Report: JEA Annual at Dindigul (Nov 19-23, 2016).

The Annual JEA meet was held at Dindigul from 19th till 23 November 2016. All the PCEs of India and Nepal attended the Annual.  Srilankan representative could not participate in it.

On 19th evening all the PCEs arrived and the official welcome at the Dinner was given by the Acting provincial Fr. Joe Antony and the local PCE and Zonal Coordinator, Fr. Stephen. Next day we went for a tour to Kodaikanal and nearby places. It was well organised and a great learning experience for all. We had Mass at La Saleth Shrine. Acting POSA Fr. Keith offered Mass for us.

The sessions started on 21st morning. The day was very solemn with a lots of inputs on NEP, and the present challenges of education.

The key note address given by Keith put us in perspective. The key areas he stressed were:

  • Education is a vocation to uplift the masses
  • Creative Fidelity – tailor education to address the need of the environment
  • Discernment – Cosmetic Changes Vs Radical Changes
  • Collaboration and Networking
  • Animators – animated persons and groups. Think more in terms of animation
  • Go beyond the 3Rs, lest it will be a sterile discipline

He concluded his presentation with the message of Hope and Realism.

During the interaction that followed his presentation the following things were clarified.

The present situation is alarmingly frightening, don’t panic, face the challenge step by step, keep head high and go ahead, in other words be proactive educators.

He urged all of us to take off us from Administration to Animation.

PCE should not limit to education alone; network within province / zone.

JCSA always look at the education ministry to see;

  • What impact are we making?
  • Human resources are depleting, what do we do?
  • Number of Jesuit depleting, but the number of schools increasing .

JEA Secretary clarified why Adhyayan is roped in to have an evaluation of our schools. 50 schools in the Central Zone is being evaluated this year.

The second session by Joe Arun focused on the Present Challenges in Education

The right wing ideology issue is the challenge; National Education Policy (NEP) is a symptom.

The way we see life, determines the way we live our lives (quality) and what forms the basis of that life (values). In the past there was Gurukul system – no question, listen to guru. Today we have liberal education, every student can ask. Values come first , facts and policies follow in the service of values. They matter, but they always support values. Learning is to become conscious living; who should our students become?

Will our students say Jesuit education changed my worldview? The Hermeneutic: Reading and interpreting what is written and spoken. The signs and symbols of the times must be understood. Today the trend in the world is seen in and thrugh Trumpism and Modification. Nurturant Parent Family (progressive) and the Strict Father Family (Conservative). Therefore, all over the world Rightist Movement - Trumpism and Modification is Strict Father Family against liberal education.  There are enemies outside and inside. Take steps (small steps) to encounter the challenges.

The third session Joe Arun dealt on Administration to Animation

  • Every Jesuit must bear his part of the burden of his school
  • There must be sense of justice and depth of imagination
  • Dissenting imagination; promote imagination
  • Networking as education strategy.
  • JEA should have Our Way Proceeding
  • Discernment – do we do what we should do? Do I teach differently than other teachers? Being attentive, reflective and loving. Discernment should be a habit. We should be creative and imaginative in our missions. In a discerning Jesuit school, students learn differently.
  • Collaboration – Apostolic partner. Every act of collaboration demands sharing of responsibility and power with the partner. Networking within Jesuit schools. There should be depth of thought and imagination.
  • Change – Hardware change – structural change and  Software change – staff college, formation / training / development of staff

We must own the school, but not run the school.

Role of animator

  • Formulate policies
  • Standard Operating Procedure – job description, sanction and punishment
  • Performance appraisal
  • Tools of evaluation
  • Accreditation

The session was so inspiring and thought provoking.

After the

 Is Alumni representatives shared their expectations from their Alma mater. Mr. Chenthil kumar, the National Vice President of JAAI and the President of South Zone JAAI along with a few other dignitaries addressed the gathering. Mr.Chenthil stressed on the following points for our reflection.

Alumni Expectation, Alumni Contribution, Alma Mater Expectation, Alma Mater Contribution

Alumni Expectations

  • Marquee Brand – quality, good teachers, good teachers, good curriculum, good methodology
  • Heritage branding
  • Academic excellence
  • NAAC evaluation
  • International accreditation
  • Networking
  • Social networking
  • Reunion & home coming family get together
  • Hostel reunion
  • Neighborhood service
  •  Recruitment of man power
  • Startup
  • Incubation
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Volunteers
  • Alumni ID card
  • Alumni Website

They also shared the ongoing projects of the Alumni at JAAI level and also of different units of JAAI.

After this province level reporting of the activities were done.  The sharing was focused on the 4 areas. 1. Training programme for Teachers and principals 2. Ecology based seminars and activities 3. Jesuit Legacy 4. Any innovative undertaking 5. Collaboration and Net working.

The Next day we had enriching sessions by Dr. Victor Anthuvan and Dr. Kishore. The focus of the day were Innovation and challenges of Jesuit education. Dr. Victor in his characteristic style presented before us the richness of Indian culture and tradition and its utter diminishing standard of today and the call for Jesuit to contribute much more what is being done today.

Dr. Victor Anthuvan, LIBA spoke on The Future of Education. He said before Christ was born Nalanda University; India was leader of Maths. India discovered the value of Pisa. He asked us to write 127 trillion, 250 billion, 369 million, 272 thousand, 523...Difficult to write these in Roman

108 Ambulance Number; common number in prayers; the diameter of the earth is 108 times of the moon. Distance between the sun and the moon is 108 times the diameter of the earth.10800 times we breathe per day.India was the leader of Physics / Chemistry; no rust in the pillar of Kutup Minar. India was the leader of Astronomy . India was the leader in Construction – temples in India more 1000 years; inside the temple cool. India was the leader of medicine. India was the leader in agriculture: in India 36,000/ variety of rice; had more 100,000/ variety of rice. India was the leader in cotton textile.In the first century Indian was richest in the world.

Where are all those riches today?

New discoveries all over the world, but India didn’t make any discovery worth in the last 750 years why?  There was stagnation. This was the time missionaries (Jesuits) came to India. Hadn’t the Jesuits come to India, it wouldn’t have developed. Therefore, the country owes you.

At the time of independence 8% literate. Today 20% youth go to college. 85% youth go to college in Korea , 90% go to colleges in Finland. In India school / college standard is very low. There is no Indian university in top 10 universities of the world. According to NAAC 90% of our colleges are below the standard

Here are the challenges the Jesuits should look into

  • Accessibility  
  • Opting for the poor. Reservation for the poor and the best is for the elite
  • Quality
  • Skills - Creativity / Originality
  • Values

We have corruption in the family. There is no holiness in marriage. Money, jewelries are more important. Education is commercialized, religions are politicized, politic is criminalized, criminals are glorified women are commoditized, children are labourized and the society is scandalized. Clean this impure Ganges. Wherever Dr. Kalam went, he talked about Jesuit Value education. How important Value education is today? Higher education must be democratized.

Are we preparing our students for the past or future? In examination we ask past questions and the students write the past answer.

What happens if we prepare our students for the future?

  • Office will be paperless
  • Science will develop
  • There will be death of distance – distance will die
  • Transport will be super fast; geography no barrier
  • Relationship will be shorter; personal / face to face relationship will go away
  • Students need not come to class all the time; from home choose any college, pay for the course and study
  • Use of electricity will go; cheaper power from solar power
  • Spare parts of body will be available
  • Sweeping changes in biotech; we can have trees in the room, rooftop
  • Food will be recycled, waste will be avoided
  • Marriage will no more be permanent
  • Teach student personal relation will go; contact through phone and internet

So future is uncertain; there will be huge change. Are we preparing our students for the future? In fact do we talk to our students about future?

What will happen to Physics, Chemistry and Literature in future? What will be the values in future?  We are in mad race to get more marks. We are not preparing the students for the future.

Broiler chicken – feed on feed on. Students get good mark and admission in good colleges, but no originality, creativity. India has proved to grow at 8% growth rate. In next 7 years India will take over Britain. In 2020 India will be 3rd richest country. After 2060 India will be the richest country in the world.

What will be the problems?

  • Per capita income will be low
  • 190 crore people; where is the land, water

How do we educate the students?

India is spending 3.5% in education. This is the biggest mistake. All the developed countries have not withdrawn the investment in education.

What is happening in the colleges? Teachers are getting lesser, students are paying more. Colleges are degree making factories.

What should India aim at? India is first in the production of tea, milk, film; India is second in the production of rice, wheat, mobile; third in the production of cotton, tobacco.

India will be number one in many areas.

  • Are our students physically strong? 45% do not have weight, height of their age, 50% do not have IQ. They take junk food; they have more money but take wrong food. No protein. Meal day meal give protein
  • Are our students mentally sharp? How any hour do they spend in library, how any books have they read? Have they read classics? Are they reading the latest? They neither read the classics nor the latest.
  • Are our teachers mentally sharp? Do they read? Are they well equipped? Arrogance has crept in – ‘ I know’
  • Are they morally upright?  Higher the degree / qualification greater the dowry. Corruption
  • Are they spiritual mature? Do they read the Bible, Koran, Gita. Christians read only the Bible, Muslims only Koran, Hindus only Gita. We fail to find the truth. Buddha found the truth under the tree not in the temple
  • Are the students emotionally balanced? Teachers cannot scold the students, they are emotionally hurt; commit suicide. Emotionally unbalanced
  • Are they socially committed? Are they willingly to share, care? To give is to be more human. Giving is the law of living. 6 days work for the family, 1 day  for the country
  • Where is that challenging Jesuit leadership? In the past Jesuits were leader in every field, where are the Jesuits now? Where are the Jesuit scholars? Where are the Jeromes, Beschis? Jesuits have no concentration today. Jesuits have become more complacent.

4,000 Jesuits in India; no other organization has so many committed people under one leadership. Jesuits are busy with non issue. Find and channelize your potential. After 30 / 40 years there may not be 4,000 Jesuits.  Plan out and be trend setters once again.


Dr. Kishore spoke on Innovations in Education

Education is the prime sector. Today’s students are different; their access level is very high. Today education cannot be limited to books and notes.

In Finland highest paid job is teacher; cream level students are asked to be teachers

Innovations today

  • Accountability; school should be accountable
  • Affordability
  • Curriculum; parents do not know what curriculum their child should study
  • Where the technology should come in. Introducing technology is not innovation
  • Evaluation
  • Value orientated education

Reading a book is not innovation, but how that book has affected the child is an innovation. The purpose of school is different. Schools are not local provider, but global provider. Schools are the blue print of the society. Planning / designing the curriculum

3 different kinds of students in a class: hard to understand a lesson, uninterested to learn and fast learners. Use Multiple Intelligences  in Jesuit education. Things will be different. Innovation calls for changes. Innovation also calls for risks.

After these sessions Fr. Sunny Jacob , the JEA Secretary presented the JEA report and placed before us the expectations of JEA from Zonals and Provinces.  He focused on the following areas

  1. Administration to Animation
  2. Innovation in education
  3. Training in Jesuit Legacy
  4. Ecological awareness
  5. Assessment of our schools
  6. A flagship programme for SA
  7. More of Zonal networking
  8. Educate Magis and global networking
  9. Discernment  in mission
  10. Core Team at national and Zonal level

There was group discussion in the Zonal level and Planning session for the JEA for next year.

Fr. SebastibRaj of Madurai, the Provincial addressed us. Responding to the call of the king in secondary education: From Administration to Animation was his topic. He stressed on,

Community ownership

  • Every Jesuit should realize that he belongs to an organization. He does not own the school, so he needs to get approval of the community under the leadership of local superior
  • Mission / school is owned by the community


  • We need to search for God’s will and God’s mission
  • We need to explore if God wants us to move to something else
  • We need to check if we are moving in the right direction


  • Collaboration is essential in today’s context; mission is not our mission, it is of God, so inclusive
  • We need to share our approach and way of proceeding with others
  • We learn from the expertise of others
  • Relieves the Jesuits for other ministries, frontiers
  • Active participation of others in the decision making process
  • Their sharing in the decision-making authority
  • We do not consider the others as mere employees

The physical presence of Jesuit in any of the mission is NOT absolutely essential, but Jesuit way of proceeding is essential in any of the mission. Some time we, Jesuits are like an elephant – huge body with a small eye. Every Jesuit school should give more importance to extra or co-curricular activities. We shouldn’t be result oriented, but focus on all-round development of the students. Do not focus only on the bright students for rank; all students are entrusted under our care.  Academic qualification does not necessarily qualify anyone to be an administrator.  Create an academic or learning atmosphere in the entire campus. There must be an ambience.  Our institutions will have to be run professionally; with a system. Everyday every teacher should ask him/herself how many hearts of the students s/he has touched. Magic of a Jesuit is love for the students. Every Jesuit should have the humility to learn from others – approach, system, innovativeness. We should realize that we are no more leaders of education.


The Annual has decided the following as a National Project by JEA to implement at the JEA (SA) level

1.    Training for the new principals / Headmasters

2.    Make Profile / Standardized format / manual for the whole Assistancy

  1. Formation of resource team at the National (JEA) level

JEA Secretary will take it up.

At the Zonal Level:

North Zone

  1. Training of Jesuits who would be assuming as administrator / principal (in service training for the Jesuits)
  2. Standardized format of policies /  matters pertaining to school education
  3. Formation of core team at JEA level for in service training of our staff in Ignatian legacy
  4. Jesuit legacy program for academic coordinators in Delhi

West Zone

  • Leadership program for new / potential principals and collaborators
  • From Ad to Animatio
  • Set up ecology training team
  • Ignatian legacy program – form a team
  • Legal aid Workshop at zonal level
  • Seminar on ecology

South Zone

  1. Sports meet
  2. Seminar on ecology
  3. Seminar for Headmasters

Central Zone

  1. Jesuit Legacy program
  2. Form core group to train principal
  3. Central bureau planning for triennial Central Zone
  4. Training for new appointed principals / vice principal
  5. Networking – Sharing the Best Practices

The Annual was memorable in many ways. The hospitality and the excellent arrangement was possible because of the generosity of the Provincial and Stephen. To them all a Big Thank you.

Minutes prepared by Gerry and Amrit


Sunny Jacob SJ

08 December 2016