08/25/2010, 00.00
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Bangkok, the teaching of Christ the true foundation of Catholic education

by Weena Kowitwanij
More than 400 school administrators at a seminar organized by the Thai Church. The objective is to improve the identity of Catholic education. For fr. Garaizabal "schools are a mission field" that must promote human dignity, morality, ethics and peace.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - The seminar "Reforming Catholic education” has drawn to close.  The course which involved over 400 Catholic administrators from August 22nd to 25th focused on deepening the identity of Church formation.

The seminar organized by the Council of Thailand for Catholic Education (CECT) aims to reform formation to meet "the challenges that the modern world throws at young people."

For Mgr. Louis Chamniern Santisukniran, chairman of the Bishops' Conference of Thailand, "Catholic schools should provide training in line with the teachings of Christ, which represent its very foundation." Brother Leo Visit Srivichairat, general secretary of Cect, said: "It is important that the administrators of the educational institutions understand Catholic identity for it to be spread in schools."

According to Fr. Miguel Garaizabal, Catholic schools are the place where children can learn to live according to the teachings of the Gospel, following the values of human dignity, morality, ethics and peace. "In this way - he says - Catholic institutions are indeed a mission field, but not in the sense that schools need to convert someone. By promoting the values of Jesus, respect [for Christianity] will be born in the conscience".

According to 2005 statistics, in Thailand there are 283 Catholic schools with more than 450 thousand students, 21 vocational schools with over 13 thousand students and two Catholic universities with 20 thousand students.  

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