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This is a short report from the South Asian Conference regarding our strategic plans in terms of training of Principals and Teachers and other activities during this academic year (2022-23).

Official visit of Secretary to Jesuit Schools  

The Conference has a total number of 397 schools in five different countries. The Secretary visited four provinces – Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jamshedpur and Kohima Region during the last academic year. During the current academic year he visited two more provinces. He has completed the visit to 174 schools in six Provinces. He plans to visit the other schools in near future.

  • Kolkata Province: Fr. John Ravi, SJ visited all the Jesuit Schools under Kolkata Province from August 14-25, 2022. He interacted with the Jesuits, staff, senior students and the alumni.
  • Darjeeling Province: The Secretary visited all the Jesuit Schools under Darjeeling Province except Nazareth School, kalimpong from August 28- September 8, 2022. He had fruitful discussion with the Jesuits, staff, students and the alumni.

Leadership Enhancement & Animation Program (LEAP) for Jesuit School Principals during 2022-23

In order to enhance leadership qualities of school leaders, the Secretariat for school education has planned 10 training program for school leaders. These programs are conducted by a group of experts in the field of education both Jesuits and lay and religious persons. The details are given below:

S.NO ZONE VENUE DATE
1. NORTH ZONE Kolkata – Dhyanashram September 21-24, 2022
2. NORTH ZONE Patna- Atmadarshan November 9-12, 2022
3. SOUTH ZONE Chennai- Dhyanashram November 16-19, 2022
4. SOUTH ZONE Bangalore – Prerna January 19-22, 2023
5. WEST ZONE Pune – PG Block September 24– 27, 2022
6. WEST ZONE Mumbai – Vinayalaya January 11- 14, 2023
7. CENTRAL ZONE Asha Deep, Pathalgaon, Chattisgarh October 19-22, 2022
8. CENTRAL ZONE Jharna, Namkum, Ranchi November 22-25, 2022
9. CENTRAL ZONE Yesu Bhawan, Mango, Jamshedpur December 6-10, 2022
10. CENTRAL ZONE St. Xavier’s School, Hazaribagh February 8-11, 2023

 

We have already completed 2 LEAP programs. Each program is of four days with four sessions per day. The details are given below:

  • LEAP for North Zone: 36 Jesuit School Principals from Darjeeling, Patna, Delhi, Kolkata Provinces and Nepal and Kohima Regions took part in the Leadership Enhancement & Animation program at Dhyan Ashram, Kolkata from September 21-24, 2022 organized by the Conference Secretariat for School Education.
  • LEAP for West Zone: 32 Jesuit School Principals from Bombay, Gujarat, Pune and Goa Provinces attended the Leadership Enhancement & Animation program at PG Block, JDV, Pune from September 24-27, 2022 organized by the Conference Secretariat for School Education.

Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Program (TEEP) for Rural School Teachers

We have planned to organize six training program for 240 teachers from rural Jesuit schools during April-September, 2023. It will be a ToT Program. All the arrangements have been made.

 

Annual Meeting of Province Education Delegates

The Annual Meeting of the Province Coordinators for Education (PCEs) was held at Good Shepherd Convent, Bangalore from 2nd Eve – 5th October, 2022 under the able leadership the CSSE-JEASA 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 & Anti-minority, Tampering with the syllabus & textbooks, Digital divide among the rural and urban students, Training collaborators & ourselves, Hybrid learning of Online and Offline. He further reflected with us that the Principals and Heads should administer to animate the students and the teachers, and not merely become managers of events. He concluded his address with a provoking question – Where does the secondary education go in 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-JEASA, Fr. John Ravi, SJ, who also initiated discussion on the guidelines issued by the International Secretariat for Education, Rome on the Roles & Responsibilities of the PCEs (September’21). All the PCEs felt that the Major Superiors need to consult them with regard to secondary education and appointment of the Heads/Principals in the Province/Region. Fr. John Ravi, SJ assured the PCEs that he would take up this matter with the Major Superiors during JCSA Meeting at Shembaganur in October, 2022.

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 Department of Education, Karnataka Government. Dr. Anthony dealt with the latest trends in School Education Today through socio-psychological analysis and cautioned the audience 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 the Jesuit Education: From a layman’s perspective.

The concluding address of meeting was delivered by the Fr. Stany D’Souza, SJ, the Provincial of South Asia (POSA). With his speech, the POSA informed the PCEs that as of year 2022, we (Jesuits) are 3916 Jesuits, belong to 22 units (19 provinces, 2 regions and one conference) and work in 7 countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka). He further emphasized the schools should be enveloped with Jesuit tradition and Legacy.

Although the POSA addressed the PCES online, but he led them into a deep and meaning reflection inviting them to understand the context such as – the church badly battered, religious life in crisis & lethargy, Jesuit character not found in our beneficiaries, the formees looking for a model, lack of good leadership & governance, and socio-political context. He refreshed us with two pillars as our Heritage – the Spiritual Exercises and the Jesuit Saints as models. The Exercises must lead us to find God in all things, teach us to discern, help us to imagine and teaches us create leaders of good leaders for society and nation.  The stories of the Jesuit models such as St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, St. Robert Bellarmine, etc. should narrated to the students to motivate them and to do MAGIS in all realms of their lives. 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 the women victims of injustice, the minors and the vulnerable adults in our educational institutions.  In his concluding remarks, he reminded the PCEs the goals of Jesuit Education: amidst of Politicisation, Commercialisation and mushrooming of private schools, there is a great marginalisation Dalit, tribal, migrants, refugees, transgender, etc. And it is in this context that you have a specific mission of imparting Jesuit Education creatively.

As you know that the Jesuits have been pioneers and trendsetters. I am sure, as their successors, you will find ways to impart Jesuit education, which is formative and transformative, Magis and countercultural. Jesuit education has a role to play in the contemporary society. It is self-emptying for service. It is a space for freedom, discernment, election, focus and mission. It has enabled and empowered many and we have a cloud of witnesses – Jesuits, collaborators and students. We are grateful. Our Schools need to create spaces to have and share transcendental experiences, foster critical reflection and discernment, initiate a culture of persons for and with others. 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 primarily an encounter and 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 to their respective provinces / Regions.