Pope Francis

Education: A new cultural model

Pope Francis' video message for the meeting on the "Global Pact for Education". Seven commitments for a global approach, founded upon the Church's Social Doctrine.
Pope Francis

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

When I invited you to begin this process of preparation, consultation and planning for a global pact on education, we could never have imagined the situation that has developed in the meantime. The Covid crisis has accelerated and magnified many of the issues and needs that we had identified, and has uncovered numerous others as well. Concerns about health care are now accompanied by economic and social concerns. Educational systems worldwide have felt the effects of the pandemic at every level.

Attempts have been made everywhere to offer a rapid response through online educational platforms. These have brought to light a marked disparity in educational and technological opportunities, but they have also made us realize that, due to the lockdown and many other already existing needs, large numbers of children and adolescents have fallen behind in the natural process of schooling. Recent statistics from international agencies have led some to speak, perhaps somewhat hastily, of an “educational catastrophe”, inasmuch as some ten million children were forced to leave school as a result of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. This has only increased an already alarming gap (with over 250 million school age children excluded from all educational activities).

Faced with this dramatic situation, we know that necessary health care measures will prove inadequate unless accompanied by a new cultural model. We have become more conscious of the need to change our model of development. In order to ensure that the dignity of the human person is respected and protected, development ought to start from the opportunity that global interdependence offers to communities and peoples to care for our common home and to foster peace. We are experiencing a comprehensive crisis that cannot be reduced or limited to any single sector. It affects everything. The pandemic has led us to realize that what is really in crisis is our way of understanding reality and of relating to one another [...]

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