All the PCE’s of South Asia under the able and dynamic leadership of Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ, Secretary JEASA gathered together for the Annual meeting in Arrupe Institute, Raia, Goa, the First Jesuit Province of South Asia. The theme of our deliberations was Connect – Collaborate – Transform. Three day meet began with the Key note address by Fr. William the Socius of Goa Province in the absence of Fr. Roland, the Provincial of Goa. He reminded us of our Jesuit Legacy in Education Apostolate and asked us to be relevant in our ministry.
Fr. Lancy Lobo gave an analysis of socio – political scenario of India. He also focused on the educational scenario of India. In present political and social situation he asked us to have some models such as constitutional model as well as neighbourhood model. He also recommended that we need to re – imagining the nation and to have an interreligious approach in our educational institutions. He also called upon to have citizenship of education focusing on the rights and duties of each citizens of our country. He called upon to be aware of the KEY( Know your Enemy)
Fr. Tony and Fr. Sunny Jacob helped us to have a recap of Bhuvaneshwar Trienniel 2017 and JESEDU-RIO2017 Statement. Fr. Sunny focused on the JESEDU-RIO which focused on the mandate of GC 36, the three fold reconciliation and told us that we need to focus on our educational apostolate. We had a beautiful sharing of different Provinces their rich fruitful ministries based on the action plans undertaken by different Provinces of India and South Asia.
On the second day we had an input session from Ciara Beuster, from Ireland, a Community leader of Educate Magis a global networking of all Jesuit schools of the world. She spoke of the beginning of this great initiative which focuses on Together we can do better. She also called upon to share our resources in the website so that other schools of the globe could know what is happening in our schools in South Asia. Educate Magis is a forum where in we can access to our Jesuit Legacy of Secondary education as well as other spiritual practices we can have and practice in our schools. All the Jesuit schools of South Asia were called upon to be part of this global networks of Schools, and also to be the part of Global Citizenship.
On the second day afternoon we had a pilgrimage to Bom Jesu. It was really a spiritual experience. We had Mass at Main alter offered by Fr. Norbert Menezes, which helped us to get into the spirit St. Francis Xavier and our first fathers. We were enthused to be the persons of Magis and work for the greater Glory of God.
On the third day we had input session on Ecology by ADO, Lourdes Baptista from Delhi. He explained the module of Healing the broken world – the task force on Ecology which appreciates the great concerns which are taken up by different provinces of South Asia from the past 50 years. He also gave us the two modules which are well recognised of Taru Mitra and GJEM (Gujarat Environment Movement). He was also appreciative of the Karnataka province initiates to have a Eco Commission and Province Eco policy. He called upon to focus on Ecology in our schools. Fr. James PJ of Hazaribag explained the Eco Policy of JEA SA. Fr. Ajith Xess of Ranchi and the Secretary of Central Zone Education Bureau. He gave us the model of 5 central zone provinces working together in the field of Education.
Human rights culture through Human rights education an initiative by Madurai Jesuits was explained to us by Fr. Aloysius Irudayam SJ and Fr. Cyril from IDEAS Madurai which was started in 1997. Fr. Cyril explained how his work in preparing the text books on human rights and how it has impacted on the students in Tamil Nadu and some schools in Bangalore.
Human Rights Education is a need of the hour is mainly because general public are very much aware of their rights. Therefore we need to be part of this movement. Secondly the government is becoming very repressive and we need to create awareness about their rights. Thirdly constitution itself is at stake. Therefore it is the need of the hour to educate our children on Constitution and human right education. HRE focuses on Human dignity. It is inborn, it is universal. The prepared models on Human Rights Education for 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th standard were given an explanation. The prepared text books were also presented to the Delegates.
Fr. Norbert Menezes enlightened us regarding the election scenario of India. He called upon to emphasise on secular aspect of our nation to our children and parents.
At the end of our deliberations Fr. Sunny and Mr. Lourdes Baptista helped us to have a concrete and time bound action plan. We in our 4 Zones sat together and came out with the action plans on the issues like Global Citizenship, Human rights and constitution education and Ecology for the Education Apostolate in South Asia.
As concluding remarks Fr. Sunny Jacob, the secretary thanked all the resource persons and all the Delegates for participating actively in this three day deliberations and time bound action plans in the Assistancy.
We the Delegates of JEA SA are indebted to the Goa Province for the opportunity to have this meeting in Arrupe Institute, Raia. We are grateful to the great hospitality that we cherished during our stay. We are grateful to Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ for his vibrant leadership. It was the first JEA SA meet which had input sessions by the national and international level resource persons who focussed on the mandate given by the GC 36. At the end of these three days deliberations and prayerful reflections we commit ourselves to connect with each other to bring about needed change in our education system based on our context, we commit ourselves to transform the society through collaboration and networking at all levels.