Rome (Italy) Sister Silvia Melandri, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians of the West African Mother of God Province (AFO), on June 19, 2020 concluded her study path at the Pontifical FacultyAuxilium in Rome with the PhD thesis in Science of Education – specialization in Philosophy of Education – entitled: Towards a new alliance between science, culture, and society. Guidelines for the construction of an African Higher Education Space in light of Jean-Marc Ela’s thought.

The thesis examines the reform of the university system that the African Union, supported by UNESCO and other international political and economic organizations, has undertaken in order to create an African Higher Education Area, with reference to the triple mission of teaching, research, and service to the territory.

The topic was deepened by a Cameroonian intellectual, Jean-Marc Ela, a Catholic priest born in Ebolowa in 1936 and died in Vancouver, Canada in 2008, Doctor of Theology and Sociology, who in his studies paid particular attention to more fragile social categories, such as young people, women, farmers.  The research examines the philosophical dimension of the author’s thinking, to value its relevance and pertinence with respect to the contemporary world debate on education and science, in particular with respect to the mission of the University.

This hypothesis is reinforced by the educational and cultural commitment of the author, both through university teaching and through initiatives in favor of the most vulnerable social groups with which he has undertaken educational paths.

In the light of Jean-Marc Ela’s thought, the proposal that emerges is of a university reform that creates new alliances between scientific knowledge, cultural heritage, and social progress.

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