FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
THE world educational crisis, in which the total number of adult illiterates has risen to more than 460 million, is to be the subject of a 13-nation consultation in Bergen, near Amsterdam, Holland, from May 17-22, organised by the World Council of Churches' new Office of Education.
"Our major aim is to discover a good way of understanding the large forces creating changes in education around the world today," said Dr. William B. Kennedy, executive secretary of the office.
"With this understanding. the Church can build on its long involvement in the educational enterprise to influence general education so that it becomes a humanising force. This is one way the Church can face outward towards the world and help to meet its needs."
Three persons from each of 13 countries have been invited to attend the small, exploratory conference. They represent three areas of education general, Christian, and public policy and opinion-making. In addition to Catholic participants, there will be an official observer from the Vatican.
The countries selected typify those facing acute educational crises and those with creative solutions. Socialist countries are in the group as well as those where the Orthodox are the main Christian communion.
ONE ADDRESS The only address at the conference will be given by Dr. Raymond Poignant of France, recently named director of the International Institute of Educational Planning, a division of UNESCO.
Each participant has been asked to submit in advance a description of "the most significant educational innovation you know." These will be used to deduce criteria for relevance in the educational field.
Final day of the six-day meeting will be devoted to seeing what contribution the World Council of Churches and its members might make to solving the educational crisis„ in view of the fact that 1970 is International Education Year. Since the meeting is advisory rather than policy-making, no formal resolutions are anticipated although an official report will be prepared.
Stamps pay boy's. fare to Lourdes CHILDREN of schools in ii the Huyton area, near Liverpool, have raised 66.000 trading stamps to send John Nelson, aged 11, to Lourdes last week on a handicapped children's pilgrimage. The collection was started by Miss Ann Woods, headmistress of St. Aloysius' Infants' School, Huyton, John's former school.
Miss Woods said: "All the children know John, and help him all they can. When someone had the idea of collecting stamps for his fare of £40 the pupils were delighted to join in. More than 1,000 children helped to fill the 52 books."