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GC27: Network of Salesian Schools

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April 10, 2014

redEDUCATION - Schools traditionally play a prominent part in Salesian education, especially when they are part of a "project carried out jointly by the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, who decided to join forces to create their own educational and pastoral material, aware of the challenges but confident for the future of Salesian Education in Brazil."

The Network of Salesian Schools works in accordance with the law of the land. It produces common teaching materials, offers training to teachers and auxiliary staff and is always inspired by the educational and pastoral methods of Don Bosco.

The Provincials of Sao Paulo and Recife spoke about this experience in a joint Goodnight given to the General Chapter.

The Network of Salesian Schools has been in existence in Brazil for 12 years. It brings together 112 schools with a total of 5,000 teachers and 95,000 pupils. It includes 54 Salesian Schools, 49 of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and 9 other schools that use the teaching material of the network but do not belong to either of the two congregations.

Their fundamental priority is the formation programme offered by the schools. The programme is the same for the whole country and is taught through face to face classes as well as online lessons. At present, the network is seriously involved in the new digital environment, developing new learning technology and digital learning material which is supplied to EDEBÉ publishing. It also makes use of the Esemtia platform.

Training courses for new teachers are an important part of the formation programme. The whole programme is inspired by the essential elements of Don Bosco’s educational practice: "Forming good Christians and honest citizens,” and, "Evangelize by educating and educate by evangelizing."

This is the heart of the pastoral and educational project of each school. Within the Network of Salesian Schools "it is impossible to think of an educational project without a pastoral plan, because ministry is the heart of the school."

In every school there is a Pastoral Team that encourages and promotes youth volunteering, missionary groups and missionary week, training sessions for youth leaders , the "good morning" and "good afternoon" talks, participation in World Youth Day, the celebration of the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, theatre and dance groups, music, and sports groups.

They are always looking to the future and the challenges it holds. These include continuing education, participation in aptitude tests that facilitate access to University, keeping salaries up to date.

In the future, the Network of Salesian Schools will seek to improve the training of educators and administrators, so that they will be capable of having a real influence on young people, with constant reference to the values ??of the Gospel to give young people reasons for life and hope.

Source: Agenzia Info Salesiana, April 8, 2014

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