It Takes a Village to Educate a Child: Pandemic and Catholic Education
Randy J.C. Odchigue
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This article reflects on the disruption of COVID-19 on education. At the outset, the paper establishes the syndemicity of COVID-19 and describes how this impacted the many facets of life among families and individuals. Paradigm change, creative adaptation and agile implementation are terms that describe how educational institutions struggle to cope with the disruption. This contribution describes the aforementioned strategies with an eye not only on the advantages of digital and other modalities of learning but also of the challenges these new learning paradigms bring – for example - digital divide, mental health issues and integrities of outcomes. Moreover, beyond a description of how education has tried to grapple with the new normal, this paper attempts to provide impulses of a specifically Catholic approach to education first by providing a critical appraisal of the dynamics of how various agencies are handling this syndemic and second by drawing from the resources of the Catholic social teaching tradition in proposing an incipient approach towards a framework of education in the new normal. The article concludes by pointing out the importance of care and relationality as indispensable Christian values that may help educators, learners and other stakeholders navigate the challenges of COVID-19 as the Christian community continues its evangelizing mission through education.

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