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Links

www.agru.ro

www.cdep-asso.org

www.comece.eu

www.dkps.si

www.icmica-miic.org

www.uciim.it

www.ukp.wz.cz

www.vcl-oe.at

www.vkdl.de

 

 

Members

 

CdEP – Chrétiens dans l’Enseignement Public (France)
(Christians in State Schools)

In October 2007 Paroisse Universitaire merged with Equipes Enseignantes in a new association, CdEP (Chrétiens dans l'Enseignement Public). The point was to gather the remaining forces from the two associations, with the purpose of granting them a future. We are now past the legal stage and entering a new phase of reflections and debate: how should CdEP develop in order to remain a means of support for Christian colleagues in State schools, and play its part in the announcement of the Gospel?

Indeed we have noticed that we are living in a society which is perfectly run outside religions, where Christians are a reducing minority and where the very label "catholic" is often an obstacle to evangelization. And yet we also feel that there is in our society an expectation of the Gospel's message. With regard to us specifically, France is a "laïque" state which expects the civil servants that we are to keep a neutral attitude in the practice of our duties. At the same time Christian teachers (often women) are invaluable for the Church and committed to multiple responsibilities there. Thus it is very difficult to ask them, into the bargain, to take charge of keeping up a specific movement for teachers. This is the context in which we have to devise new forms of existence for CdEP.

On the other hand the situation of State schools in France today is more and more difficult. Of course the recent economic crisis has made budget cuts inevitable, but the political stand since 2007 has been to cut the civil service drastically, and as a consequence class numbers are constantly rising; the option to promote competition between schools leads to gradually bringing the better pupils together into the same schools, leaving disadvantaged pupils by themselves; eventually, so as to save a year's pay for new teachers, the government decided to cut their practical training to a bare minimum and make them work full time since their recruitment.
No wonder that in this context many teachers are losing their faith in their profession, and candidates to the job of teaching are less and less numerous. Of course there are still spots where education takes place in good conditions, but the morale of teachers is globally lower and CdEP's purpose of supporting them appears all the more necessary. It is up to us to find the means to reach it …

Regarding the Church, our situation has been altering for a few years. Unlike the two former associations, who valued their independence primarily - even though they used to ask the bishops for chaplains - our relation to bishops is more peaceful, and they allow us a wide autonomy. At the same time we have been able to collaborate with some of them more closely, particularly in the goal of helping us in our reflections on our future. This allowed us to notice how similar the questions about the future of the Church and that of CdEP are: leaving preoccupations of power, governance or management aside and giving priority to the announcement of the Gospel. Eventually, we carried on with Equipes Enseignantes’ commitment to CCFD-Terre solidaire, where we are part – to the best of our possibilities – in the Church's work in favour of the development of poorer countries and the development of awareness of these problems in our own country.

And in that context our membership to SIESC (EFCT) is now becoming more meaningful: the problems we are facing in France aren't fundamentally different from those Christian teachers are facing everywhere else in Europe; the phenomenon of secularization typically is affecting or will affect all our countries. And the answers we'll find in our respective national situations are highly interesting for each of us; this is why we want to work to make SIESC (EFCT) become a more active place for exchange between us all.

What will be CdEP like in a few years? It is too early to tell, but we hope our European colleagues will support us on the way to the necessary transformations, quite as we are ready to share our experience with them.

Gérard FISCHER (1911)

 

DKPS - DRUŠTVO KATOLIŠKIH PEDAGOGOV SLOVENIJE

(ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC PEDAGOGUES OF SLOVENIA)

Foundation of the association: On February 19th, 1989 a group of Catholic teachers and educators of different levels and faculties met at Ljubljana. They decided to meet regularly in order to discuss professional questions and to offer support to one another. The number of participants grew, the association was registered in 1994, but it already became the member of SIESC in 1992.
DKPS offers diverse activities to its members, but also to all other interested persons.

Activities and offers:

- Talks, workshops, and since 1997 permanent professional further formation for teachers and educators,

- various cultural and religious events, excursions and trips,

- days of recollection, spiritual exercises and personal spiritual accompaniment.

- In the group of future teachers and educators young people (students) prepare for their profession. The group is the meeting place where they can e.g. put questions to colleagues already employed, and much more.

- “Human being for others” is a programme within which especially young people do voluntary work.

- Since 1999 the magazine VZGOJA (Education) has been published four times a year. It brings topical contributions in the fields of education and school.

- Every year on the fourth Saturday of September the already traditional meeting of teachers, educators and catechists is organized at Ponivka, the birthplace of the blessed bishop A. M. Slomšek, the patron saint of Slovenian teachers, educators and catechists. This event is important, too, because it is the occasion to express thanks and recognition to meritorious teachers, educators and catechist. They are awarded honorary titles.

The seat of the association is at Ljubljana (DKPS, Ulica Janza Pavla II., SI-1000 Ljubljana; http://dkps.rkc.si) and has 10 branches in larger towns of Slovenia.

Maja ANTIČ (2011)

 

KIK - Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej Warszawa
(Club of the Catholic Intelligentsia, Warsaw)

  1. Our presence in the world and in the Church

The Club of the Catholic Intelligentsia of Warsaw (KIK) has existed since October 1956. It unites the people who want to live their vocation as lay people consciously in the Catholic Church. The Club is independent of the state, but also of ecclesiastic authorities. It does not represent any political tendency, but it endeavours a reflection on the culture of political behaviour.
The activities of KIK have been inspired by the documents of the Second Vatican Council: Our environment was strongly committed to making these ideas well known in Poland. Our activities are founded on the idea of a social and intellectual Catholicism of a Catholic personalism, in the meaning of the duty of the lay people, who take responsibility for the Church and for the world, and in their ecumenical attitude. The tradition of the Club strongly combines two values: the common good and the spirit of dialogue and mutual respect.
Our spiritual assistant is the rector of St Martin’s Church in the Old Town of Warsaw.

  1. Our concerns in the sphere of the school and of teaching

Among several specialized sections of the Club – the Teachers’ Section is the one where the discussion on the didactic and pedagogical methods takes its place. It’s here that teachers and pedagogues perform. The problems of education are also the main topic of the work of the Family Section – the most numerous one of our Club –, which concerns itself with the children of the members of KIK. There the voluntary educators are formed and helped, who realize their programmes of integration, education and religious formation. In addition to that KIK founded – and managed up till 2008 – the first Catholic social school in Poland.

  1. Our concerns in the sphere of the Church

From the very beginning of its existence the Club has helped the Catholic and the Greco-Catholic Church of Eastern Europe. Moreover, for three decades it has helped a mission in India. We maintain relationships with numerous Catholic and Christian organisations in other countries. We have committed ourselves very strongly in the idea of reconciliation with our Elder Brothers in faith. By means of direct actions and by determining its point of view our Club has become an active participant in the life of the Catholic Church in Poland – the topic of ecumenism is essential here.

  1. Our concerns in other spheres

The KIK of Warsaw – as well as the other Clubs in Poland – was deeply committed to the defence of the human rights, to the restitution of democracy and freedom in Poland in 1989, finally to the process of integration into Europe. Apart from its political role (which diminished with the democratisation of our country) KIK has since its founding been an expanding environment for the formation of lay people. That results in the presence of numerous of its members among the authorities of social organisations, among the responsible persons of numerous Catholic movements or even among the high civil servants. One should here remember the fact that one of the founding fathers of the Club, Mr Tadeusz Mazowiecki, was prime minister at the moment of the fall of communism in Poland. It is also a fact that Mr Jacek Michalowski, now the chief of the bureau of the president, was a member of the executive bodies of the KIK of Warsaw during a lot of years.

Since 1971 the KIK of Warsaw is part of the International Catholic Movement PAX ROMANA. That allowed its members to be in contact with Catholic movements and organisations in the West during the years of communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe.

  1. Our concerns for the internal life of the Club

Just as a lot of other social organisations in free-market countries the Club must care for the finances of its activities. Because it was necessary to move our seat, it had to take up a loan, which must be paid back within 7 years.

The Club is always searching for new solutions to reach the new generations of young people with its mission.

Malgorzata WOJCIECHOWSKA (2011)

 

UCIIM - Italy

UCIIM is a professional association of teachers, headpersons, inspectors, educators and teacher trainers at schools, at teacher training colleges and in further education, founded in 1944 by Gesualdo Nosengo, due to the conviction that school and democracy form the pivotal point of the development of the country.
Our association

Its statute has as its aim the promotion and the realization of programmes of formation and cultural and professional offers for the teaching staff of schools and teacher training and the establishment of plans of recurrent further education of citizens.
UCIIM has its seat in Rome; it is represented in all Italian regions and develops an intense activity of professional reflection by means of complex formation programmes, research and publications.
The association directs its particular attention to topics of education and deepens important arguments of social, ethical and cultural interest such as bioethics, voluntary work, the youth and their training for work, inter-culture.
On the basis of nowadays’ regulations, UCIIM can also stipulate agreements with school institutions or with schools mutually connected by networks in order to proffer its consultation and its supervision over activities of the location itself; it also interacts with other national and European professional and cultural associations, with research centres and universities.
Its national seat is furnished with a multimedia hall of about 100 places, a library and a collection of magazines, and small rooms for workgroups.
With the help of its structures and its own highly competent members UCIIM articulates its formation activities in various spheres and operational fields, including the multimedia approach:

UCIIM owns a website www.uciim.it and periodically publishes the magazine of formation and background knowledge “La scuola e l’uomo” and the newsletter Uciimnotizie”.

Enza GRECUZZO (2011)

 

VCL - Vereinigung Christlicher Lehrer/innen an höheren und mittleren Schulen
(Association of Christian Teachers at Secondary Grammar and Vocational Schools)

VCL-Austria was founded in 1920, is represented in almost all Austrian federal states and has adopted the following profile some years ago:

The human being as the centre of pedagogy
We put the pupils in the centre of our work as teachers and see them as personalities with individual dispositions, talents and abilities. Humanity, orientation towards achievement, and striving for justice in chances determine our attitude towards pupils.
• We promote a continuous development of the quality of secondary grammar and vocational schools and a school climate furthering mutual support and cooperation of the school partners.
• We offer meetings open to all and consider them to be contributions to the development of self-confident, capable and well-informed teachers in the fields of teaching, education and school organisation.

Participation in forming our society
We reflect fundamental questions of education, formation and teaching based on our orientation towards values.
• We start initiatives in school and educational policy as well as in questions of education and teaching. We want to develop what has been proved and to be open for changes. That’s why we try to influence school reforms, changes of educational laws and the continuous improvement of curricula.
• We aspire, as an organisation independent of political parties, after the cooperation with decision-makers in all parties and among representatives of social groups.

Orientation towards Christian values
We find our orientation in the Christian value system. That’s why we set a high value on honesty, social responsibility, openness and tolerance.
• We promote an education oriented towards Christian values and demand taking into consideration the dimension of education referring to an outlook on life and ethics in the teaching of all pupils.
• We, as an association on our own, independent of church hierarchies, are open to all who stand up for Christian values.

Support for teachers
• By means of our magazine VCL-News and our website (www.vcl-oe.at) we spread first-hand information. Our encounters and fact-finding meetings allow an exchange of thoughts and the experience of community and solidarity.
• We offer further training for teachers to support their personal and professional development.
• We strengthen the identification of teachers with their profession and work deliberately for a positive image of teachers in public.

Which topics is the VCL concerned with at the moment?

Publishing the quarterly VCL-News, manifold activities in the Bundesländer associations (organisation of meetings, panel discussions, talks …) and collaboration in the representative federal bodies of professional politics (ÖPU, see www.oepu.at) all serve to focus the public discussion on what committed teachers who want to promote and challenge their pupils in the best way possible really need: appreciation, support, and the necessary framework for work of high quality and value!

Isabella ZINS (2011)

 

VkdL - Verein katholischer deutscher Lehrerinnen e.V.
(ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC GERMAN WOMEN TEACHERS)

The VkdL is a professional association for Catholic pedagogues of all sectors of formation and education. Thus it is first of all concerned with questions of formation and school policies as well as topics of family policies. The VkdL is involved in the processes of making laws in the Bundesländer and in political decisions by means of written statements on bills of the ministries, by means of personal participation in hearing procedures in the parliaments and by means of declarations in the association media such as “Katholische Bildung”, “VkdL-Info”, the website and press reports.
At the moment we speak up the conservation and the development of a differentiating school system and refuse any kind of egalitarianism in the sphere of schools, too. We speak up for transition into the following school type/school level at an age which results from the development of the child and psychology and has been proved suitable. We demand possibilities of changes within the school system which allow every child who achieves the demanded performance to attend the optimally suited type of school and thus also to correct the school career.
We speak up for a denominational religious instruction in all types of schools which passes on to both pupils and their parents religious knowledge, which evaporates more and more.  That is also, in our view, the task of the Church today: re-evangelization orientated according to the directives of the Pope.
Political decisions, especially in the sphere of the family, cause fear that a minority of parents not able to educate their children will be taken as a pretext for interference of the state in the families and in the personal freedom of every individual. We, however, demand an emphasis on the personal responsibility of the individual.
One essential field of concern of the VkdL is the protection of human life in all its stages. We reject any interference of man in human life: killing embryos considered as not worth living, killing unborn children and killing old, handicapped and ill people.
Showing such attitudes based on the fundamentals of our faith, our members often remain alone in the staffs of their schools. So our association must be more than a trade union. It must be a community of kindred spirits and be a support to its members in the realization of the teaching profession on the basis of personal faith. Here one must add the formation of the personality by means of our magazine “Katholische Bildung” and numerous meetings, the information spread by our “VkdL-Info”. In order to help our colleagues to get their right in issues of their occupation, too, we employ a women lawyer in our secretariat.
Showing that unequivocal attitude and judgement on societal phenomena based on Catholic faith the VkdL has now been working for more than 125 years.

Roswitha FISCHER (2011)

 

 

THE CONCERNS OF THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF SIESC
Report by Yves Calais, November 2010

 0.1      Limits of the report
Its aim is to state the situation and to provoke the reflection of the national associations and the Council of SIESC based on features of identity.
It is limited to the life of SIESC in the international meetings, in the bulletin SIESC-Today, in communications and discussions at the sessions of the Council. It cannot take into account everything that the associations live and say themselves, that appears in their publications and their assemblies; and positions of the associations are only mentioned there as illustrations of this attempt of typology.

0.2.      The framework within which the presence in the world and in the Church is realized and the concerns are lived
There are obviously different ways of presence in the world and in the Church, even if the life and the formation of teachers is always primary. They are shaped by the aim of the associations and they condition the expression of their concerns.
One can distinguish 4 rather different types of presence, always bound to the history of each country and to the relationships lived there between society, family, school, state and church.
-          Associations are committed as such in the functioning of school institutions. The Italian UCIIM and the Austrian VCL have their elected representatives in official bodies and participate as such in the public discussion. For UCIIM that happened recently on the career of teachers, the courses at schools and the position of the teaching of Catholicism in schools. For the VCL on the experiments of comprehensive schools for the 10-14-year-olds, the formation of teachers and partly centralized leaving exams. That is a position one would consider a Christian trade union’s in certain countries, but it doesn’t imply less the care for cultural and spitirual animation of teachers.
-          Associations participate, without intervening as such in official bodies, in public discussions by expressing their opinions on a certain number of items which seem important to them. Thus the German VkdL has opposed a too early schooling of children at nursery schools, one element of its position on the role of school and family in education.
-          Associations develop proposals which can then be taken up by official bodies. The Code of Ethics of the Slovenian association DKPS was partly taken over by the ministry.
-          Associations don’t intervene directly or only exceptionally in the discussion themselves, but they propose or support a personal formation in which everybody can find the resources for his/her proper positions, which he/she then realizes within the framework of other associations. That was the case of the Paroisse Universitaire in France; the new association Chrétiens dans l'Enseignement Public will doubtlessly intervene more.
Concerning the connection of associations with institutions of the Church, especially the bishops, of each country, there is the diversity which centuries of history have shaped. On the level of the universal church, the relationship of SIESC as an international organisation is established with the Roman institutions and with an acknowledged association as Pax Romana et especially Pax Romana Europe.
So the framework of their presence in the world and in the Church is one of the elements of identity of each member association of SIESC, a reflection of each of their countries. The orientation which the presence in the world and the presence in the Church follow is another element; its diversity is not analysed here. SIESC is their place of forming relations and of collaboration, without interference with respect to their diversity.

1.         The internal life of the associations
It is obviously their primary concern to realize their aims and therefore to ascertain the best quality of relations between their members.
Based on reflection, the activity of the associations is mainly directed at the organisation of conferences or evening meetings, whole-day encounters and sessions, publications with their profane and religious features. One spends a lot of energy on the service for the members who can profit by it and, in addition to that, on the radiation of the association.
Almost everywhere, even more in Western Europe, there arise the problems of renewing the members and the responsible persons, and of incorporating the new generations.
The international concern is rarely present, apart from international commissions established by certain associations.

2.         Concerns of the school systems
2.1       Reforms and projects of reforms of programmes and amount of lessons as well as examinations are observed closely by the associations directly involved in the professional activities. Those intervene according to their objectives and their proper ways, following decisions taken according to their statutes.
2.2       The conditions and the modifications of religious instruction are especially observed in the countries in which that instruction is integrated in the common curricula as a compulsory or optional subject, and even more where its integration as a subject in the course of studies is called into question.
One can state that interest is mainly directed at the structures and less often asks about the contents of that instruction or the problems of catechesis proper (cp. 3.4). 
2.3       The problems of ethical education play a very important role in an association like the Czech UKPCR, the choice of values, the ways of teaching them, their foundation and their acceptance in the Czech society, which is taken as being given.
2.4       The problems of the connection between school and the whole of society are put in the foreground by an association like Paroisse Universitaire - Chrétiens dans l'Enseignement Public (CdEP) in France. There the respect for all convictions in public schools of a country at the same time multi-religious and secularized, multiethnic, is strongly present as a major element of living together; the sense of citizenship and the education to citizenship are derived from it according to a certain concept of laicity. In the Italian UCIIM the connection between school and society is dependent on a different configuration, where Catholicism has a privileged position in the national culture.

3.         Concerns within the Church
3.1       In general the concern with the Church appears less important than the concern with the school system. That may be so because it seems evident and not worth while talking about. Or more often because it enters little in the scale of responsibilities of one or the other, as the responsibility for the Church is essentially considered as belonging to the competence of the clergy and of secondary importance for the laity; that brings a certain concept of the Church into play.
3.2       In the associations very directly involved in professional activities the concern with the Church mainly takes the form of supporting the positions of the hierarchy on school matters. The other associations express agreement or reservations or often make other proposals.
3.3       In the associations not or very little involved in professional activities, the concern with the Church is mainly directed towards the global relationship of the Church and society. Paroisse Universitaire has introduced the general worry for the message of the Gospel in front of the secularisation of society (meeting at Nantes), in front of the plurality of the large religions and religious or non-religious convictions (meeting at Pau); that worry has widely been shared at the meeting at Agrigento in 2008 on the inter-religious dialogue.
The concern with the unity of the Church and the ecumenical dialogue is mostly little noticeable; it manifests itself only exceptionally, even if Protestants and Orthodox Christians participate in the summer meetings.
3.4       The concern with the catechesis of youngsters attending schools is not primary in the teachers’ associations. In SIESC it was only strong at one moment, at the time of some work organised by Pax Romana. And yet the teachers find themselves indirectly involved by the fact of the weltanschauung which they transmit by means of their teaching and which contributes to forming the spirit of the pupils.        
3.5       The worry about the culture of Christian milieus, contemporary profane and religious cultures with their reciprocal effects on one another, appears only rarely. And yet that is the breeding ground in which the Christian mentalities and consciences are developed, breeding ground of the societal milieus of our pupils and of ours, the teachers’.
3.6       The celebration of God in liturgy and in arts, biblical culture take a variable part in the associations and their implication is expressed in SIESC only at the occasion of the international meetings.

4.         Personal comment
This report, to be completed, refined and discussed, also makes appear two features which can partly explain the difficulties to renew the members of our associations:
- a certain fixation on the school, which for the preceding generations during their active time was the major place of their commitment of their whole life, while for the younger generations it is simply a workplace, often just one like others.
- an attention to contemporary problems, of personal, cultural or religious range, which has not always grasped the culture break between the generations. The commitment in the very contemporary reality doesn’t exclude their being rooted in a history that the older generations know, having lived it, having been the active persons in it or having been nourished by it. It’s there that the dialogue of generations must take place.
That reflection will no doubt in a lot of points fit in with what our associations reflect in their questions on their active presence for persons, for the world and the Church today and on their testimony of Jesus Christ.