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JESUIT EDUCATION IN ASIA



The Jesuit Educational Association (legal title: Jesuit Conference of India-Educational Section) was constituted in 1961 with the aim of providing Jesuits with a forum of reflection on the educational apostolate of the Society in the context of changing conditions in South Asia. All Jesuit educational institutions in South Asia are members of the JEA. The secretariat, assisted especially by the Province/Region Coordinators of Education, seeks to animate Jesuit educational institutions to a deeper understanding of the Jesuit vision in Education especially through the implementation of the Characteristics of Jesuit Education and Ignatian Pedagogy. This entails enabling the institutions to be rooted in the local context, to network with like-minded institutions and be instruments of social change. Every year the province/region coordinators, who form together the statutory 'JEA National Committee', meet with the secretary to review this apostolate and plan for the future. The JEA Secretary is ex-officio the National Coordinator of the Federation of Jesuit Alumni Associations of South Asia.

Jesuit Education draws its inspiration from the life of Ignatius, the Constitutions of the Society and the best practices in vogue at that time. These last mentioned were put together in what is known as The Ratio Studiorum of 1599. The Ratio gives Jesuit schools a vision and a system that bound them together into a unity and infused a sense of purpose in what was being done in Jesuit schools all over the world. It earned the Jesuits the nickname, 'the great schoolmasters of Europe'. As a system it was in use for two centuries, but its influence was felt for five hundred years.

Due to increased governmental involvement in education, it has become impossible to have one common system for Jesuit schools all over the world. However, a strong need was felt all over the Society to have a common vision in spite of local differences in the way education may be imparted. Accordingly in 1986 December, Fr. General, Peter Hans Kolvenhach, promulgated The Characteristics of Jesuit Education. It was meant to do for our times what the Ratio did in the 16th and 17th centuries, namely, give a vision and mission to Jesuit Education. There are 8 major characteristics that define Jesuit education: PERSON-ORIENTED, INTEGRAL, VALUE-BASED, PURSUING EXCELLENCE, ADAPTING FOR RELEVANCE, TOWARDS A JUST SOCIETY, PARTICIPATIVE, FAITH-INSPIRED. But vision and mission alone are not enough. The teacher wanted the wherewithal to make the Characteristics come alive in the classroom and in the daily life of the school. Accordingly, in 1993, the International Commission for the Apostolate of Jesuit Education prepared what is called The Ignatian Pedagogy Process (I.P.P.). It is meant to introduce into the classroom and school life an Ignatian Way of Teaching and Administering. The I.P.P. draws its inspiration from the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises and has 5 important elements: CONTEXT, EXPERIENCE, REFLECTION, ACTION AND EVALUATION. These are now applied to the ministry of teaching and learning.

By Fr. Sunny Jacob, S.J (JAM)
JEA Secretary (Since 15th october 2014)
Jesuit Residence,


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