IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW … A school with only one pupil causes less scandal than a school

by Fiore Isabella

Last year, these days, rummaging through a drawer of my memories as a retired teacher, I intervened with increased passion, but also with sobriety and expressive delicacy, on the theme of school organization in the peripheral areas of our territory. He urged me to intervene a news released by a local newspaper regarding the inauguration of a new school in the “Passo Ceraso” locality of the Municipality of Conflenti.

Both the consolidated school of Coscaro and the school building located in the urban center needed structural adaptation interventions, which were part completed and in any case, those to be completed, were not considered obstacles to the start of the current school year. Coscaro is currently not completely usable, so much so that the classes are located in the adjacent gym, not subject to any intervention because it is not needy. The parents, protagonists of the protest, complain precisely the non-use, alternatively, of Passo Ceraso in the face of small improvised classrooms in the gym.

The return of the pupils to their historic locations in Coscaro and Conflenti was a must since the Passo Ceraso site was a temporary solution as the parents themselves state in their press release. In this regard, after reading a high-sounding media title in a local newspaper “Conflenti, a school with only one pupil”, I reflected a lot on the meaning of such a drastic statement, even translated by its drafters in a complaint addressed to the Prefect of Catanzaro. I address a first reflection to the dismayed parents at the transfer of some pupils to the schools of Lamezia Terme: the pupils of the lower secondary schools attend the schools of some municipalities in the internal areas belonging to the Comprehensive Institute “Don Lorenzo Milani” of Martirano and none of the school complexes, of which it is composed, it hosts only one pupil. Furthermore, in realities where the phenomenon of the reduction of births implies a decrease in the school population recourse to the organization of school units for multi-classes. The autonomous decision of some parents to transfer their children to other institutions it does not find, in my opinion, any justification of a legal nature and even less of an educational nature. They maintain that, if Passo Ceraso were left open, they would have continued to send their children, pupils of San Mazzeo, to the middle of Passo Ceraso, as if it were easy to reach Passo Ceraso from San Mazzeo; but the return to Conflenti made it practically impossible for him to continue the educational path in the complex, because Conflenti center becomes unreachable for them and hence the need to move to Lamezia Terme. They have chosen Lamezia and not Martirano Lombardo despite the municipal school bus service for Martirano Lombardo; this time guaranteed and not hindered by the current mayor. Instead, they prefer to pay a subscription to the “Bilotta bus company…. It is important to remind the complainants if they have ever asked those in charge, local and regional administrators, to which logic they referred, and which evaluation parameters they used, to finance and then build, in the face of a clear decrease in the school population, the new structure of Passo Ceraso cost, it seems, around 700 thousand euros, of which there was no absolute necessity?

Faced with the renovated buildings of Conflenti and Coscaro, nearing completion, as well as the affirmation of the temporary nature of the Passo Ceraso building, as an impediment to itself didactic and relational continuity? With reference to the return of the children to structures which they consider not completed, I am absolutely certain that the security managers have not failed to assess the possible risks. connected to the establishment of the classes in the current classrooms. I conclude with an appeal, as a man of school although retired, to all families: schools cannot be used by municipal administrations, which democratically engage, like a prairie for rambling conflicts that have nothing to do with pedagogy or with the future of sons.

Isabella flower

(Retired teacher)

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW … A school with only one pupil causes less scandal than a school-chicken coop