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Belgium - Salesian participation at 2nd European Summit on Education

04 October 2019

(ANS - Brussels) - Fr Tarcizio Morais, SDB, coordinator of the School and Vocational Training office in the Salesian Youth Ministry Department, and Renato Cursi, Executive Secretary of Don Bosco International (DBI), took part in the second European Summit on Education, which took place in Brussels on Thursday 26 September. Organized by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), the event was dedicated in particular to the profile of teachers. In fact, the title of this second edition was "Teachers first: excellence and prestige for the European educational area."

The summit was opened by Tibor Navracsics, outgoing Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. In fact, from November, DG EAC of the European Commission will be replaced by DG "Innovation and Youth" (this is the title chosen by the new President of the European Commission, Ursula Van Der Leyen). This new Commission will be led by Mariya Gabriel, a former Digitalization Commissioner. Some concerns have been raised among the civil society organizations in Brussels because some fear that the focus is more on digitization and less on the holistic approach to education.

Also speaking were Senator Mario Monti, President of the Bocconi University of Milan, and Prof. Christoph Schiebold, a professor at the Montessori International School in Brussels. Sen. Monti commemorated the anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci, a model for culture in Europe, and also mentioned the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis' Laudato Sì as an excellent link for future European integration. Professor Schiebold stressed the importance of never giving up in the face of the challenges of life and education.


The session then proceeded to analyze the data of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regarding teaching and learning. In the afternoon, several workshops were held that touched on topics such as the challenges of digitalisation, classroom experiences, teacher training, inclusive education, professional excellence, foreign language teaching, Erasmus+ mobility, Europe and citizenship education.

The Salesians of Don Bosco are present in 20 of the 27 countries of the European Union and in many other non-EU European countries, and work with and for young people in the field of education. This Summit was therefore relevant for Salesian Youth Ministry, providing information on some of the educational trends across the continent. The DBI and the Youth Ministry Department promote policies at the service of the integral and complete development of children and young people.

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