Claretian Educators Gather Virtually for Transforming Education Dialogue

Mar 8, 2024 | UN Presence, Education Ministry

New York. On 4 March 2024, a virtual session convened by the Claretian team at the United Nations in New York and invited a group of Claretian Educators, for a conversation on global education. Fr. Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF, Director of Sanyasa, the Institute of Consecrated Life, India, moderated this gathering, titled “Claretian Conversation on Transforming Education,” aimed to contribute substantively to the impending UN Summit of the Future.

Since 2022, the United Nations has actively engaged with stakeholders worldwide in preparation for the “Summit of the Future,” termed a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” by Secretary-General António Guterres. Scheduled for September 2024, the summit seeks to forge a global consensus on humanity’s future and devise actionable steps to secure it.

At the heart of the dialogue were the 11 policy briefs outlined in Guterres’ report ‘Our Common Agenda,’ emphasizing the importance of ‘A Pact for the Future.’ This document, currently in the zero-draft stage, will be collaboratively formulated and ratified during intergovernmental negotiations at the summit. Pope Francis has similarly launched the Global Compact on Education to ensure that education fosters peace, justice, and mutual understanding.

As part of the commitment to global consultation, Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-onlus, holding UN ECOSOC consultative status, actively contributes through various avenues. The education conversation is one of the efforts of the Claretian Team at the UN aimed at addressing education issues, as highlighted in the Secretary-General’s policy briefs. Ten esteemed Claretian Educators from diverse corners of the globe engaged in rigorous discourse across four distinct rounds, delving into crucial aspects of the global educational landscape.

The initial round focused on understanding the gravity and varied manifestations of the twin crises of equity and relevance in education, as identified by the UN Secretary-General.

Attention then shifted towards evaluating proposed solutions, including recommendations from the UN Secretary-General, propositions from Pope Francis, and demands from the Youth Declaration during the Transforming Education Summit at the UN in 2022. Discussions revolved around identifying which recommendations and proposals held the greatest potential for addressing the pressing issues at hand, considering their relevance, urgency, and feasibility within specific contexts.

The third round saw participants transitioning from discussion to action, articulating concrete demands directed towards governments to facilitate transformative changes in education to ensure progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4.

In the final round, reflections centered on ongoing efforts within Claretian educational institutions to advance equity in education and the importance of translating aspirations into practical policies.  While acknowledging these efforts, participants underscored the necessity of translating aspirations into practical policies that align with the visions articulated in the UN and Ecclesial Dreams of transformative education. Key themes included the importance of fostering relevance in educational practices, promoting lifelong learning initiatives, prioritizing teacher training programs focused on instilling core values, and integrating digital tools into the educational framework to enhance learning outcomes.

This collaborative effort exemplifies the unwavering commitment of Claretian Educators to harness the power of education as an instrument of profound social transformation.

The Following Claretians were the panellists:

  • Allwyn Mendoz CMF – Province of Northeast India (ASCLA West)
  • Felix Martinez CMF – East Asia Delegation (ASCLA East)
  • Mauricio Ulep – Rohel Gallardo Province (ASCLA East)
  • Salustiano Oyono CMF – Padre Xifre Delegation (ACLA)
  • Kenneth Opara CMF – Province of East Nigeria (ACLA)
  • Marita Leineiker – Province  of San Jose del Sur (MICLA)
  • Claudio Bastos CMF – Province of Brasil (MICLA)
  • Enrique Aponte CMF – Province of Colombia-Ecuador (MICLA)
  • Miguel Angel Velasco CMF – Province of Santiago (ECLA)
  • James Castro CMF – Province of Fatima (ECLA)

Source: Fr. Rohan Dominic, CMF, CMF at UN Team.

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