Leaders of Catholic Education call for the urgent transformation of education landscape in African countries

More than 40 leaders of Catholic Education from the African Continent participated in the Leaders of Catholic Education in Africa and Madagascar Conference held at Lumko Retreat Conference Centre in Benoni on 16 May 2024. The Conference enabled the participants to reflect on the sterling work done by the Catholic Education Institute in the development of African countries through education. The Conference, which was organised under the theme, Walking Together as Leaders of Catholic Education in Africa and Madagascar, was supported by Fr Zephyrinus Mbuh, SD, President of the International Catholic Education Office in Africa, Hervé le Comte, Secretary-General of the International Catholic Office for Education and Paulette Lacroix, Representative of Catholic Education at the UN in Geneva.

Minister Motshekga commended the Catholic Institute of Education for its support to refugees, environmental initiatives, as well pivotal programmes aimed at keeping the girl child in school. “Catholic education has long been a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change in our communities. The 77,200 Catholic schools across Africa are united by a values-based education that embraces everyone, regardless of faith. This inclusivity is a testament to the church’s commitment to fostering an environment of respect, understanding and mutual growth”. The Minister also pointed out that South Africa was in dire need of ethical leaders from all faith-based denominations to work together to address the social ills that persist in communities, such as drug and alcohol abuse, crime and safety concerns in schools. “The role of Catholic education, and all educational institutions, is critical in this endeavour. As Government, we can learn a lot from the South African Catholic school service body’s focus on child safeguarding, which is vital for all schools and projects. Participants at this Conference will engage to share what they have learned in this regard. Catholic schools strive for academic excellence and focus on nurturing socially conscious citizens. These institutions instil a deep awareness of social justice issues, encouraging students to become proactive members committed to making a difference. This holistic approach to education is instrumental in shaping our nation's moral and ethical fabric.”

In conclusion, the Minister added that, “the role of the church in education extends beyond the classroom. It is about moulding individuals who carry forward the values of compassion, integrity and service. As we navigate the complexities of modern society, the church’s guidance is invaluable in promoting moral regeneration. We can address our communities' moral and ethical challenges by reinforcing these core values. And for this, we are grateful to your leadership as a country. May you live long enough and produce more civic-minded youngsters”.

Copyright: Department of Basic Education 2021 Terms Of Use Privacy Statement