All India Catholic Education Policy 2007

It is my great joy to present to you this document All India Catholic Education Policy 2007, approved by the CBCI Standing Committee on April 26, 2007. This policy document was prepared by the CBCI Commission for Education and Culture, in collaboration with the Commission for Justice, Peace and Development and the Commission for SC/ST and Backward Classes. It is the final outcome of the CBCI General Body Meeting of 2006 which deliberated on the theme “Catholic Education and the Church’s Concern for the Marginalised”.

Many have contributed to give shape to this final document. The CRI was involved in the formulation of this policy from the very beginning. The Catholic Council of India, too, after its plenary at Vellankanni, offered many suggestions and recommendations. Regional bodies, associations of competent persons in the field of education, and individuals with expertise have added wisdom and given attention to details. So we are grateful to God that the document has come out in a form that is bound to help everyone in the service of the educational apostolate.

This policy document was enthusiastically welcomed and unanimously approved by the CBCI Standing Committee in its meeting of 26 th April 2007 in view of its promulgation by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.

It gives me great pleasure to promulgate this “All India Catholic Education Policy 2007”. The integral concept of education presented in the policy with a preferential option for the poor and marginalised is in accord with the Kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus Christ. The Church’s intense and extensive apostolate of education continues Jesus’ mission of liberation and of imparting fullness of life. It is in this spirit, I hope that our apostolate of education will respond to the needs and aspirations of all our people, especially of the poor.

I earnestly urge all the dioceses, Religious Congregations, educational institutions, and all persons engaged in the service of education, to welcome this policy document with joy, accept it whole Hearthy, study it with great care and explore ways for its effective implementation. The Regional Councils of Bishops, the CRI and the CCI Regional Units together will do well to evolve a mechanism of implementation of the policy at the regional and diocesan levels.

This Catholic Education Policy is of the whole Church in India and meant for the entire Catholic Community in India. Education is the key to development and progress. With so much investment in personnel and money by the Church in the field of education, let the implementation of this policy usher in a new era in the life and mission of the Catholic Church in India. May the Risen Lord bless abundantly all of us involved in the education of our people especially of the poor and marginalised.

+ Telesphore Placidus Cardinal Toppo,

Archbishop of Ranchi


Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
May 25, 2007


“Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and in favour with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

“A good man knows the rights of the poor” (Proverbs 29:7).

“Those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen” (1Corinthians 1:28).

This Catholic Education Policy seeks to clarify and stress the essential mission of Catholic education in India today. For this, it mainly draws inspiration and substance from the documents of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the statements of the General Assemblies of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), and specifically the CBCI mandate of February 2006 to evolve an Education Policy that focuses on providing quality and relevant education to the marginalized, especially the children of our Dalit and Tribal brothers and sisters. The policy highlights our duty to give serious attention to and deepen the authenticspiritual formation of all our students and nurture the faith culture of Christian believers. It also broadens the narrow focus on personal academic development and emphasizes the holistic and fuller development that meets the challenge of modern culture and society, and its demand for higher levels of competence. This makes it imperative for us to bring about several significant changes in the planning and organization of our institutions, so that our education retains its Catholic identity and promotes genuine personal development and excellence.

It goes further. The policy advocates the equally essential social and societal transformation, as a major goal and mission of our education. Being Christian is essentially an invitation to become a person of faith, hope and love. It is a summons to form communities of solidarity, and of justice and equality, at the service of all people, especially the poor and the marginalized. As the CBCI proclaimed in 2000, we are committed to “ a new society built on justice, peace, love and harmony: a civilization of love”. And we share our hope with all our brothers and sisters (2.VII).

A key focus area in this policy is on the need for our Catholic institutions to contribute actively to the betterment of India and its people, by sharing in nation building. Developing micro models of communities of solidarity across the many borders that presently divide us—like caste and creed and culture—and make us less human is therefore a major objective of the policy. Jesus showed us the way by proclaiming the Kingdom of God on earth by breaking down age-old barriers of mind and heart, and all types of exclusion and discrimination. In our apostolate of education, our goal, both as individual institutions and as members of corporate bodies (the diocese/religious congregation/Church in India), is to build inclusive human communities.

It is relevant to refer here to the enlightening words of Pope John Paul II, spoken in the context of criticism for his conducting an inter-religious prayer at Assisi: What unites is divine; what divides is not. Seen holistically as spelt out in this policy, our apostolate of education fully participates in the mission of Christ and is truly a spiritual ministry that unites the whole human family.

The life of Christ was an evangelising presence and action in the world, a ‘Good News’ filling all people, especially the poor, with hope. In the pedagogical context, this means providing a Transformative and Evangelising Education. Transformation of self and others, of communities and societies, is a meaningful definition of being a Christian. Through His life, values and attitudes, teachings and actions, Jesus began to build a Kingdom community, promoting the Reign of God on earth. His was not just a spiritual presence, but a holistic presence. Jesus did not confine the thrust of His ministry to the spiritual realm only. He extended it to the social, cultural, economic, civic and political dimensions, in other words, to all aspects of human life and living. This was an essential part of His ministry. Jesus was deeply moved by poverty, disease, ignorance, greed, injustice, conflicts, and the absence of love and forgiveness in the society of His time. Hence, His resolve to be an agent of transformation. He was filled with a deep sense of compassion for the world, for restoring the integrity of human society and the whole of creation. This was His spirituality, a spirituality of being in communion with the Father, and in solidarity with everyone on earth and every part of creation, beyond all kinds of boundaries and divisions.

Our educational mission, in the context of India today and the India of tomorrow, is the re-creation of human lives, communities and the wider society. In the past, there have been many Christian contributions to the society in India. Our present challenge is to build a New Society, to make another India possible, in collaboration with all people of goodwill and their institutions and organizations. At this critical juncture, all must work unitedly with the marginalized to build up a better future for our country. Education has to enable the millions who have no name or face or dignity and whom society treats as non-persons, to regain their dignity and self-worth. The spirituality of communion and service that energized Jesus and gave His life colour, energy and direction, urges us to wholeheartedly dedicate ourselves to this mission.

While focusing on our educational institutions, this policy is situated in the context of the overall educational activities of the Church, which include the important sectors of value formation, non-formal education, literacy, skill development as well as conscientization and other forms of people’s empowerment. We want all citizens to become literate, skilled and competent, socially aware and spiritually motivated, and fully involved in the building of a developed and just society. This policy thus highlights the right of all children, especially the marginalized, to an education of relevance and quality.

A policy is a present decision for future action . If action does not follow, a policy remains a dead letter, even if it is a well-worded statement. This policy therefore presents some concrete guidelines to attain our educational goals. The responsibility for internalising and then implementing it is placed squarely on all the stakeholders — the management, principal, staff, students and parents as well as the clergy, religious and the laity. Hence, in preference to “should” statements we use “we” statements, which are binding nonetheless, while urging regions and dioceses to formulate more detailed and relevant norms that are mandatory in their own contexts.

This Education Policy is addressed to Catholics and all people of goodwill. Until it becomes the shared Vision and Mission of the whole educational community, the policy will remain on paper. Hence, it proposes a flexible monitoring mechanism grounded on local realities, drawing strength from the support of all stakeholders that will involve one and all in its creative implementation and further development. The staff, students and parents are called upon to actively own the policy, be committed to its goals and look at the institutions as their own.

This document is the fruit of much labour. The proposal for an All India Catholic Education Policy came up during the national and regional consultations that were conducted by the CBCI Commission for Education and Culture in preparation for the CBCI General Body Meeting of 2006. The proposal was unanimously accepted by the General Body Meeting itself, which had for its theme “Catholic Education and the Church’s Concern for the Marginalized”. Having received this mandate of formulating an education policy for India, the CBCI Commission for Education has been concentrating on this task for over a year, seeking assistance from the Commission for Justice and Peace and the Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and from individuals and groups with vast competence and experience in the field of education, like the CCI,CRI, Xavier Board, AINACS, AICUF, AICU and others. Very valuable suggestions have come from different regions, experts in various sciences, and persons of exceptional commitment. We are grateful to them all.

I am particularly grateful to Bishop Charles Soreng, the former Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Education and Culture under whose leadership the idea was launched, Fr. P.P.George, who as Secretary has worked for two terms and has been with the document from the beginning, and Fr. C. Kuriala, the new Secretary of the Education Commission. We are deeply indebted to the Chairmen, members and Secretaries of the Commission for Justice and Peace and the one for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes both old and new: Archbishop Chinnappa Malayappan, Bishop Peter Remigius, Archbishop Dominic Jala, Archbishop Mathew Moolakkat, Bishop Gerald Almeida, Bishop Yvon Ambroise, Bishop Mathew Arackal, (the late) Bishop Johannes Gorantla, Bishop Thomas Ignatius Macwan, Fr. S. Lourdusamy, Fr. Nithiya Sagayam, Fr. Philomin Raj, Fr. Cosmon Arokiaraj and innumerable lay persons. Special gratitude to Archbishop Albert D’Souza and Bishop Thomas D’Souza, the present members of the Commission for Education and Culture.

We appreciate the contribution of Bro. Mani Mekkunnel, the CRI National Secretary, and the valuable assistance of Fr.John Desrochers. I am particularly grateful to Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, who drew up the first draft, readily revised it again and again, cheerfully integrating various suggestions from every side. It has not been an easy task to move towards a consensus. But when we approximate it, we feel immensely happy. We are so glad that the apostolate of education is close to the heart of everyone, that a great measure of interest has been stimulated on the theme during the recent debates and discussions. We hope everyone will recognize his/her fingerprints on this document, and that it gives expression to some of our most cherished dreams.

I am sure that the Catholic community and the wider public will accept this Policy as an expression of the sincere commitment of the Catholic Church to serve the people of India, especially the marginalized, through education.

Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, SDB


CBCI Commission for Education and Culture
May 24, 2007

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6