By Linda Bordoni
The Global Compact on Education is an initiative, promoted by the Vatican and by Pope Francis who has invited leaders of world religions, international and humanitarian organizations as well as representatives of all branches of civil society to commit to shape the future of humanity by forming mature individuals who can overcome division and care for the planet.
When and where
The date is 14 May 2020, the place is the Vatican. The Pope issued the invitation in a message in September 2019 in which he said “Never before has there been such need to unite our efforts in a broad educational alliance, to form mature individuals capable of overcoming division and antagonism, and to restore the fabric of relationships for the sake of a more fraternal humanity.”
In the lead-up and following the event, which takes place on the fifth anniversary of the encyclical “Laudato Sì”, a series of thematic seminars and workshops have been organized relating to human rights, peacebuilding, interreligious dialogue as well as issues directly concerning the Pact for Education.
‘Education. The Global Compact.’
The Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences is hosting one of these on 6 and 7 February entitled “Education. The Global Compact”.
The diverse panel includes men and women who are engaged in all levels of education both in developing countries and in rich nations. Discussion focusses on how to make education in public schools more human and equitable, more engaging and fulfilling, more relevant to the disparate needs of economies and societies around the world.
It also examines the promise of technology to reach and engage children who currently have little or no opportunities for learning and addresses the effects of growing inequality and unchecked climate change on education as well as the tools to reverse the effects of both.
Investing in the talents of all
As the Pope explained, the “Global Compact on Education” is an educational pact in which to invest in the talents of all, to raise awareness and create a wave of responsibility for the common good of humanity, starting with young people (and always placing the human person at the center).
In charge of coordinating the event is Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
He explained that on the one hand the event is an opportunity for raising awareness and giving value to what so many people and institutions are already doing in the world, on the other, it is a starting point for setting out and sharing objectives in order to give life to new projects that promote models of coexistence that offer an alternative to those of an individualistic society that is poor in human values and prospects of hope.
All those who have been invited to participate are asked to do so according to their respective roles, forming a network of open, human relationships.
Finally, for the alliance to succeed fraternity must be allowed to flourish and discrimination swept aside, and as the Pope has reiterated: the first step is finding “the courage to place the human person at the center.”