Nagpur (Fides Service) - Education has always been an important field of service for the Catholic community in India. All over the country Catholic schools province high level of education appreciated and sought after and in many schools the pupils are mainly non-Christians.
In the context of the highly scientific commitment recently in Nagpur (Maharashtra, west India) a College was opened to provide university education in four areas: computer science, telecommunications, mechanics and electrical engineering.
A. R. Dapat, headmaster of the College which is run by the Pallotine Fathers says the college offers 60 places for each area of study and the courses include extra-curricular activity, including language courses since members of the Pallotine community speak Chinese, English, French and German.
The College recognised by the India Council for Technical Education is affiliated to the University of Nagpur. It has 60 laboratories with modern technology. Libraries, reading room. It has students' residences for boys and girls run by a community of Brothers and a community of Pallotine Sisters, founded by Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850).
Considering that education is fundamental for individuals and society the Catholic community has always devoted much energy to providing schools and raising the literacy rate promoting free contribution of private bodies in the field of education like that offered by Catholic schools.
At present bishops, headmasters experts, Catholic teachers are examining a “Free and Compulsory Bill”, which should reorganise education in India and provide free compulsory schooling for children aged 6 to 14. The basic critism raised by the Catholic community is the lack of a Common School System for children of every caste, class or religion.
According to UNICEF, at least half of the 130 million of the world’s children who have never been to school not even for a day live in India where the literacy rate is 35% and rises to 55% among poorest groups, in a population of more than one billion.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/7/2004 lines 32 words 324)