A colorful school | Odyssey

“Human rights must belong to all, belong to all, otherwise call them privileges”

(Gino Strada)

What does school smell like for an adult? What happens when we as adults go back to school?

Considering that I have, let’s say, some familiarity with the school, and that in recent years I have attended several courses as a student, yet it smells of school when one is “On the other side of the fence ”, I had not heard from him again.

Until I crossed the threshold of the CPIA – Provincial Center for Adult Education “Gino Strada” in Andria. This year.

And that smell is starting to float around me again.

And yes, this time it was simply Paola walking up the stairs towards her classroom, her and her dream of learning French.

I was again just a student. Students on a French language course, intermediate level.

And as the course progressed, the smell permeated everything.

– Hello Madam Professor.

– Hello to you.

And we started with the problems with Glue without connection …

– Does the light come on?

– Prof, will you allow me to intervene? In my opinion it’s the cable … (scene seen and reviewed, albeit from a different perspective!).

And the jokes for the “class nerd”, the youngest and freshest of studies and the suggestions, the encouragement, the laughter and the requests for extra time …

– Ohhhh, but the answer to the fifth affirmation should be conjugated to the proche of the future or to the future simple?

– Prof, 5 minutes more …

A class of five adults arrived, each with their own motivation, all united by a great desire to learn. Immediately, group.

And a friendly teacher who gradually gave up the role of “Madame le professeur” and became “Francesca”, one of us, and the group now consisted of six members. Different roles. Same enthusiasm by sharing the experience.

But if it had ended here, it would not have made much sense to describe it.

The French course opened my eyes to a great reality in our city and beyond.

I knew the school held Italian courses for immigrants; in the yard I immediately met young people on bikes who came and went and I was sure there were women too but it was very sweet to discover them. I met them on the way to class. They apparently started the lesson earlier and crossed the corridor leading to my classroom, I stretched my eyes out towards the others: While the teacher explained, there were those who breastfed, those who held their baby in their arms to hold it well. Some followed the lesson standing and rocking their baby. Among the desks, parked strollers. And despite this apparent confusion, there was an atmosphere of “good school”.

Among young Africans, Italian men and women looking for a belated confirmation.

Some time ago I was teaching adults; I remember the desire for revenge, the desire to start over, that animates those who have dropped out of school at a young age and later try to take back their fate …

Suddenly, the black, brown, and white corridor was dyed platinum blonde by the hair of the Ukrainians who arrived overnight after the painful events of the ongoing conflict. Young women and their children.

The elderly, in the classroom, with their mothers, or all with the babysitters playing to draw; the little ones sleep in prams next to the partners. The teachers mediate in English between the mothers ‘wishes and the babysitters’ offers.

In the school there is a childcare of volunteers who, while benefiting from the citizenship income that does not require restitution in the form of work, honor their dignity and provide help to those who are trying to open the way to a new life.

Sometimes children’s cries rose in the corridor, which brought us back to reality outside our happy class.

The colorful school, as I came to call it, is a school that smells of Liv and sometimes tastes of jasmine, fresh and sweet as summer that strikes through after winter, sometimes it is sour and takes the throat.

It is a school that takes in everyone’s needs because human rights must belong to all, belong to all, otherwise call them privilegessays Gino Strada’s motto, to which the school was dedicated.

Since its birth, in 2015, on the ashes of the old CTPs, and despite the three years of pandemic, several projects have been carried out covering the entire BAT province; 32 Pon only in the year ending; cooking courses, IT courses, foreign language strengthening courses with associated Erasmus project.

And then services dedicated to students and created to give them a voice, especially to those who are often on the sidelines.

Looking for information, I discovered the existence of a project, “the Library of living books”; designed to be a real place to share stories, due to the pandemic it has become a virtual place, a podcast container, where you can store the stories of the students who wanted to tell their difficulties, experiences and feelings as proof of their own life. , often full of obstacles and prejudices to help understand.

“With us, there is no room for prejudice,” says the creator of the project, Prof. Rosa Maria Ciritella. “We have the task of including and helping everyone to understand”.

Take it with you it is the sharpest act that this humanity is called to perform to build a world worthy of being lived by all.

It is still: CPIA BAT radio Gino Strada, with interviews edited and conducted between students, music selection and still stories like Cristina, a Romanian woman, in Italy for more than 10 years, who has learned to cook sweets from our Christmas tradition, but who on holidays cooks his country dishes, for not to forget his roots. A woman who has managed to reunite her family, who feels Italian, and who dreams that her children will be fulfilled without suffering the discrimination she was subjected to when she arrived here.

A team of well-motivated teachers, those who believe in the dream of a welcoming school that fights discrimination, who believe in the power of their mission, an indomitable and enterprising captain, DS Paolo Farina, are realizing the miracle. The project Migrating is humanleads to them getting a price such as Best practice at the National Adult Education Fair.

CPIA Bat is not just a school; it is the image of the world as it should be. A colorful and harmonious world where one can give substance to the concepts of Permanent Education and Social Equality, according to which no one should be denied the dream of a better future.


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