09/07/2018, 15.45
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Pope: the decline in the educational alliance between school and family must be overcome

Receiving the Italian Parents Association, Francis recommends them to "always cultivate and nurture trust in schools and teachers". When he was a child his mother made him apologize to his teacher.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Renewing the educational alliance between school and family of which today we speak "above all to denounce its decline" to "face the new educational challenges that come from contemporary culture, society, the mass media, from new technologies". This is the invitation that Pope Francis today to the members of the Italian Association of Parents (AGE), received (in the photo) on the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

In his speech, Francis claimed "the educational pact is falling". "The family no longer appreciates the work of teachers - often poorly paid - as they used to be - and they feel the annoying intrusiveness of parents' presence in schools, keeping them on the sidelines or considering them adversaries".

"To change this situation, someone needs to take the first step, overcoming fear of the other and reaching out their hands generously. For this reason I invite you to cultivate and always nurture trust in school and teachers: without them you risk remaining alone in your educational activity and being less able to face the new educational challenges that come from contemporary culture, from society, from mass media, from new technologies. Teachers, like you, are engaged every day in educational service to your children. While it may be right to complain about the possible limits of their action, it is our duty to esteem them as the most precious allies in the educational enterprise that you carry forward together. If I may, I will tell you an anecdote. I was ten years old, and I said something unpleasant to the teacher. She called my mother. The day after my mother came to school, and the teacher went to receive her; they spoke, then my mother called me, and in front of the teacher she rebuked me and said to me, “Apologize to the teacher”, which I did. “Kiss the teacher”, my mother said. And I did, and then I returned to the classroom, happy, and the story was over. No, it wasn’t over… The second chapter was when I returned home… This is “collaboration” in the education of a child: between family and teachers".

"Your responsible and willing presence, a sign of love not only for your children but for the good of all that characterizes school, will help to overcome many divisions and misunderstandings in this area, and to ensure that families are accorded their primary role in the education and instruction of children and young people. In fact, if you as parents need teachers, the school too needs you, and cannot achieve its goals without engaging in constructive dialogue with those who have the primary responsibility for the growth of their pupils".

"Helping to eliminate the educational solitude of the families is also the task of the Church, and I invite you always to feel that she is by your side in the mission of educating your children and making the whole of society a family-friendly place, so that each person may be welcomed, accompanied, guided towards true values and enabled to give the best of his- or herself for the growth of all.".

"The children - concluded the Pope -  children are the most precious gift you have received. Know how to safeguard this gift with commitment and generosity, leaving them the necessary freedom to grow and mature as people who in turn will one day be able to open themselves to the gift of life. The attention with which, as an association, you keep watch over the dangers that threaten the lives of children does not stop you from looking confidently to the world, knowing how to choose and indicate to your children the best opportunities for human, civil and Christian growth. Teach your children moral discernment, ethical discernment: this is good, this is not so good, and this is bad, so that they may know how to distinguish. But this is learned at home, and at school: together, both of them".

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