Pontiff says society today needs good, well paid teachers

Pope Francis’ take on education

(Vatican Radio) – Pope Francis has denounced poor wages for teachers, saying computers can teach content but it takes a good teacher to instill values and hope in young people today and create harmony in society.

Receiving the Unione Cattolica Italiana Insegnati, Dirigenti, Educatori, Formatori (UCIIM) on their 70th anniversary, the Pope addressed them as colleagues, saying he had fond memories of his own days in the classroom, when he too was a teacher.

He then said: “teaching is a beautiful profession, … it’s a pity teachers are badly paid…because it is not just about the time they spend in school, but the time they spend in preparation, the time they spend on each individual student.”

The Pope referred to his own country, where many teachers have to work double shifts “just to be able to earn a decent wage.”

Instead the teaching profession is a great responsibility, he said, likening it to being spiritual parents for students, particularly the most difficult students who can often try a teachers patience.

“Teaching is a serious commitment that only a mature and balanced personality can take on,” the Pontiff added.

In a society that struggles to find points of reference, the Pope continued young people need a positive reference point in their school.

But, the school can become this only “if it has teachers capable of giving meaning to the school, to study and culture, without reducing everything to the mere transmission of technical knowledge.”

“You must not teach just content, but the values and customs of life. A computer can teach content. Instead there are three things that you must transmit: how to love, how to understand which values and customs create harmony in society. For that we need good teachers!!”

Teachers, he concluded “must aim to build an educational relationship with each student, who must feel welcomed and loved for what he or she is, with all of their limitations and potential. In this direction, your task is now more necessary than ever”.

 

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