|RMG – Schools and Salesian Vocational Training 2/5: Europe|
(ANS – Rome) – Starting today ANS is providing information about Salesian schools and vocational training around the world. There will be five presentations of the nature and progress of the work taking place in the five continents. The starting point is the presentation of the Office for schools and technical vocational training which is an integral part of the Youth Ministry Department.
Its objective is to provide a service which animates and accompanies Salesian educative-pastoral work up to pre-university level (infants, primary, secondary, high-school and technical vocational training), giving the Congregation a presence in the educational field.
The four aims of the Office:
The first is to foster and encourage the specific identity of a school which evangelises, by promoting constant reflection and dialogue in the various contexts. To this end it provides documents and publications which indicate the paths to be followed in order to create a Salesian school which is evangelically significant in today’s world. It offers days of reflection at Regional and at Continental level focusing on the creation and maintenance of an identity as educational institutions that are Catholic and with a Salesian inspiration.
The second is providing accompaniment for Provincials and those responsible for Salesian schools in their work of animation and government. This is one of the special tasks of the Department. “We support them in their role of animation so that they may be able to respond tp the new situations in which they find themselves.” Says Fr Miguel Angel Garcia, the one responsible for the School Office. “In some regions, the role of the Department is also that of calling and organising meetings for those responsible at Province level for schools and vocational training centres, suited to their particular circumstances.”
The third is the provision of strategies and means for the implementation of the Salesian Educative-Pastoral Plan of the schools. This includes offering training opportunities in the ordinary carrying out of the educative-pastoral mission of the Salesian Provinces and Regions. Encouraging the Salesian in his vocation as an educator and promoting the study in common of pastoral problems in education. The Department is present at Congresses and Seminars considering pastoral educational activities in the Regions or Continents.
Finally there is the promotion of suitable coordination of net-working among Salesian schools to strengthen their mutual awareness and the weight of their contribution in society and in the church. New technologies in this area are especially encouraged (www.salesians-europe.org) to achieve high quality educational policies. Also important is the contribution that can be made in collaborating and working together with other educational bodies and the Salesian presence in various other official bodies and organisations: the International Office for Catholic Schools; the Education Committee of the Union of Superiors General and others. Likewise there is the promotion of the creation and implementation of projects for movement and exchanges in Europe.
Down the years Salesian schools and technical vocational training centres have reached high levels of efficiency and success in their respective educational and pastoral fields. Evangelisation can certainly be achieved through culture and education.
The wealth of experience, the talented individuals and the successful institutions of the past need to continue in the activity and forward planning for the benefit of many young people of all ages in the future.
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