Vatican City, Dec 17, 2020 / 07:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
Hundreds of millions of children have been “left behind” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
In a video message released Dec. 16, the pope said that 2020 had witnessed an “unprecedented educational crisis.”
“More than a billion children faced disruption in their education. Hundreds of millions of children have been left behind in opportunities for social and cognitive development,” he said.
The pope was speaking to participants in the annual Vatican Youth Symposium, held virtually Dec. 16-17. His address marked the start of a collaboration between the pope’s Global Compact on Education, launched in October, and Mission 4.7, a new global initiative promoting the educational target contained in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SDG Target 4.7 says that by 2030 all learners must “acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”