CMI Education Summit: Bengaluru Declaration 2017

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CMI Education Summit 2017

September 30 – October 2

To be Responsive and Different: CMI Response to Educational Challenges

Bengaluru Declaration 2017

Preamble:

  1. We, the CMI educators who contribute to building the nation upholding Indian Constitution and the values enshrined therein and carry on the education mission of the Church and the congregation in formal and informal sector, in schools as well as in higher education institutions, have gathered from September 30 – October 2, 2017 in Bangalore. We gratefully acknowledge CMI general education department for initiating this milestone event. We thank Christ University for hosting this event.
  2. On this occasion, we reaffirm the biblical vision that God created human beings in his own image and the primary aim of education is to let the image of God shine forth from every individual we serve in our education mission. The source of every form of goodness we impart in education is from the person of Christ, who is the guru par excellence.
  3. We commit ourselves to work towards world peace, solidarity and interreligious understanding as at present the global atmosphere is vitiated by fanaticism and communal divides in different parts of the world and people are forced to leave their habitat and belongings and migrate and are exposed to suffering and misery.
  4. We uphold the need to treat mother earth with more respect and to preserve our ecological treasures for posterity, joining and responding to the call made by Pope Francis in Laudato Si.
  5. Sharing in the vision and legacy of our founding fathers, we acknowledge the need for our educational institutions to become abodes of insights, virtue, discipline, exemplary models and witnesses to divine presence. After the example of St Kuriakose Elias Chavara, we need to think ahead of our times to be pioneers in the field of education in this modern age.
  6. Having deliberated on the Lineamenta for CMI Education Summit and considering various inputs from the delegates as well as resource persons, we adopt this Declaration on future priorities and strategies.

Resolutions:

  1. We collectively acknowledge the need for increased quality of education in our institutions and the responsibility of us to be more qualified. We cannot provide what we don’t possess. As we intent to be the lights shining on hilltops in the field of education, our guiding force for future endeavors and training shall be our uncompromising collective will to improve quality on a personal as well as community level. This includes:

The need for a shift from being mere managers to become qualified educators

The need to incorporate the presence of lifelong and ongoing formation at all levels of our education institutions

The need to create a culture of research orientation in all our staff and students, especially in higher education institutions

The need to explore and adopt emerging technologies in education like, MOOCs, online education and other digital and social networking tools

  1. We resolve to train, promote and lead those who are not capable of finding their own means to educate themselves because of intellectual, physical, mental, societal or economic deficiencies. We realize:

The need to call for inclusive education in all our institutions, which could be expressed through an Inclusive Education Policy for CMI Education

The need to uphold preferential option for the poor and marginalized

The need to adopt strategies to cater to the needs of the students with learning disabilities and special needs

  1. We reaffirm that our education mission is an apostolate where we follow and present Jesus as a model in whose personality we are grooming well-integrated and mature personalities with solid character formation and moral education. We also deliberate that education without this apostolic dimension is reduced to mere secular and a-moral education. We acknowledge:

The need to make Catholic identity visible in our institutions through our life witness and symbols

The need to establish visible and concrete structures for pastoral care, and value education in our campuses

The need to provide counseling to the students and their families leading to renewal of families

The need to come up with a value education syllabus for CMI schools or to incorporate our ideas with CBCI/KCBC text books for moral education

The need for a pluralistic approach which promotes interreligious harmony

The need to incorporate the life and contributions of St Chavara especially his teachings about the family in the syllabus

The need to promote endeavours like, CMI Education News, Pallikutam, Heights, etc., which promote CMI education ideal

10. We affirm the need of CMI education network that ties up all our institutions and of creating a strong platform for common representations. This CMI education network shall not only be engaged in information sharing between our institutions, but also shall facilitate the exchange of innovative ideas and practices including curricula and other academic matters, so that our institutions do not remain just islands of excellence but interconnected centers of the same. For the same, we acknowledge:

The need for introducing a permanent education secretariat at the central level

The need for revitalizing CMI Education Board

11. We are committed to strengthening the governance of our institutions towards greater financial transparency and compliances that would serve and enhance our mission in a more accountability-driven environment.

12. This Bengaluru Declaration is an historic commitment by all participants of CMI Education Summit 2017, along with the entire congregation to transform lives of those who serve through our education ministry with a new vision for education as envisaged in this declaration and to be implemented with bold and innovative actions by relevant forums under the guidance of our religious superiors.


* As the executive coordinator of CMI Education Summit and the Chair of Declaration Draft Committee, Fr Jaison Mulerikkal has contributed significantly in developing this declaration.

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