(India). On 27 December 2021, the online meeting of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Coordinators of Education of the Interprovincial Conference of India (PCI), took place.
All the Coordinators and some Deans of the Universities of the seven FMA Provinces took part in the meeting, organized by the National Coordinator of Education, Sr. Clara Swaminathan.
Fr. Robert Simon, Delegate for Youth Ministry of South East Asia of the Salesians of Don Bosco, spoke on the topic of Artificial Intelligence, illustrating its meaning, main characteristics and impacts, and inviting the participants to deepen its applications and practical usefulness in current daily life.
The speaker pointed out that India’s National Education Policy 2020 recognizes the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and encourages students’ preparation for an AI-driven economy. The policy focuses on making education more experiential and future-oriented by building core competencies such as data analysis, computational thinking, etc. For this reason, as Salesian educators it is essential to keep up with the times, introducing AI in schools.
In fact, AI has a great impact on education: it simplifies administrative work, provides intelligent content, personalized learning, global learning, and new skills. Fr. Robert Simon highlighted some significant points about artificial intelligence and the process of introducing it. Participants felt encouraged to incorporate AI into their educational institutions.
Sr. Lolia Annie, of the Youth Ministry Sector of Rome, during her presentation congratulated the PCI Conference for having obtained official recognition from the Indian Government of the “Auxilium Group of Schools”, which includes all the FMA schools in India, because such recognition of the Institutions is a further step towards unification and the journey in synodality as PCI in the educational mission of the FMA, according to the heart of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello. Sr. Lolia also encouraged the participants to set themselves a common educational goal, vision, and mission, adapting planning to the reality of their educational environment and the needs of the territory:
“The celebration of 100 years of the presence of the FMA in India (1922-2022) is the opportune time to celebrate and revitalize the educational charism of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello in the current situation of Indian society. It is important for the Auxilium Group of Schools to walk together with a common Identity Card, updating the Founders’ principle of integral education in their respective environments”.
After the presentations, the participants continued with further reflection and planning. The online meeting is the beginning of a new path in synodal style as an Interprovincial Conference of PCI.