In March, the Education Delegates met in San Pedro Claver school in the city of Dodoma in Tanzania. Secretary for Jesuit Education, Fr. José Alberto Mesa and members of the management team of the host school also participated in the meeting.
Fr. Joe Arimoso SJ, President of the African and Madagascar Schools network together with Fr. Buberta Karongo SJ, Principal of San Pedro Claver School, hosted the meeting where they had the opportunity to talk about the challenges and opportunities that the network of schools faces in light of the emerging political situations in the continent and the social context in which each individual educational community develops.
The Delegates and other meeting participants discussed the local and global challenges, in light of the 13 actions that the JESEDU-Rio2017 Congress proposed to the Global Jesuit Education network as well as in light of the Universal Apostolic Preferences.
At the end of the meeting the group visited some classrooms to learn about the daily activities of the educators of San Pedro Claver school and also made some community gestures. For example, as a symbol of the commitment to the challenges presented by the global ecological crisis each of the Delegates planted a tree representing the commitment to act as agents of reconciliation and promotion of the care of our ecosystem.
The President of JASBEAM, Fr. Joe Arimoso, SJ shared some of the conclusions of the meeting in the face of the challenges posed by the creation of healthy and protected environments and the commitment to the Universal Apostolic Preferences:
Child Protection and Safeguarding.-
1. Every school should have a Child Protection and safeguarding policy. Delegates should make sure that the policies that are at the province level should be adapted by each school to fit the context. This should be done by December 2019.
2. The schools’ child protection policy should take into consideration the civil laws of particular countries.
3. The language in the policy should be more positive and encouraging and less commanding.
4. School policies should be reviewed and updated every 3 years.
5. The Schools’ policy should be available to all stakeholders of the school community including parents.
6. The policy has to be approved and promulgated by the boards of governors where applicable
7. The JASBEAM will come up with a template as a guideline for Child Protection and safeguarding for all the schools in the network.
8. It was unanimously agreed that Delegates should have adequate training/formation on Child Protection and safeguarding
9. The Delegate should see to it that there is ongoing ad systematic training on Child Protection and safeguarding at Province level.
10. The Delegates agreed to see to it that we should have a CP Resource Center in each province.
11. During the 2021 colloquium, we will have a session on Child Protection to evaluate and share best practices.
12. Meanwhile schools should be encouraged to share their experiences on matters concerning CP at province level.
13. Copies of approved, promulgated and published CP policies should be sent to JASBEAM head office to make easy access of references.
Our response to the Universal Apostolic Preferences.-
– We should begin with self-evaluation at the level of schools to check where they are in relation to the four preferences. The evaluation should be guided by Fr. Jose Mesa’s questions in his presentation.
– Education committees of each province should discuss the applicability of the UAPs to the province schools.
– Any evaluation should be done in the context of the JESEDU-Rio2017.
– Schools should come up with concrete ways of implementing the UAPs.