The Catholic Weekly 14 June 2020 $2 14, June, 2020 I ALSO WANT TO BE CHOSEN CHINA’S BANEFUL INFLUENCE P12 It found that Catholic schools save govern- ments US$63 billion in 38 countries, and contrib- uted to human capital wealth (measured as the present value of the future earnings of the labour force) of US$12 trillion.” A NEW global report has highlighted the unique con- tribution Catholic education makes to a world faced with the potential for “the deepest recession since the Great De- pression”. The Global Catholic Educa- tion Report 2020 is the first of its kind. It highlights the achieve- ments of Catholic education as the “largest non-govern- mental school network in the world” delivered to more than 62 million students from preschool to Year 12 in more than 220,000 schools in both developing and developed countries. However it also warned Catholic schools around the globe were significantly af- fected by the Covid crisis. Lead economist for the World Bank, Quentin Wodon authored the international report in a “personal and vol- unteer capacity” as a project manager with the Internation- al Office of Catholic Education (OIEC) and a distinguished research affiliate with the Kel- logg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame in the US. The Executive director of the National Catholic Educa- tion Commission, Jacinta Col- lins, agreed with the findings, saying that while the immedi- ate impacts of school closures varied between states and schools “it is becoming clear that students who were al- ready experiencing disadvan- tage pre-COVID will be most affected”. “We are undertaking signif- icant work to identify students in need and deliver the sup- port they require to overcome the obstacles created by the pandemic and get their edu- cation back on track,” Ms Col- lins said. The report estimates that worldwide, nine out of 10 students have been adversely affected by temporary school closures due to the Covid pan- demic, with those from disad- vantaged families most at risk of dropping out of school or Catholic Ed ‘is unique’ New report highlights contributions of the largest non-government education system in the world ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues Over the moon to be back at Mass WITH GRATITUDE and re- lief many Catholics returned to their churches forMass last week after lockdown restric- tions were eased to allow up to 50 worshippers at a time. Parishioners Jose and Ly Solinap told The Catho- lic Weekly it was “great” to be back at St Kevin’s parish in Eastwood after weeks of watching live-streamed Masses at home. With their daughters, one- year-old Rumi and Noa, 3, they joined parish priest Fr Martin Maunsell and oth- er parishioners for the 9am ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues Mass saying it was lovely to be able to start their Sunday again with Mass. Later they headed off to a nearby park. Fellow parishioners Mark and Lisa Young said the two-month dry spell without Mass had only made their faith stronger. “It reallymakes you appreciate what you do have in the Eucharist and the fact that the Mass is a com- munity event,” saidMark. Lisa said she found the loss of personal contact with other practising Catholics on a Sunday difficult. “We’re used to looking at our phones all the time, and it was nice that our parish offered a livestream of Sun- day Mass but it’s just not the same as participating here in the Eucharist and just being together,” she said. Anne and Chris Hogan said they were most grate- ful that churches had been opened to larger numbers following a petition to the NSWPremier Gladys Berejik- lian that saw 20,000 Catholics in less than two days ask for restrictions on places of wor- ship to be brought into line with restrictions on pubs, restaurants and other venues from1 June. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 gaining poor education out- comes. The report comes as Aus- tralia prepares to mark 200 years of Catholic education in this country in 2021. It also coincides with a warning from the Mel- bourne-based Mitchell In- stitute that about 1.4 million preschool and schoolchil- dren are in families likely to be experiencing employment stress in 2020 due to the ef- fects of the pandemic – at an increase of 780,000 children, or average increase of 130 per cent across the country. That includes almost 130,000 school and pre- school children from Catholic schools, according to the Aus- tralian report. It found that Catholic schools save governments US$63 billion in 38 countries, and contributed to human capital wealth (measured as the present value of the future earnings of the labour force) of US$12 trillion. Valued the world over as providers of quality educa- tion, Catholic schools also place an emphasis on values and integral human develop- ment and respect for people of all faiths, the report said. But it highlights challenges worsened by the pandemic, with parental job losses risk- ing a shift of students from fee-paying Catholic to fully state-funded schools and the remote learning needs in the case of school closures weigh- ing more heavily on lower income and other disadvan- taged families. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A teacher at Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary in Miranda takes students through a lesson. PHOTO:ALPHONSUS FOK Jose and Ly Solinap with their children Rumi and Noa. PHOTO:ALPHONSUS FOK P24