In 1945, the first Catholic Education Congress took place in Bogotá, encouraged by the National Confederation of Private Catholic Schools of Colombia – today known as CONACED – leaders from the Pontifical Xavierian University, backed by Ismael Perdomo, Archbishop of Bogotá at the time. Thirteen countries participated; these thirteen countries created the CIEC on 7th June of the same year. The city of Bogotá was chosen as the headquarters of the permanent committee, which would be charged with consolidating the aspiring Confederation, created before the Inter-American Congress, and establishing a dissemination body.
The CIEC is currently a non-profit civil rights institution, serving Education in the Americas. Its aims are:
To transmit and apply educational principles inspired by evangelical values.
To promote educational quality, comprehensive teaching, defense of life and a sensible use of the environnement.
To help families to assume their educational role responsibly, thanks to training, support and evaluation.
To ensure that the right to universal to education is respected, especially amongst the poor and vulnerable groups.
Ensure that families’ right to freely choose the type of education and the educational centre of their children.
To cooperate with different organisations in order to create policies and implement the entreprise’s social responsibility.
Little by little, members from other countries joined the Confederation, making the number 24 today. The Confederation of Colombia has published the “Pedagogical Review”, which served as inspiration to create the “Inter-American Educational Review “, now called “Education Today”. Twenty Congresses have been organised in different capitals. The following themes have been tackled: the philosophy of education; the contrubution of Catholic education to the development of the Americas; school as an educational community; an educational methodology within and for justice; family reunions.
The CIEC provides services in the following fields:
Their work deals with urban, indigenous and rural populations, as well as marginalised and vulnerable sectors of society. The CIEC has contact with more than 50,000 educational centres, 30 million students, 10 million families and 900,000 educators.
Over the coming years, the CIEC suggests reinforcing the following lines of action:
Increase the feeling of belonging of all the affilated countries and establish more fluid communication channels between them.
Promote the secretary general’s role as a leader.
Focus on lines of action that are currently priority in the whole continent in matters of education: family orientation and education, support for the socially excluded, quality education, etc.
Create interdisciplinary, international reflexion and evaluation groups for education.
Promote the continuing education of all the staff who work in our centres.
Better economic establishment of our plans and projects.
Expand the service that CIEC provides to all non-Spanish-speaking countries in the region (English, French Portuguese and Dutch speaking).
Establish permanent, dynamic synergies with other Catholic Education Federations in the world and with other Institutions pursuing the same objectives.