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Côte d’Ivoire: Stakeholders of Catholic education encouraged to rediscover their mission.

“Education in Côte d’Ivoire at the service of evangelisation and integral human development” is the theme of a pilgrimage organised recently for Catholic education stakeholders.

Vatican News with Marcel Ariston Ble, Abidjan - Côte d'Ivoire.

The national pilgrimage of the Catholic education stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire took place at the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro. The purpose was to encourage education stakeholders to fully live their Catholic faith and rediscover the foundation of their vocation in the mission of education.

The gathering brought together all those who work in Catholic education in Côte d’Ivoire for a two days pilgrimage in Yamoussoukro. It was an Ivorian Bishops’ Conference initiative implemented by its Commission for Catholic education. For two days, activities revolved around the theme, “Education in Côte d’Ivoire at the service of evangelisation and integral human development.” Recitation of the rosary, presentations from leading speakers, teachings, exchanges in workshops, Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament were some of the activities that took place during the national pilgrimage.

The vocation of teaching

According to the organisers, the idea was to allow stakeholders of Catholic education re-live their faith fully and to help them rediscover the roots of their vocation as educators in the Church.

“This has been one of the major challenges of the past few years. We have realised that there is a slackening in our Catholic education system. It is why we organised this pilgrimage,” said Father Jean-Luc Assoi N’Dreman, National Executive Secretary of the Catholic Education of Côte d’Ivoire. He added, “We would like to see progress in Catholic education in all our schools.”

During his presentation to the Ivorian Catholic educators, Fr Jean-Luc spoke about “Education in the magisterium of Pope Francis.” For his part, Father Artur Kola, chargé d’affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Côte d’Ivoire, invited educators and teachers to keep their minds open to today’s realities. He said that learners are attracted to active and open-minded teachers. It is this attitude that teachers should strive to transmit to their learners.

Catholic education and commercial success

The pilgrimage ended with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Bishop of Man Diocese, Gaspard Beby Gnéba. As President of the Episcopal Commission for Education, Bishop Gnéba implored the educators not to “let Catholic schools and institutions in Côte d’Ivoire become mere commercial enterprises.” The Catholic school “must focus more on respect for the human person, formation and accompany students to grow and become protagonists of society,” he said.

Bishop Gnéba further invited Ivorian Catholic education personnel not to lose hope despite the challenges of the moment. The prelate urged Catholic teachers to cultivate a spirit of collaboration to “face and overcome the difficulties of the present times.”

Education and faith formation

Continuing his exhortation, the Episcopal Commission for Education President insisted on the faith formation dimension of education. He called on the actors of the Ivorian Catholic education system to live their faith in all aspects of their daily lives.

“It is with God’s help that we can succeed, be happy and build an integral and balanced society,” he said. He invited stakeholders of Ivorian Catholic education to “give back to Catholic education its true identity: Inclusive schools, open to all, to the poor, to the rich, to believers and non-believers,” he said.

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12 December 2022, 12:35