Scholas participated in the Vatican Youth Symposium, which was held both in person at the Casina Pío IV, in Vatican City, and virtually through the Zoom platform, from December 16 to 17.
At the symposium, which had as its theme this year «Education is an act of hope», Mission 4.7 was launched, an initiative that brings together leaders from government, academia, civil society and business to accelerate the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development worldwide, of which Scholas is a member.
This symposium is organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and by the youth division of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDSN, a global initiative launched by former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2012 Leaders of youth movements from around the world and education experts participated in the event.
The video message sent by Pope Francis was highlighted, who took the opportunity to recall that «at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals is the recognition that quality education for all is a necessary basis to protect our common home and promote human brotherhood ”.
José María del Corral, world president of Scholas, participated in session 3 of the symposium, entitled: «Education for sustainable development in tertiary and professional settings», where the role of universities in post-pandemic recovery was discussed, promoting the SDGs in the campuses and their wider communities.
Key themes included universities as hubs of innovation, using technology to bridge the digital divide in learning, using Education for Sustainable Development – ESD curricula to train students and teachers, and the need for institutions to lead by example to increase the motivation and capacity of future leaders to act ethically. .
«The educational pact, as the Pope says, is not broken by COVID,» said José María del Corral, world president of Scholas in his online intervention. «COVID showed our reality.
«We say that young people are the future. But why? Because ‘they do not exist’, because if we believed in young people, we would say that they are the present, because the future does not exist, we have the here and now. Or we have them in the here and now, or they are not, «he said.
Scholas joined this group of organizations to offer his experience and methodologies during the pandemic, through a valuable dialogue and debate with youth leaders on practices and lessons learned and to mobilize in projects in relation to the SDGs.
Del Corral also had the opportunity to publicize on this international stage the birth of the international program Universidad del Sentido, inaugurated by Pope Francis in June, on the occasion of World Environment Day.
About Mission 4.7
SDG number 4 seeks to achieve «quality education» and, within that objective, Mission 4.7 aims to «ensure that all students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, world citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development ”.