AFRICA/TANZANIA - “Form responsible and ethical people who will take leadership as a service” says Cardinal Pengo at Catholic African University Symposium
Dar es Salaam (Agenzia Fides) - “Education for peace should not be mere words or formula, but it should be introduced in our curricula. Our universities must promote peace and security in Africa through education, training and research on peace-related issues,” affirmed Fr. John Maviiri, Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, at the opening of a three-day symposium sponsored by the Association of Catholic Universities and Higher Institutes of Africa and Madagascar and held in Mwanza (Tanzania).
The Symposium discussed how to establish in Catholic students a sense of responsibility for the common good. This stems from the fact that some graduates of Catholic institutions holding high ranking positions in governments and businesses have done little to resolve the disastrous conditions in which millions of Africans live.
“Peace-building, conflict resolution and reconciliation must become integral to Catholic higher education across Africa. We want a curriculum that caters (to) the integral development of the student, one which encompasses the Social Doctrine of the Church,” said Fr. Maviiri.
In his presentation to delegates from Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, Father Maviiri challenged the educators to develop innovative ways to involve both perpetrators and victims of conflict in reconciling their differences.
"Education has become divorced both from human and Gospel values," said Cardinal Polycarpo Pengo, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
The Cardinal urged the educators to focus on the holistic formation of students as human beings, saying that "universities that merely pass academic knowledge devoid of morals, ethics, etc., are a waste of time."
The Cardinal also said that for many years higher education in Africa had been elitist and that he found educated people in Africa were among the most corrupt, using their knowledge to simply enrich themselves at the expense of others.
Cardinal Pengo affirmed the challenge of Catholic superior education: “Do not produce misfits that harm society, but form responsible and ethical people who will take leadership as a service.” (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 9/6/2010)
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