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Rome Reports

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Pope to parents: It's sad that families no longer appreciate the work of teachers

Pope Francis dedicated a part of his afternoon to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Italian Association of Parents (Associazione Italiana Genitori, AGE), which supports education as both a scholastic and social effort.

Pope Francis spoke about the relationship between education and the family, and explained that it is declining.

“The educational pact is declining. The family no longer appreciates the work of teachers, as they did at one time.”
“To change this situation, someone must take the first step, conquering the fear of the other and holding out a hand in generosity. This is why I invite you to always cultivate and nourish trust in the school and teachers. Without them, you risk remaining alone in your education.”

He then shared a personal story from when he was 10 years old and spoke poorly to his teacher at school. His teacher, in turn, called his mother to tell her what little Jorge Bergoglio had done. 

“The next day my mother came and the teacher went to greet her. They spoke, then my mother called me, and in front of the teacher she reproached me and said to me, 'Ask the teacher for forgiveness.' I did it. 'Give the teacher a kiss,' my mother told me. I did it. Then I went back to the classroom, happy, and the story is over... No, it was not over. The second chapter is when I returned home. This is called 'collaboration' in the education of a child: between the family and teachers.”

Pope Francis said this collaboration is the key to becoming allies in education. He encouraged the parents who are part of the AGE to continue spreading the strong sense of civic spirit and a great passion for the family, the school and education.