Today, the Church is going through a difficult period linked to the scandals related to paedophilia. The Catholic School must therefore be particularly vigilant about the protection of children against any form of abuse, which it cannot tolerate if it wishes to remain exemplary. Beyond sexual abuse alone, it must courageously meet this challenge and promote in each country, for each school, tools for the prevention and protection of minors, such as guidelines, protection standards, adapted training tools for teachers and a successful recruitment procedure for masters. It must also educate young people about human sexuality.
Catholic education must be thought beyond school. In fact, more than 50 million children from the most vulnerable groups are excluded each year from the school system. While it is unfortunately not possible to imagine offering an immediate solution to all these children, it is nevertheless essential to support the efforts of the organizations and congregations that engage on the ground for the protection of children. When children are in great danger (unaccompanied minors, child soldiers, refugees, child labor, slavery, prostitution, etc.), the Catholic school remains concerned and mobilized to find solutions. It is networked with those who act in the field.
Lab 7 : For the design of tools and resources adapted to the preservation objective of the Common House
Education is not just a matter of principle. It is also based on the production of methods, tools, and publishing, serving the innovative goals of education. Catholic schools, taking into account their prophetic responsibility for the preservation education of the Common House, must contribute to the experimentation and dissemination of pedagogical methods. They do this with the help of universities, congregations, educational research centers, publishers of textbooks or software.
Lab 6 : For a positive and constructive presence in the international organizations (Education 2030 – SGD 4)
The right to education is a human right (Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Catholic schools are represented, through the OIEC, within the United Nations system: ECOSOC (Geneva and New York) and UNESCO (Paris). They are also represented in the Council of Europe. Within these bodies, the representatives of the OIEC act to support the freedom of education on the one hand, and especially for the defense, in connection with other NGOs, of the right to education for all. Today, the international community is involved in a 2030 Education program, which the OIEC supports. It is therefore up to the Catholic schools of the world to contribute more to the debate on the formulation of indicators of quality education on the one hand (SDG4) and the educational policies of the States on the other.
Lab 5 : For a quality education, inspired by the Gospel and oriented towards the preservation of the Common House (Laudato Si)
The world, our world, the Common House, is in danger, threatened by serious climatic and ecological dysfunctions produced by economic development based on hyperbolic growth and disrespectful of nature and associated human activities. The United Nations has made commitments, the famous SDGs. Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si invites us to become aware of this reality and to act responsibly for the safeguarding of the common house. Catholic schools must make a firm commitment to support the commitments of the international community by developing within each school, large or small, structuring educational projects for quality education (SDG4) and awareness of each student. that he can become an actor in the safeguarding of the common house.
Throughout the world, Catholic schools must seek a commitment to teacher training and leadership that takes into account education in a contemporary reality of emergencies (that is, there is has no time to lose!) and that produces strategies of struggle: fight against school failure, against early school leaving, against school dropout, against the desocialization of adolescents, against illiteracy, against violence in schools , against communitarianism within the establishment, etc.). Training centers and Catholic Universities must work tirelessly to train leaders who are as invested with this educational responsibility within their institution as were the founders of congregations.
The Catholic schools, strongly inspired by the message of the Gospel, have the vocation to offer the educational service for all, and especially for the poorest. They thus develop a particular attention to each one, and go to meet, sometimes against, of those who come from the most vulnerable groups. They commit themselves to practice inclusion and to develop and adapt their own educational structures adapted to the needs of the most forgotten young people living in its periphery.
The Catholic school is a school participating in the public service of education in each country. Its purpose is not to earn money, but to make the service of education for all, in the tradition of the great Christian educators who founded congregations engaged in the service of education. Because she is Catholic, she is a body of hope, founded by her attachment to living and witnessing the Gospel, and in connection with the local Church. It must therefore bear witness to this hope and commit to educating each student in the meaning of his life and transcendence.
The contemporary realities of the world force educators to constantly adapt and formulate innovative educational proposals. Among the realities that Catholic schools undertake to take into account, we can note the need for a culture of dialogue between students from different religions; solidarity education in relation to situations of extreme poverty; education for sustainable development; an education for peace and human rights. These innovations should help each student and each member of the educational community to become an agent of change.