Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): Experts of various nationalities discussed Catholic Education

“Educating is an act of hope” was the motto of the recent Congress of Catholic Education , where different educational entities participated. The event held on October 12 and 13 was attended by more than 60 experts from different countries who met to discuss education and the challenges that exist today in the midst of the pandemic . This dialogue is born from the certainty that education is an act of hope that can affect the heart of a society and give birth to a new culture. Freedom, teaching vocation, mission and sense of education were the main themes of the panels in these two days of congress , where schools, colleges, universities, technical and professional centers participated.

The winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2019 , Peter Tabichi, was the one who gave the inaugural conference of the Congress and highlighted that the great challenge we have as a society has to do with the teaching vocation:

“If we don’t have good teachers we won’t be able to have good students, we won’t have a good society, it will be a society without values,” said Tabichi, who is a Franciscan brother from Kenya. And he also explained that “if you want to make a change you need to have peace, you cannot give peace to other people if you do not have it in your heart. And for that, you must have a personal encounter with Jesus and that will give you conversion ”.

“We seek to show new horizons of hospitality and solidarity between the different generations and with a very special focus on the value of transcendence, where we can build a new culture that affects the very heart of society” – rector Ignacio Sánchez

The rector Ignacio Sánchez also referred to the challenges of education that the pandemic has generated and the alarming gap it has caused among students, given the marked disparity in technological and educational opportunities . “We thus want to be a space for sharing and transforming this sterile and paralyzing logic of the indifference of another different logic, capable of welcoming our common belonging (…) We seek, then, to show new horizons of hospitality and solidarity between the different generations and with a very special focus on the value of transcendence where we can build a new culture that affects the very heart of society, “said the rector.

Along the same lines, Fracesc Pedró, director of the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean , explained what the effects of the pandemic are being on higher education and the way in which our institutions can try tackling the undesirable defects you are having on quality and equity. He assured in his lecture that during this time of pandemic, students manifest having greater difficulties, an inability to maintain, to which is also added a personal and pedagogical disconnection . “Hardly a student can spend more than 20 minutes on a screen. We have transferred what we did in person to the screen ”and for this reason he reinforced that a“ pedagogical reengineering ”is necessary.

For his part, José María de Corral, director of Scholas Occurrentes , spoke of the educational catastrophe presented by the pandemic and the need for good teachers. “A teacher does not last an hour or a day. A teacher is a vocation. Be a teacher even when you sleep. It is neither authoritarian nor demagogic. A teacher creates a community capable of celebrating life. What educates is the encounter and the encounter is what makes a teacher capable of becoming a craftsman. We need teachers who are craftsmen of humanity. Young people have all that strength, that desire to find meaning, ”del Corral stressed.

“We need teachers who are craftsmen of humanity. Young people have all that strength, that desire to find meaning” -José María Del Corral, director of Scholas Occurrentes

Freedom from identity, the meaning of education, and more
The meeting also featured four panels led by specialists from the world of education and a moderator. The themes were: freedom from identity, sense of education, teaching vocation and educational mission , generating in all of them an enriching dialogue where the audience could also participate with questions and comments.

The congress ended with the presentation of the book “Catholic Education in Latin America, a project in progress”, by the editors Patricia Imbarack and Cristóbal Madero . At the event, the UC rector Ignacio Sánchez affirmed that “the religious situation of the continent has undergone changes that are very relevant, in many cases caused by internal crises. We are faced with a new reality. A Christianity that leaves the territory, that leaves the institutions and that is secularized. This is the framework in which this publication arises ”.

The Congress of Catholic Education was sponsored by ODUCAL (Organization of Catholic Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean) and FIUC (International Federation of Catholic Universities) and had the support of more than 80 educational institutions. It was organized by Pastoral UC, the Academic Vice-Rectory, the Communications Vice-Rectory, the Faculty of Education, and the Catholic Religion Pedagogy Program.

Comments are closed.