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Conclusions of the Educational Seminar at Mount St.Thomas

Summary of the Discussions and Suggestions at the Educational Conference.
The following are the committees that were formed at the Conference:
1. Probity in Administration and Minority Rights. Chairman: Justice Cyriac Joseph
2. Career Guidance in colleges. Chairman: Mr. Abraham Kurien I.P.S.
3. Religious and Ethical Values. Chairman: Dr. Ruble Raj
4.  Starting of a Private Catholic University. Chairpersons:  Rev. Dr. George Madathiparampil and Rev.DrAntony.Kariyil CMI.
5. Partnership with Foreign Universities. Chairpersons:  Rev. Dr. George Madathiparampil and Dr.Beena Manoj.
6. On line Courses and Autonomous Colleges. Chairman: Dr. Babu Joseph
Suggestions that were made at the meetings of the above-mentioned committees:
1.      Create a Syro-Malabar Commission for Education in order to strengthen the commitment of the Church, to inspire our colleges for leadership and innovations and to update and preserve the Catholic Campus culture.
2.      Hold an annual conference of principals, managers and Catholic educationists.
3.      Hold a Conference of principals in order to build up strong career guidance centers in colleges.
4.      Hold career guidance seminars for teachers who are guiding these centers.
5.      Create an Advisory board of educationists, principals and managers for the Syro-Malabar Church.
6.      Plead for autonomy for the colleges of Kerala. Hold seminars to create public opinion for the granting of autonomy.
7.      Work for the establishment of a Private Catholic University as an inter-diocesan collaboration.
8.      Establish partnerships with foreign universities and initiate steps to help the colleges to move in this direction. Select ten best colleges for International partnerships. Start a new phase in the development of our colleges.
9.      Strengthen Campus Ministry in our colleges.
1.   Start , develop and foster Catholic student movements like the CSM or AICUF/Jesus Youth etc
11.  To give leadership formation to Catholic teachers and students
12.  Proclaim boldly that transparency would be maintained in appointments and admissions.
13.  Preserve the integrity of Minority rights guaranteed in the Constitution and continue the fight against the diminution of the rights by the Govt. or or any agency of the Govt.
14.  Hold Conferences for Catholic professionals –Lawyers, doctors, CAs ,Computer professionals, Scientists, Business management professionals etc
15.  Strengthen Newman Associations so that Catholic intellectuals will have an opportunity to share their views and thoughts.
16.  Hold conferences for International  partnerships
17.  Give awards to the top students from the Syro-Malabar Church
Some of the additional suggestions of the Committee on Ethical Values:
1.      Availability of Chapels and prayer times in our colleges
2.      Annual retreats for teachers and students
3.      Masses on First Fridays at noon
4.      Beginning classes with prayers in the morning
5.      Pre-Cana Courses for Non-Catholic students
6.      Holding of Leadership Camps
7.      Media Education for students
8.      Discussion of the Social teachings of the Church
9.      Using Face book and Twitter to spread  Christian values
1.  Catholic Educational issues to be  made part of the Agenda of the Synod
11.  Awarding of  prizes based on  Catechetical/Value Education class exams
12.  Arrange  meetings  of the selected students with the Major Archbishop
13.  Careful screening in appointments to the Staff, teaching as well as non-teaching.
14.  No donations for appointments and admission.
15.  Counseling training for teachers
16.  More information on Minority rights
17.  Good Catechetical /Value education text books for the students
Additional Suggestions of the Career guidance Committee:
1.      A one week residential course for counselors and nominated teachers
2.      A pilot group of students with marked potential for leadership to be selected for special training
3.      Competent faculty may be identified for such programs
Suggestions of the members of the Committee on Probity in Administration:
Ø  A lot of negative feelings in the community itself because of the practice of collecting donations by a few managements
Ø  Educate the public specially about the financing of Self-financing colleges
Ø  Collecting donations for courses in aided colleges has given a lot of bad publicity and has turned away Catholics against the managements. The actions of a few managements have spoiled the names of reputed Catholic colleges in the State.
Ø  Our colleges fail to impart Christian values.
Ø  Instances of corruption in  appointments and admissions have tarnished the name of the Church.


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