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Circular letter of the Congregation for Catholic Education

September 11, 2020

The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education published on September 10 a circular letter addressed to schools, universities and educational institutions.

Part of reality:

The spread of COVID-19 has profoundly changed our existence and way of life: “we are scared and lost. Like the disciples of the Gospel, we were caught by an unexpected and furious storm. Economic and social difficulties were added to the health difficulties. Education systems around the world have suffered from the pandemic at both the school and academic levels. Efforts have been made everywhere to ensure rapid response through digital platforms for distance learning, but their effectiveness has been constrained by a marked disparity in educational and technological opportunities. According to recent data provided by international organizations, around ten million children will not be able to access education in the coming years, which will increase the existing educational gap.

It highlights how despite the dramatic economic situation of many Catholic schools and universities, many Catholic educational institutions have been able to place themselves at the forefront of educational concern, putting themselves at the service of the ecclesial and civil community, ensuring a public educational and cultural service for the benefit of the entire community.

It refers to some of the challenges that this pandemic has left us:

– The educational environment formed by people who meet, interacting directly and “in presence”, is the very substance of this relationship of exchange and dialogue (between teachers and students), essential for the formation of the person and for a critical understanding of reality.

– The contribution of teachers – which has changed profoundly over the years, both from a social and technical point of view – needs to be supported through solid continuous training that knows how to respond to the needs of the times, without losing that synthesis between faith, culture and life, which is the peculiar key to our educational mission.

– It is necessary to always put the relationship with the specific person and between the real people that make up the educational community at the center of educational action.

– The need for an increasingly communal and shared educational pact that – relying on the Gospel and the teachings of the Church – contributes, in generous and open synergy, to the dissemination of an authentic culture of encounter.

– Contribute to the realization of an educational alliance that has the objective of «finding the common step to rekindle the commitment by and with the young generations, renewing the passion for a more open and inclusive education, capable of patient listening, constructive dialogue and mutual understanding. Promote it through a more integrated cooperation network.

As Daughters of Jesus, the underlining that makes points of the Global Compact for Education resonates with us and that fully affect the world situation due to the impact of Covid-19. Catholic education, our schools, putting the person at the center, seeking their integral formation, are always working in that direction.

Now with more force and, many times, assuming enormous challenges when poverty and inequality become more evident.

Read the full Letter here