A Mobile School – Bringing Education to Migrant Children in Goa, India

  • Marian de SouzaEmail author


Catholic schools in India are part of a faith based education system that has had a long and rich history dating back to the fifteenth century with the arrival of the Christian missionaries. Initially, the schools were run by European Religious Orders but since Indian Independence in 1947, the teaching staff and the governance of the schools were gradually taken over by Indian religious and lay people. In general, the schools aim to be inclusive and cater for a range of students from different religious and social backgrounds and most have a reputation for offering a high standard of education. A fairly recent innovation in Catholic schooling in India is the development of mobile schools. This has been generated by an initiative of the Indian Government ‘to provide for a variety of interventions for universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in elementary education and improving the quality of learning.’ Some Religious Orders saw this as an opportunity to fulfil their mission to reach children on the edges of society, the marginalized. The Salesians are one of these Religious Congregations that became involved in the Government’s Project. The Salesian Religious Congregation was founded by John (Don) Bosco (1815–1888) in Italy and their mission is founded on Don Bosco’s vision to offer learning and education to boys who lived on the margins of society. This study examines the mission, organization, curriculum and pedagogy of one Mobile School which is part of the Indian Government’s Mobile School Project: the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyanan. The school is being run by the Salesian Religious Congregation in Goa in collaboration with the Goa Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (GSSA). The main purpose is to provide useful and relevant elementary education for all children in the 6–14 age group with particular attention being given to promoting access for marginalized children to bridge social, regional and gender gaps. The study identifies the positive achievements of the school as well as those areas that may require further consideration.


Mobile schools Catholic schools (in India) Primary Secondary and higher secondary Salesian religious congregation Goa Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan John (Don) Bosco (1815–1888) Preventive system Salesian provinces Christian missionaries Marginalized Access to education Values of human kindness Love Compassion and dignity Catholic church Declaration on Christian education Gravissimum educationis: Sacred congregation for Catholic education Catholic Bishops’ conference of India Religious and lay people The Catholic directory of India Catholic education and the Church’s concern for the marginalized. Who are the marginalizedDalit Conscientization People’s empowerment Amorevolezza Loving kindness Cognitive learning Affective learning Spiritual dimension Spirituality Connectedness Diocesan Catechetical Centre Goa Catechetical Education catechesis Multifaith/interreligious education Religious diversity Pluralistic Human rights 



I would like to express my deep appreciation to Fr Jose Sequeira, The Director, and Ethel De Souza, The Coordinator of the Mobile School who generously gave their time to meet with me, thus enabling me to conduct this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationAustralian Catholic UniversityBallaratAustralia

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