Education is the most socially visible apostolate of Carmelites of Mary immaculate (CMI) Congregation. “The aim of all education is the formation of the human person for the fulfilment of his individual and social responsibilities. Christian education further aims at his growth into manhood according to the mature measure of Christ. We shall concentrate more on quality than on quantity and foster good inter-personal relations. Our exemplary life should always remain the most important factor in our educational apostolate”(CMIc.75)
Education is undergoing rapid changes in our country; liberalization and permission for educational institutions on a self-financing basis, increase of professional and technical institutions to meet the modern demands for such skills, introduction of creative and innovative study programmes, entry of foreign educational agencies in India etc. are some of the most notable changes in the field of modern education.
We are conscious that there are lack of enough concern for the marginalized, insufficient emphasis on holistic education, absence of adequate creativeness etc. Besides we constantly attempt to encroach on our right to provide education according to our cultural and religious traditions (Constitution of India, Art. 30)
Characteristics of Education
The Christ College Vision of Education is founded on the idea of Catholic education contained in the teachings of the universal Church and the Church in India, our legacy of education inherited from our founders and its history, and the needs of the modern society in which we live. The Catholic Church has always considered education an essential part of its mission received from Christ himself to “proclaim the Good News to every creature” (Mk. 16:15).i.e.‘Love your God and Love your Neighbour. Regarding this individual and social role of education, Vatican II says: “Since every individual of whatever race, condition and age is endowed with the dignity of a person, he/she has an inalienable right to an education corresponding to his/her proper dignity and suited to his/her native talents, sex, cultural background and ancestral heritage. At the same time, this education should pave the way to brotherly/sisterly association with other peoples, so that genuine unity and peace on earth may be promoted”. (GE. 1).
“Education, by its very nature, is a transformative process, namely, changing human persons, and through them, society and its structures. This activity of transformation is a spiritual, humanizing and liberating activity and constitutes the core mission of education. In the knowledge society that is emerging, ‘quality education’ serves as the gateway to the socio-cultural and economic development of persons and of the country” (Catholic Education Policy of CBCI, 2.1-2). Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, our founder, imbibing the vision of the Church, started a Sanskrit school in 1846 and a regular primary school in 1864 as part of the Mannanam Movement and admitted students of all sections of the society including the dalits. He also emphasised the great importance of the collaboration of the family in the formation of children and gave extensive directives to parents regarding this responsibility.
As already noted above, we have grown over the years to become one of the nationally prominent educational agencies with a wide network of various types of institutions to meet the growing needs of the modern society. In this long process of growth and development, our educational apostolate has gained certain features, which, taken together, give a CMI character to our educational endeavours and it shall always be fostered in our apostolate of education. The most important elements of the
character of Christ College, Bhopal Education Policy are:
Our education aims at his/her growth into personhood according to the mature measure of Christ. Conscious of these aims of human and Christian education, we shall give an excellent and all-round formation to the students in our educational institutions”(CMIc.75a).
We inculcate value education on the students as Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the founder of CMI Congregation, who gave great importance to the character building of the children and provided concrete instructions regarding the responsibility of the parents in this regard at a time when school education was not universal.
As CMI Constitution reminds our responsibility to “concentrate more on quality than on quantity” (CMIc.75a), we insist high premium on excellent education as a means for individual and social transformation and growth.
Cooperation of the Families:
Our own history remind us on the importance of educating the individual, especially at the basic level, with the cooperation of the family. Hence the involvement of the families in education, particularly with regard to value education and emotional growth, is essential for the integral development of the children. We shall encourage the parents to actively cooperate with the collage and teachers in the education of their children.
Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, considered education as a universal right of all persons. In the changed circumstance of today, we aim at transforming the whole nation, especially the underprivileged.
In the light of the above stated characteristics which our educational endeavours have developed during the last one and three quarters of a century of our apostolate, the following statement is issued as the Christ College, Bhopal Education Policy:
We, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, after the example of our founder Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, consider education as the integral formation of the human person for the fulfilment of his/her individual and social responsibilities.
Our educational endeavours aim at forming leaders who are intellectually competent, spiritually mature, morally upright, psychologically integrated, physically healthy and socially acceptable, who will champion the cause of justice, love, truth and peace, and who are ever open to further growth.
The secret of the success of Christ College is a community of teachers who are committed to their vocation, professionally competent, morally upright, just and humane in dealings, culturally sensitive and who grow in the true vision of education.
We aspire towards creating a just and humane society where dignity of the human person is respected, where unjust social structures are challenged, where our cultural heritage of ahimsa, religious harmony and national unity are upheld, and where the poor and the marginalized are specially taken care of.
We have to reach out to the families, primarily of the students, to assist them in their needs, to share in their joys and sorrows, and to help them experience love and freedom so that the students realize that our educational institutions are an extension of their homes.
Our institutions are open to all students irrespective of caste and creed; they are accepted and cherished as they are and are helped to grow in their cultural, social and religious traditions. As they are privileged to be in our institutions, they will also have the right to get acquainted with the person of Jesus Christ and his Gospel. Being institutions established and administered by and for a minority community based on religion, they will give preference to Christians in admissions and appointments and have a special concern for the faith formation of the Christian youth.
Our institutions are also open to society at large by making their resources available for the ongoing education and growth.
For the realization of this Christ College goal of education, we invite students, parents and teachers to share this vision and to cooperate with us wholeheartedly.
Holistic Development of Students
Apart from the efficient and excellent curricular formation which we provide, we shall also take initiative to introduce innovative programmes and modern methods and techniques of teaching for developing the creative intelligence of the students.
Programmes for the Integral Development of Personality:
Since CMI education aims at the integral development of the personality of the students, we shall give all-round formation to them. Our educational institutions should organize regular programmes that will help the development of the spiritual, moral, cultural, literary, artistic, emotional and physical development of the students.
Spiritual and Moral Formation:
We shall give great importance to the formation of spiritual and moral dimensions of the personality of the students. A faith-culture should be developed among students irrespective of religious differences.
For helping the students with issues that arise as part of their psychological development and emotional growth, we shall make arrangements for personal guidance and counselling in our institutions (CMId 128). Student counsellors should be appointed on full time or part-time basis in all our educational institutions.
Career Guidance and Counselling:
In institutions from the high school level and above, the students should get necessary guidance for deciding on their future studies and career. Necessary library facilities with books and periodicals, and sufficient number of persons who are capable of giving guidance to the students should be made available to the students (CMId. 128).
Nurturing of Social Concern:
Our educational institutions, particularly the self-financing ones, should be made effective channels of our social involvement. Not only should we manifest sufficiently our social concern in appointments and admissions, but we must also motivate and help the students and the staff to undertake social action programmes for the less privileged in order to inculcate social awareness among the students.
Appreciation of Religious/Cultural Pluralism:
Our educational institutions shall take special interest in educating our students to appreciate religious and cultural pluralism and foster religious harmony and national unity.
Culture of Life and Protection of Eco-system:
Our institutions should have a policy that promotes a culture of life and protection of environment such as preservation of water, maintenance of greenery, conservation of energy etc. Our members are encouraged to take leadership in this field, particularly in connection with the institutions in which they serve so that the people realize the significance we attach to this vital aspect of promoting and enriching life.
Animators of Programmes:
The Principal shall appoint necessary directors/animators from the staff and select, if needed, a core group of students to give leadership to the above stated variety of programmes for the development of the various aspects of the personality of students.
(Note: For more details refer CMI Vision of Education and Common Guidelines)
CMI Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, Congregation
CMIc CMI Constitutions
CMId CMI Directory
GS CMI General Synaxis