Introduction

The Catholic Mission under the erstwhile Imphal-Kohima Diocese and the current Kohima Diocese, has been in the forefront promoting education, health and development in the remotest corners of the state. Hitherto, the missions focused on primary and secondary education with over 100 schools catering to over 70000 students across the state every year. These institutions have produced alumni who have proved their mettle as able leaders, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, educationists and citizens of the state. More recently, the church has been making concerted efforts to amply complement the higher education initiatives of the Government through opening colleges of excellence in science, arts and commerce streams. Whereas 5 such colleges are functioning at full strength in 3 districts of Nagaland, the Church is also looking at opening similar colleges in other districts too to take higher education to the doorsteps of the youth. Vocational Training Centres along with skill building and entrepreneurship development programmes too are also taken up to address the need of the dropout and unemployed youth. Nagaland, with the combined efforts of the various stakeholders now can boast of a formidable primary and secondary education delivery system with the coverage of around 85% youth.

However, it is felt that the professional education scenario in the state needs urgent attention. More so; due to the burgeoning number of educated unemployed youth in each district and village. With the job opportunities in government and private service sector with general educational background are at saturation point, many are left to venture outside the state and the North East for further education and employment. With hundreds of Naga youth migrating to mainland India and abroad for quality professional education, a huge sum from the state’s gets diverted outside. More importantly, this scenario also adds to the deprivation of the poor as they cannot afford to opt for studies outside the state due to financial constraints. In this regard, it is heartening that policy makers and educationists have recognized the need for starting professional education colleges in the state and hence many such colleges have be initiated and many others are in the process. It is in this background that the Diocese of Kohima proposes to open an MSW College in the heart of the commercial capital of the state – Dimapur.

The Mandate and Mission of Catholic Education, (From the National Policy Statement on Catholic Education, 2007)

God envisions the well – being of the whole creation and ensures an ongoing healing, wholeness and transformation of our unjust and fragmented world through human interventions. The mission of Jesus Christ is to restore the integrity of God’s original creation, both human and material and thus build the Kingdom of God on earth. Our vision is the same as the vision of Jesus – that all may have life and have it in abundance.

Education, by its very nature is a transformative process, namely, changing human persons, and through them, society and its structures. This activity of transformation is a spiritual, humanizing and liberating activity and constitutes the core mission of education. In the knowledge society that is emerging, ‘quality education’ serves as the gateway to the socio- culture and economic development of persons and of the country. Our Mission in Education is therefore to provide:

An education of quality and relevance to all, and in particular, to the marginalized sections of the society;

An education that frees persons from the social conditioning (such as caste, class, gender and other culture-linked prejudices) which prevents them from living as free persons; and which, instead, enables them to see life as a vocation and as a gift, which enables them to make free and considered choices in the key areas that affect their personal lives, communities and society;

An education that leads the young into the sacred space of the human and of every person, making them aware of the inalienable human rights of every individual and group. This helps to foster pluralism, culture and religious diversity, individual and collective freedoms and respect for and appreciation of differences, in the face of globalized world that aggressively pushes towards economic and cultural uniformity;

An education that humanizes and contextualizes, by assisting the students to raise essential questions concerning the meaning of life and their role in society, enabling them to become conscious of their responsibility to contribute to evolving a borderless society and promoting the common good;

An education that enables the youth to understand the implications of economic policies and structures, political decisions and the media, that play a critical role in shaping people’s lives especially those of the poor, and the social responsibility of citizens as individuals and as groups to engage in pro active measures to bring both transparency and accountability;

An Education that energizes the young to take up the task of contributing to nation- building, so as to evolve a New Inclusive Indian Society, an India of their dreams, which they can own with pride;

An education that thus forms the young to evolve as men women of character, competence, conscience, compassion and commitment, who will then contribute to the evolution of a counter- culture to the present ruthlessly competitive model, by promoting collaboration and cooperation for the growth of all, in a climate of mutual trust and sharing; and to the shockingly corrupt society, by fostering uprightness in public life;

An education which nurtures an encounter with God as a personal event and a free response to the call to faith and which nurtures a life of meaning, purpose and personalized values, including appreciation of other faiths.

Why Master of Social Work College in Nagaland?

Social Work, as a profession has been attracting a lot of young people while making their career choices. The profession, though became an academic subject in the early part of the last century, the subject has been limited comparatively few universities and colleges. The sudden spurt in the professional education scenario in India in the later part of the century gave boost to social work education too. However, in the north east India, like the other professional courses, Social Work too was introduced rather recently. However, there are hundreds of youth opting for the course but with the limited number of colleges and seats, a formidable number of them go to the mainland India institutions for pursuing their course. In this regard, it should also be noted that while the courses offered by the colleges outside north east are at par with national and international standards, the approaches are often based on the social situations in the particular states or region. This, more often than not, is not replicable in the scenario of the North Eastern states which have a distinct identity and culture than that of the rest of India. In this regard that the Peace Channel, under the guidance and patronage of the Diocese of Kohima, would like to start the first ever MSW college in Nagaland offering specialization in Peace and Conflict Transformation as well as Youth Development.

The Management

North East Institute of Social Sciences and Research Dimapur, Nagaland, has the privilege of being the first Master of Social Work College, stated by the Catholic Church in Nagaland. It is planning to affiliate to the Nagaland University. The Management of the College is with the Diocese of Kohima, Nagaland. The Bishop constitutes the Governing Body of the college. The Bishop of Nagaland, who is the President of the Governing Body, constitutes the managing committee of the college as per the rules and regulations of the Society and keeping with the norms laid down by the University.