The Annual Meeting of the Province Coordinators for Education (PCEs) was held at Good Shepherd Convent, Bangalore from the evening of 2nd Oct. to 5th Oct 2022, under the able leadership the CSSE Secretary, Fr. John Ravi, SJ.
The inaugural keynote address was delivered by Fr. Dion Vaz, SJ, the Provincial of Karnataka Province. He shared his vision of school education as 4 pillars of education – learning to do, learning to unlearn, learning to relate and learning to transform. He also enlisted the challenges of NEP-2020 to Jesuit Education as follows: – Antisocial and Anti-minority, Tampering with the syllabus and textbooks, Digital divide among the rural and urban students, Training collaborators and ourselves, and Hybrid learning of Online and Offline. He concluded his address with a provoking question – Where does the secondary education go in the next 10 years?
The meeting was enhanced with the presentation of reports by all the PCEs. This was followed by the presentation of the Annual Report by the Secretary of CSSE, Fr. John Ravi, SJ, who also initiated discussion on the guidelines issued by the International Secretariat for Education, Rome on the Roles and Responsibilities of the PCEs (September’21).
The choice of the venue (Bangalore) for the Annual meeting, gave its real meaning as the State is gearing up to implement NEP-2020 into School Education. Hence, the two eminent speakers were invited to enlighten the PCEs with strategies of implementation of NEP 2020. They were Dr. Anthony Joseph from NCERT, Delhi and Mrs. Prameetha from the Department of Education, Karnataka Government. Dr. Anthony dealt with the latest trends in ‘School Education Today’ through socio-psychological analysis, and cautioned the audience of the undercurrents detrimental to minority educational institutions. Mrs. Prameetha unfolded the challenges and strategies in implementing NEP 2020. She illustrated some of the strategies initiated by the Karnataka State Government in the areas of ECCE, Teachers’ Training, Numeracy and Literacy, Students Drop-out, etc.
Keeping in mind the Vocational Education envisaged by the NEWP 2020, Dr. Ashok Ohol SJ (XISS, Ranchi) with Dr. Padamja – HOD, Ramaiah Institute of Management, Bangalore, presented the importance of Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship in Secondary Education. Dr. Vincent, former Vice Principal, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, shared his experiences as a lay Jesuit collaborator on Jesuit Education ‘From a layman’s perspective’.
The concluding address of meeting was delivered by Fr. Stany D’Souza, SJ, the Provincial of South Asia (POSA). He led them into a deep and meaningful reflection inviting them to understand the context such as – the church badly battered, religious life in crisis and lethargy. The POSA also highlighted the life of Fr. Stan Swamy under three points: conversion, communion and collaboration.
In his speech, Fr. Stany underlined the safeguarding of the women victims of injustice, the minors and the vulnerable adults in our educational institutions. In his concluding remarks, he reminded the PCEs of the goals of Jesuit Education: amidst Politicisation, Commercialisation and mushrooming of private schools, there is a great marginalisation of Dalits, tribals, migrants, refugees, transgenders, etc. And it is in this context that you have a specific mission of imparting Jesuit Education creatively. The recent Vatican Instruction“The Identity of the Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue’,urges us to revisit our schools from the perspective of the Catholic identity, which is primarily an encounter in dialogue.
The 3-day meeting ended with a great sense of rejuvenation and a new beginning to enthuse the Heads and Principals of schools to face the challenges head on. With a grateful heart, all the PCEs departed for their respective Provinces / Regions.
John Ravi, SJ & Ranjit Marandi, SJ