2020 closes in Spain with the educational program: “The pandemic teaches us …” carried out by the Pontificia Scholas Occurrentes in Spain in conjunction with the Madrid Ministry of Education and the support of Banco Santander
It was not just any zoom; Although accustomed to taking online classes due to the pandemic, 150 young people, ESO and Baccalaureate students from Andalusia, Castilla y León, Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Galicia and the Community of Madrid experienced a series of very different “zooms”, towards inside themselves.
We are talking about the educational program “The pandemic teaches us …” , a space opened by the Scholas Occurrentes Foundation in Spain with the support of the Madrid Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Education of Spain to give a voice to young people , at a time in The one that seems to demand a lot of them, but little willingness to listen to what they feel, what they want to say and how they can contribute solutions to the challenges that COVID-19 has imposed on their lives and their families.
This educational program created a much-needed space for the situation that young people are experiencing this year, where they were able to express their anguish, pains, hopes and fears in the immediate future. However, the crack was overcome by the young people of Madrid, who came together to carry out this experience with young people from public, private and subsidized schools in Andalusia, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Valencian Community, Galicia , among others. They also shared their experiences with young people from Italy, Argentina, Portugal, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Chile.
In the words of the young people themselves
“The virus changed our life and without knowing it we became new people, we learned to value moments, circumstances and people. It was not something we wanted, but it arose suddenly, like a burning flame ”.
“Thanks to covid-19 we have learned many things, such as knowing that we do not know both sides of the coin, since we cannot know if something in the future is good or bad, we can only adapt and continue, in order to direct things what we do on a day-to-day basis ”.
“Perhaps our children will come to study everything that we live in this pandemic, but what we are going to teach them later is that despite our social situation, our status, country, race or any singular difference that we have, we all we are in this together, we have love to give, similar ideas and many more things that connect us and we do not know. Anything can happen, and even if it is something bad, we are all together ”.
“It seemed that before the institute was everything, and when you have to stay at home and that ends, you also realize that you also had someone next to you who you weren’t giving importance to.”
“I remembered that family is also important and I began to speak instead of being distant, and when I went out to see the light I found myself in darkness ”.
Scholas’ methodology applied to these virtual encounters, which involves listening, reflection and definition of proposals, was also manifested with the preparation of texts like these, which account for the emotional path that the experience of life has meant for a whole generation. pandemic.
” It is very important to create these spaces in which young people can participate and feel that they have something important to say and with freedom,” shared María Victoria Casares , head of studies at Colegio Saldaña, in Burgos, to the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of this city, which has supported Scholas during this experience. “Scholas is an initiative that is not closed to anyone and that really fosters the culture of encounters.”
Educational authorities honor Scholas’ initiative on Teacher’s Day in Spain
On Friday, November 27, coinciding with the celebration of Teacher’s Day in Spain, this series of virtual meetings closed with the participation of young people from different communities and educational authorities of national and regional order, such as José Antonio Hernández Toro , Director of the Cabinet of the Minister in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training; Manuel Bautista, General Director of Concerted Education, Scholarships and Study Aids of the Community of Madrid, and Father Andrés Ramos Castro, Director of the Secretariat for University Pastoral, of the Archdiocese of Madrid, among others.
“Many times the tone in which the public conversation takes place: the polarization, the fake , the noise, the“ fury ”, as Shakespeare’s verse says, is a conversation that demands more than ever that we listen to ourselves, that we put in value the serenity of being able to listen to others, and to the youngest , to whom many virtues are supposed, but it is difficult to recognize the ability to reflect, to deepen in the fundamental elements of life ”, were some of the words of Hernández Toro, who celebrated Scholas’ initiative.
“As the poet Salvador Espriu used to say, together we have to search for the truth; because the truth is like a broken mirror, that each piece reflects a part of reality, but only together can we be able to build and find that truth. Initiatives like this one from Scholas are crucial to improve the life of each one and the coexistence of all, so I send my congratulations and congratulations, “he concluded.
Manuel Bautista also had words of encouragement for young people: “ When this pandemic began, we had many questions about how we could prevent the kids from ‘losing’ as little as possible, not only from an educational point of view but also from a human point of view. Education not only has to be based on learning mathematics or language, we want the integral development of the person, and for that, contact is very important … And it is true that contact has been impossible in many cases, and we have to be responsible in that meaning, so the virtual contact has to be the one that prevails right now ”; emphasized.
“If this pandemic has changed us something, it is that our scale of values also changed; it places us in the world knowing what is important, that we can talk, laugh, or cry if we feel like it or if we need it, so that we are more ‘human beings’ and more ‘people’. Congratulations for the activity and for the work you are doing ”, he concluded.
“I would like to thank Pope Francis , he is definitely the great leader of our time and the one who is encouraging us; Scholas is a great initiative of yours ”, were the words of Father Andrés Ramos Castro, from the Archdiocese of Madrid to those attending this closing.
“I am lucky that every day I work with young people; you young people are extraordinary; In my day to day, what Pope Francis asks of us is becoming a reality, and that is that the dreams of young people walk together with the experience of those who are already older ; reflect together, walk and learn together ”, he expressed.
Also in the closing ceremony, several young people, as spokespersons for their peers, summarized their experience with Scholas:
“ I am grateful that Scholas created this space; We have all expressed our voice and we were all listened to , it was a way, not only to meet new people, but to learn about other visions; Yes, we have all lived through the pandemic, but each one has his story, his family, his cases close by; I would repeat it again, without a doubt, because it is time that you spend and you know other points of view; I loved the experience ”(Rebeca, from Colegio Saldaña, from Burgos).
“Without these encounters I would not have realized many things; We have been through the same thing, but we didn’t really know how others felt, what they had discovered ; In quarantine time I can say that I have been able to be so open that I have shared more with my family, I have been able to get to know them more, moments that are not forgotten ”. (Jesús, from the Colegio Seminario las Rozas, Madrid).
Creating bridges, from Spain with the rest of the world
The event culminated with a very special connection; From the headquarters of Scholas Argentina, in the 31st neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the world director of Scholas José María del Corral joined, who motivated the boys and the authorities to continue participating and supporting these meetings:
“I wanted to congratulate the boys because they built bridges, made the culture of the encounter a reality in the midst of the pandemic; We can physically enclose ourselves, but we have to be closer than ever to others; That is why the importance of this learning that the kids lived with boys and girls from all over Spain and the world. This is the world that the pandemic teaches us; Enough of being alone, of this individualism that is killing us , enough that there is no internet, or that the internet is for the few, or that water is for the few, “he added.
“I thank the Ministry of Education of Spain and the Education Councilors of all the Communities , because they showed that when it comes to something serious, such as the pandemic in relation to education, we are all together , and only if we are together are we we can save ”, he concluded.