Valditara to the Finnish family: in Italy a valuable teacher

«The Italian school has teachers and managers of absolute value and who do an excellent job with modest salaries. We do not generalize impromptu judgments. Let’s work together to improve our school system more and more, starting with enhancing the role of teachers”. The Minister of Education and Merit, Giuseppe Valditara, clearly takes a position commenting on the open letter written by a Finnish family on the Italian school, a letter of strong criticism. After just two months the family, husband wife and four children, packed up and decided to leave Syracuse to move to Spain.

The interview with the online journalist

Elin Mattsson, a 42-year-old Finnish painter, explained to a local online newspaper that she would like a better education system for her children than the one she has found on the island. She and her husband, who works remotely for an IT company, had decided to settle in Syracuse to enjoy the climate and the beauty of the places. The decision to say goodbye to Trinacria came because of the school, which the woman considers unsatisfactory. «They scream, use the whistle and bang on the table, my 6-year-old son told me – she writes in the letter-And the 14-year-old told me that he knows English better than the teacher. We wanted to experience your amazing climate and culture but things didn’t go as planned.” It took “just two months to realize that it wasn’t worth it”, writes Elin Mattsson who speaks of a “poor” school system, of “noisy classes” and of “contemptuous” teachers.

The reasons for the farewell

And then he takes it out on the immobilism. «The day passes in the same chair from morning to when you go home». And again: «Teaching in kindergarten should come from play. Free play! Children should be children as long as possible, if you do, you will do well in school. In Finnish kindergartens, children go out every morning between 9 and 11, they can play freely. They have toy cars, climbing objects, sandboxes. In Finland, children aged 7 to 12 go to school on their own, use the bicycle or walk, if they live more than 5 kilometers from the school they can go by taxi or the school bus. They have lunch at school, then go home alone when the school day is over.’ continues Elin Mattsson. And he adds: «Why shouldn’t all children have the best conditions for learning? Why don’t you realize the benefits of fresh air? Bye Syracuse.

The return for the holidays

The Finnish family assures that they will return to Sicily for the holidays. «We will visit Sicily like normal tourists – says Elin Mattsson – Sicily is a fantastic place, with nice people, good food, sun, when they don’t delve into it and attend schools». The mother launches an appeal for more money to be invested in Italy’s future. In the South, the big problem is early school leaving which in Sicily reaches 21%, in Finland it stops at 7%. To answer the Finnish painter is, among others, also an Italian teacher, Nicoletta Tancredi, who teaches Latin and Greek in high school in Salerno.

Valditara to the Finnish family: in Italy a valuable teacher