In his speech, Fr García Morcuende explained that “returning to schools alone is not enough; it is necessary to start over from the community level. Children need to return to a home, a Salesian environment with a family atmosphere.”
For the General Councilor, the factors that have helped the Salesian reality in this time of pandemic have been three: a richness that was not noticed before; the quality of educators and management teams, and the construction of meaningful responses in the face of the uncertainty of the times.
Then, wondering how to be protagonists of this new form of evangelization and education, he suggested: "We must be critical, because this time is an opportunity to strengthen our educational pastoral proposal, to work better on the curriculum and to reinterpret ourselves as educators."
His presentation ended with a breakdown of seven key points within the school, which were already present before the pandemic.
The first was asking how the educational spaces are being conducted and recognizing the leadership of the management teams, reflecting on school education, creativity and the ability to adapt to a changing reality. “We must put the well-being of our young people first. For us, education is not a transfer of knowledge, but an encounter, an experience," he said.
The second point is that educators get involved, challenge and renew themselves, that "they let themselves be educated, because we are in a school of lifelong learning," he said - in addition to rethinking the construction of a community that fully educates for the development of the different dimensions of education.
Later he also postulated the need to create warm and friendly learning environments and the search for a permanent preparation of the teaching profession, both pedagogical and spiritual, because, he said, "to be educators is to be deeply spiritual people, we must build bonds with young people and other educators."
He emphasized that schools need to learn a lot about digital resources in the post-Covid-19 world. “Digital skills are here to stay and we need to keep moving from paper to the cloud. We must enter the playing field of young people and make educational work more engaging.”
The meeting ended with the words of synthesis and thanks from Sister Ivone Goulart, collaborator of the General Councilor for Youth Ministry of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and Fr Claudio Cartes, Head of the Office for Schools and Vocational Training in America in the Salesian Youth Ministry Department.
The next appointment will take place on Wednesday 19 May at 10:00 (UTC-4) and will deal with the “Preventive System: a citizen pedagogy at the service of life”.