“May we be sustained by the conviction that education bears within itself a seed of hope: the hope of peace and justice; the hope of beauty and goodness; the hope of social harmony,” the Pope said in his message. “We must move forward, all of us together, each as we are, but always looking ahead to the building of a civilization of harmony and unity, in which there will be no room for the terrible pandemic of the throw-away culture.”
Pope Francis on Thursday 15th October, appealed to every sector of society across the globe to subscribe to and support the Global Pact on Education.
The initiative promotes the values of care for others, peace, justice, goodness, beauty, acceptance, and fraternity in order to build hope, solidarity and harmony everywhere.
The Pope made the appeal in a video message at the relaunch of the Global Pact on Education during a virtual event on Thursday at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University. See Video Message from Pope Francis – Global Pact for Education
Education pact – a seed of hope
The Pact, sponsored by the Congregation for Catholic Education, is meant to encourage change on a global scale, so that education may become a creator of fraternity, peace, and justice. According to the Pope, the pact is “to ensure that everyone has access to a quality education consonant with the dignity of the human person and our common vocation to fraternity.”
“The value of our educational practices,” the Pope said, “will be measured not simply by the results of standardized tests, but by the ability to affect the heart of society and to help give birth to a new culture.” The Holy Father said he believes “a different world is possible”, and this calls for the involvement of “every aspect of our humanity, both as individuals and in our communities.”
Pope Francis concluded his video message summarising in 8 points how the Global Compact on Education intends to ensure “everyone has access to a quality education consonant with the dignity of the human person and our common vocation to fraternity.”
Defining principles of the Global Education Pact
The pontiff read a list defining the principles of his global education pact. The first declared “human persons” at the centre of this initiative:
“To make human persons in their value and dignity the centre of every educational programme, both formal and informal, in order to foster their distinctiveness, beauty and uniqueness, and their capacity for relationship with others and with the world around them, while at the same time teaching them to reject lifestyles that encourage the spread of the throwaway culture.”
The others were:
- to “listen” to children and young people;
- to “encourage” the education of women;
- to understand the family as the first school;
- to “educate and be educated” about the need to accept and be open to “the most vulnerable and marginalized”;
- to create new concepts of economics, politics, growth, and progress that serve everyone “within the context of an integral ecology”;
- and to preserve the environment.
On this seventh point, Pope Francis committed himself to a radical environmentalism, one that calls for a “circular economy” where waste and pollution are eliminated and all resources are renewable.
The partners in the “Global Pact on Education” aim, therefore:
“to safeguard and cultivate our common home, protecting it from the exploitation of its resources, and to adopt a more sober lifestyle marked by the use of renewable energy sources and respect for the natural and human environment, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity, solidarity, and a circular economy.”
The Global Pact on Education event was supposed to take place in May but was postponed until yesterday because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition: The evolution of a charism
Note: Joining Pope Francis at the virtual relaunch of the education pact were the Director-General of the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, representatives of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, and representatives of a number of Italian universities.