, 2:20
Sunilla,Remilla, Rovil And Pramilla, Moodubelle Mon, October-18-2010, 1:26
Dear Sir. Congrates and all the best for you.
ALFREEDA ARUN, BELLE/BHARAIN Mon, October-18-2010, 12:18
John Peter Fernandes, Moodubelle/Nottingham U.K Sun, October-17-2010, 4:52
Mr. D’Costa is a wonderful teacher. I still remember those days when i was his student. Though he is very strict but he is a gentleman. Wish him All the best!!!!
Akil Vijay DSouza, Moodubelle/Bangalore Sun, October-17-2010, 1:17
No doubt that DCosta Sir is highly dedicated, disciplined and a superior teacher with extraordinary teaching skills. Congratulations!!! Sir and wish you all the very best. Thanks to BV and Dr. Eugene for the article.
Avith Lobo, Doha/Qatar Sun, October-17-2010, 1:15
Dear Sir,all the best.
Barboza, Conrad, Belle/ Houston, USA Sun, October-17-2010, 11:42
Mr. DCosta is the "most meritorious individual with versatile personality, extraordinary teaching skills..."
prince, podikambla/dubai Sun, October-17-2010, 5:03
Hi Dcosta sir,happy to read the article regarding you and your achievements.Sir, your teaching methods and your descipline helped us alot in our life.I still remember when you joined our high school all belleans used to call you\"Huri Meeseya Nava Tharuna\"keep this spirit going sir.May almighty God keep you healthy and happy always.Wishing you all the best for your future life.
Mable Martis, Doha Qatar Sun, October-17-2010, 4:30
Dear Sir, "Teachers like you bring out the best in others,you really brought out the best in me" The world will always need teachers like you.Thanks for all you have done.Congratulations and best wishes.
ANIL MENDONCA, THOKOLI - MUMBAI Sun, October-17-2010, 4:00
Dear Sir, You truly deserve the appreciation.
Alban D souza, Kunthalnagar/moodubelle Sun, October-17-2010, 3:30
D Cost Sir is really a good teacher a good example for desiplin Strict...I Wish him all the best..
Joel D sa, Moodubelle, bahrain Sun, October-17-2010, 3:10
Many congratulations to D costa Master. You deserve this award, we are very fortunate to have studies during your stay at Belle, St. Lawrence High school. I still remember your pointed thick and long mustache, which you always been proud off. We love you sir, keep this spirit going. May the almighty keep you healthy and happy always. with lots of love and wishes, Joel Hilda D sa
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Sun, October-17-2010, 1:42
He is one of my best teachers. His teaching methods are unique and displine is the integral part of his teaching. A perfect presentation of personality by Dr. Eugene.
Fatima, Francis, Joy, Jim, ’Goan Villa’, Moodubelle Sun, October-17-2010, 1:34
Hello sir. Nice to read the article regarding you. Congrats and good luck for you.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi/Muscat Sun, October-17-2010, 12:53
Congratulations to Bellevision and Dr eugene for covering the events of Mr Alphonso D Costa, Head Master Udupi. I liked it the most for reasons suppressed. It is abefitting tribute by Bellevision to a guru of Belle students. we wanr ore of such personalities. they are called the salt of the earth.May god bless him to render useful serice to the society for long. Rest viewer can read the write up again for my sake as if it was written by me also.
Edward Barboza, Kanajar/Auckland Sat, October-16-2010, 7:23
Absolutely right. He is dedicated, disciplined and strict. He taught me in 1977-78. I still remember his thick moustache. I wish him all the best. Thanks to Dr. Eugene and Bellevision team for publishing the articles and pictures about our Teachers which I like to read about them. Many things such as their family back ground,education, talent, hobbies etc. which we do not know and now we feel very happy to read about their success stories
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