Catholic schools in ‘state of disequilibrium’ because of pandemic — Education dean

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THE EDUCATIONAL sector, including Catholic higher educational institutions (CHEIs), have been thrown into a “state of disequilibrium” because of the Covid-19 pandemic and would need to recover their vitality, College of Education Dean Pilar Romero said.

Romero said schools’ “viability” has become an urgent concern but the crisis was also an opportunity for renewal among CHEIs that had lost track of their Catholic identity.

“[The] private education sector stands to lose 55.2 billion pesos in revenues if the opening of the school year will be pushed to August instead of June,” Romero wrote in her note titled “Catholic Higher Educational Institutions in the Cusp of the Pandemic” published by the by The Antoninus Journal of the UST Graduate School.

The Education dean urged Catholic universities to focus on the Catholic vision and to impart to students the idea of doing things for the common good amid the pandemic.

“This journey is perilous because along the way, CHEIs may realize that they have fallen into pitfalls that compromise their Catholic identity. [T]he pandemic offers more to CHEIs than the opportunity to craft innovative ideas that will help them emerge unscathed from it,” Romero said.

“[T]eaching, the emphasis should not be acquisition of knowledge for its own sake but service to others, Research activities…need to articulate the CHEIs’ mission to serve the Church and the broader human family,” she said.

Romero said viability does not only mean continued existence.

“Viability in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic is a real issue that Catholic Higher Educational institutions must face. But viability does not only mean continued existence. Viability is very much tied to vitality – to life and identity,” she said.

“For what value is there in continued existence when the CHEI’s core, its Catholic identity is left languishing, gasping for breath at the wayside?” she added. Joenner Paulo Enriquez, O.P.

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