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Education    LAY OFFICIAL URGES SCHOOLS TO RESIST ECONOMIC VALUES
Catholic schools needed to guard against "selection according to wealth" and should ensure students pursue a spiritual and ethical world view along with academic excellence, according to a senior lay leader in the Adelaide archdiocese.
    The Southern Cross reports that Mrs Kathy McEvoy, a former principal of Kildare College and now the lay member on the Diocesan Pastoral Team, said that the schooling agenda set by politicians often seemed to voice a "pragmatic utilitarianism in which human beings serve the needs of an economy".
    Mrs McEvoy said the first SA Commission for Catholic Schools Forum held late last month, and in November in the Port Pirie diocese, would tackle some of these issues. The forum would ask schools to consider how they provide access to the poor and marginalised in the community, how the "burden of indebtedness" to schools could be removed from families and to name the barriers frustrating access to Catholic schooling.
    Economics was a "narrow motive when contrasted with a Catholic vision of schooling as spiritual, human and value-laden" which emphasised the uniqueness of each individual created in God's image.
    Mrs McEvoy made her comments on the future challenges facing Catholic education in a speech to the recent annual general meeting of the Federation of Parents and Friends Association of Catholic Schools in Adelaide.
    She stressed the need for a social dividend to underwrite Catholic schooling, which should be affordable, accessible and accountable.
    She warned that the imperative for Catholic schools to charge increasingly higher fees risked "selection according to wealth" and would deprive Catholic schooling of its traditions of caring for the poor.
    Southern Cross
   
10 Aug 00



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