(Bishop of Kaolack, Senegal)
The International Office of Catholic Education (O.I.E.C.) counts 35 members in Africa which are the Directorates of national Secretariats of Catholic Teaching in 34 French speaking and English speaking countries of Africa and Madagascar.
The Catholic schools teach 9,225,000 students at the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels, and slightly more than 10% of children and young actually scholarised.
The O.I.E.C. has asked its African members to proceed to specific reflection, when the Lineamenta of this Special Assembly of the Synod was sent to the local Churches and in function of the givens of the Instrumentum Laboris. Fourteen Directorates or national Secretariats actively participated in the concentration, and their contributions were synthesised in January 1994 in a document entitled "Catholic Schools and Evangelisation in Africa", contribution by the O.I.E.C. - Regional Secretariat for Africa and Madagascar - to the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.
In it is affirmed firstly, the greatly shared conviction that Catholic schools on the African continent have played and play a large role in the evangelising mission of the Church. After, one felicitated with all that was said about the Catholic schools in the Instrumentum Laboris, in the chapters containing the duties of evangelisation: the Annunciation, the Dialogue, the Promotion of Justice and Peace, the Means of Social Communication.
However, the Directorates and the national Secretariats believed that it would be useful to present their complementary contribution susceptible of enriching the concentration of the Bishops, members of the Synod, to inspire a more explicit consideration of scholastic education and firmer orientations for the future. Their progress is founded on three major preoccupations: the stakes in the education of the young in Africa, the educational needs, a Christian vision of education. They believe that this must be considered as a transversal theme of evangelisation, i.e. and important preoccupation within the five major tasks: Annunciation, Dialogue, Promotion of man, Justice and Peace and Communication. They hope with all their heart that the Synod will incite powerful impetus for the evangelisation of the young and by the young of Africa and Madagascar, the young who are the Africa of the 21st century.