Since the New York Congress, we wish to make of the OIEC a living organization, grounded in its two essential missions, received from the Church when created in 1952: witness the universality of the Church through education, and represent the world’s Catholic schools at the international organizations.
The OIEC will therefore be with you and for you, committed to the global education pact that Pope Francis will present in Rome on 14 May. We know your dedication to education and the work you are doing, in each of your countries and in each of your congregations, in favor of a quality education, a vehicle of solidarity humanism and committed to the poorest and most vulnerable. We take note of your efforts to promote an inclusive school as a sign of the Gospel. We are witnesses of your faith and the Holy Spirit’s action in your educational commitments. It is this reality that allows us to say that together, from one continent to another, we are the Church. A living and prophetic Church, announcing the One who comes to save us. The OIEC will therefore engage in this Global Education Pact, with trust and hope.
Regarding the mission of representation in international organizations, we are convinced of its strong missionary aspect. The last side-event on the right to education organized on November, 19th by the Holy See’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva with the support of the OIEC, in the presence of Cardinal Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic education, is a very good example. Through our “inspired” speeches, in the presence of ambassadors, and representatives of civil society, we contribute to the development of a global awareness of the need for a more just, inclusive, respectful society for everyone and its environment.
Secretary General of the OIEC
CEEC General Assembly in Malta
CEEC members celebrated their 94th GA in Malta. The CEEC is the regional secretariat for Europe of the OIEC. This meeting provided a better understanding of the realities of Catholic schools in Malta. Malta is the smallest country in the European Union. As at each GA, members have the opportunity to exchange meaningful information on the situation of Catholic schools in their country, and to continue the discussion on topics that they have in common. The periodicity of this event (two meetings a year) allows members to know each other well and to create lasting relationships of friendship and work between them. It also allows for a good link between CEEC and OIEC. During this GA, CEEC members had the opportunity to particularly thank Mrs. Myriam Badard, secretary of the CEEC for more than 40 years. Mrs. Badard, having lived more than a hundred CEEC GA during her professional career has reached her retirement. The OIEC congratulates her and wishes her a long and happy retirement.
Congress of Escuelas catolicas in Madrid (Spain)
The Catholic schools of Spain celebrated in Madrid their biennial congress. 2000 delegates from all over Spain worked on the topic “Magister to give life”. Many speakers from Spain and other countries came to the forum to enthusiastically develop the theme of the Congress, in a very friendly atmosphere. The Congress also gave the floor to the Minister of Education of Spain, who was only partly welcomed, given his comments on the freedom of education. Let’s recall that Spain is one of the countries in the world in which there are the most students attending Catholic schools: 1.9 million, according to numbers from the World Bank.
Committee of experts ETINED (Council of Europe)
Since a couple of years, the Congregation for Catholic Education (Holy See) has entrusted the OIEC to represent it in a committee of governmental experts of the Council of Europe, called ETINED: ethics and integrity in education. This expert committee is important. It works on academic integrity and the fight against cheating and corruption in the educational systems of the Council of Europe member states. The aim is to promote the outlines of a national cross-border policy of academic integrity. The issue of cheating and corruption in education goes far beyond Europe’s borders, and the Congregation must raise awareness of the issue of academic integrity among primary, secondary and academic institutions connected to Catholic education around the world. It is a way of implementing SDG 4 of sustainable development and quality in education in ethical educational thinking.
Chidren’s global summit, Rome
Two years ago, the OIEC developed, in connection with the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Union of Major Superiors and Design for Change, the I CAN program, adapted to Catholic schools and treating the proposals of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. It was just natural for the idea to develop to organize a global gathering of children involved in this project. After a year of work, and with the help of FIDAE, Design for Chance and the City of Rome, the project became a reality in the form of a Global Children’s Summit. More than 2000 children from 40 countries around the world came to Rome from November 25th to 29th, to share more than 200 projects that they have carried out for a year in the framework of the I can project. This meeting ended with a grand closing ceremony at the Vatican, during which Pope Francis reminded of the importance of feeling responsible for the Common House and invited all participants to come and celebrate with him the creation of the Global Education Pact on May 14, 2020. On this occasion, the OIEC would like to thank especially Brother Juan Antonio Ojeda Ortiz, who has worked so hard for the success of this project which is part of the OIEC program for which he is responsible: I can. We wish to make this summit of children a regular meeting.
General Assembly of MENA, Istanbul
From 15 to 18 October, the MENA GA took place for the first time in Istanbul (Turkey). All MENA member countries were present. The reality of education in Turkey was presented. French Catholic high schools in Turkey described their educational and social commitments, including the presentation of a moving solidarity project with children (mainly Syrians) who are refugees in Turkey. A meeting with the Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul allowed a meeting between all Catholic schools in Turkey, whether French, Italian or Austrian. During this GA, each member of the MENA could speak about the Catholic schools’ situation in their respective country, with a strong focus on the Lebanese situation, currently very difficult, both socially and in terms of legislative changes affecting the Catholic schools of this country.
As announced at the New York Congress, the OIEC has embarked on a new program, the Planet OIEC program. This project is conducted in collaboration with The Magazine, a publication that aims to support English teachers in learning this language. Planet OIEC will enable the use of an English language learning medium to disseminate English-language resources related to pastoral activity and the I can project, centered on Laudato Si. Planet OIEC will be broadcasted (access to a collaborative platform) at a modest price via schools, in conjunction with English-language teachers, in non-English speaking countries.
Side event at the United Nations in Geneva on the right to education
The OIEC co-organized with the UN Observer Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, OIDEL and BICE a side event on 19 November, which was dedicated to the right to education. This event took place as part of the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Cardinal Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education presided over this side event. The Caritas in Veritate Foundation presented the publication it launched for the occasion: Education as a Driver to Integral Growth and Peace, in which the OIEC briefly presented its action in the international organizations in which it is represented. This publication is available online on the website https://www.fciv.org/downloads/WP12-Book-web.pdf
Book “Escuelas con corazon”
The book “Escuelas con corazon”, published on the occasion of the congress, will be soon available on the OIEC website in the “Congress 2019” area.
Agenda of the Secretary General
October 15 to 18, Istanbul, Turkey. General Assembly of the MENA
October 23, preparation meeting of the Summer University with GERFEC
November 5, Paris. Meeting of the transversal representation team in international organizations
November 13 to 16, Madrid, Congress of Catholic Schools of Spain
November 19, Geneva, United Nations, side-event on the right to education
November 25-30, Rome, World Summit of Children
November 28 to 29, Prague, Czech Republic, Committee of Experts on Integrity in Education (ETINED)
The Transversal Representation Team (ETR), which represents the OIEC at the international organizations, has published the 7th and 8th editions of its newsletter. To view them, please click here: