"ESA IV is the way forward for the school in America, with a clear Catholic and Salesian identity," said Fr Fabio Attard, Councillor General for Youth Ministry. ESA IV is a splendid reality where there are 800 Salesian Institutes and quality education for thousands of young people on an entire continent."
The identity and mission of the Salesian School in America, the young people who attend, the socio-educational and socio-political conditions of students and of the context, education for global citizenship and the ongoing formation of the teachers – these were some of the many topics dealt with in the four sessions of the conference.
In particular, ESA IV participants addressed four areas at regional level:
- Attention to students' educational needs.
- The ongoing formation of the agents of the educative-pastoral community.
- The quality of the educative-pastoral proposal: to re-evaluate the Preventive System in the school, the Salesian style of education (the oratorian heart) as practical pedagogy in a changing world that appears to be meaningless, and the development of the spiritual dimension.
- Management of the school and vocational training centres (sustainability / significance of schools and vocational training centres).
In the closing ceremony, gratitude was expressed to the working team formed by the Central Commission and the staff of the St Louis Bertrand Province of Colombia-Medellin who hosted ESA IV. In particular, thanks were expressed to Fr Miguel Ángel García Morcuende, who accompanied this great event as coordinator and who now completes his work at the Youth Ministry Department and is preparing to return to his Province of origin, Spain-Madrid.
At the end of the meeting, the names of the members who will coordinate the Salesian school in the continent were announced: Fr René Santos for the Salesians, and Sr Ivone Goulart, for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
"10% of those who work in our schools are Salesian and 90% are lay people who take on fully the charism and offer a quality educational proposal," concluded Fr Attard. “ESA IV is a living reality that looks to the future with hope."