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Catholic Archbishop in Ivory Coast Proposes “solid” Educational Plan for Country’s Growth

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast (CECCI) during the opening ceremony of their 120th Plenary Assembly in Gagnoa. Credit: CECCI/Facebook

Ivory Coast needs “a well-thought-out educational plan” that is based on solid foundations for the growth of the West African nation, a Catholic Archbishop in the country has said.

In his opening speech at the 120th Plenary Assembly of the members of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast (CECCI), Archbishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo said that education is the essential means for the development of the West African country.

“In order to succeed in what seems to us the most urgent challenge, education is not one more means among others, but it is the essential means. For this, we need a well-thought-out educational plan, designed and organized on solid foundations, on certain values,” Archbishop Dogbo says in a Thursday, January 27 report by Agenzia Fides.

In the Plenary assembly that started Tuesday, January 25, CECCI members are broadly reflecting on the Church’s contribution to the formation of the youth “within the framework of a global educational project”

The Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast are also basing their discussion on the centrality of the new generations and on a global educational project that looks at the integral development of the person.

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They are said to have been working “for several months” to come up with a pastoral letter based on education in the West African country.

In the January 27 report, Archbishop Dogbo says that the objective of the pastoral letter, which is being developed through Diocesan meetings, aligns with the vision of the government, which he says “aims to promote an educational system capable of forming complete men and women and respectful and responsible citizens.”

The Local Ordinary of Korhogo Archdiocese who doubles as the President of CECCI further says that education should not be taken for granted and that it is “a great challenge that requires in-depth reflection”.

“The theme of education is a great challenge that requires in-depth reflection on the model of society that must be built, and on the means to achieve a good education, but it also puts the whole of man in it,” Archbishop Dogbo has been quoted as saying in the January 27 report.

Global partnership for Education (GPE) reports that the education system in Ivory Coast has been expanding rapidly since the country emerged from a prolonged period of conflicts in 2011.

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GPE further reports that the West African country implemented a Transitional Education Plan (TEP) for the 2012–2014 period, extending its implementation through the 2015–2016 prior to the adoption of the new ten-year strategy.

According to the report, the ten-year Education and Training Sector Plan (Plan Sectoriel Education/Formation 2016–2025) was appraised in 2016, adopted by the government in May 2017 and endorsed by the development partners.

Among issues that the Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast are exploring in their ongoing Plenary Assembly that is expected to conclude on Sunday, January 30 is the Synod on Synodality process in their local Church.