The dream of shifting to Italy ended with a bitter style for a Finnish household as a result of schooling system – KESQ

Sofia Benavides

(CNN) Transferring to Italy to begin a brand new life within the solar, surrounded by lovely surroundings, superb meals and an interesting tradition is a dream many individuals have come true in recent times because of low-cost home gross sales.

However the dream of a household from Finland who moved to the Sicilian metropolis of Syracuse got here to an abrupt finish after simply two months, and their story has change into a nationwide controversy within the Italian media.

Elin and Benny Mattsson, a 40-year-old couple with 4 kids aged 15, 14, 6 and three, determined to go away their new life after realizing that the native colleges and schooling system had been lower than their Finnish requirements. .

In October, determine to pack your luggage and transfer to Spain.

Elin, a 42-year-old artist from the Finnish city of Borgä, also called Porvoo, found her frustration by means of an open letter printed on January 6 within the native newspaper Syracuse Information, criticizing faculty life and the technique of educating. The letter was printed accompanied by a photograph of the household sightseeing.

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Within the column, Elin defined that her kids complained that the remainder of the scholars are loud and unruly, “yelling and banging on the desk”, whistling in school and spending all day at their desks, with little bodily exercise or breaks. outside that stimulate studying, and no meals choices. Lecturers look “disdainfully at college students” or yell, she mentioned, and have low ranges of English language proficiency.

Even the kindergarten her youngest son attended wasn’t as much as the duty, she mentioned, as a result of it did not have toy automobiles, climbing tools or sandboxes for the youngsters to play in.

“The actual life”

Elin mentioned she and her husband Benny, a 46-year-old IT (info expertise) supervisor, had been so alarmed that they determined to vary their planes.

“We moved to Sicily in the beginning of September simply to flee the darkish winters in Finland. We lived within the south and there’s not at all times snow, which makes the environment brighter,” Elin advised CNN Journey by way of textual content message.

The household rented a ravishing flat close to the colourful previous district of Ortigia, a citadel-like island maze of baroque palaces, sunny squares and historic church buildings, plus a historical past courting again to historic Greek occasions.

Elin Mattsson argued that the faculties in Sicily didn’t meet her expectations.

“I actually fell in love with Ortigia, the recent meals markets, the environment,” he mentioned. “Mockingly, I do not just like the atmosphere when it is too ‘clear’ and ideal. I am an artist, so I wish to see ‘behind the scenes’, actual life. That’s what I noticed in Sicily and in Syracuse,” she added.

If she had recognized that the varsity “was that poor”, she would have chosen one other place, even when she would have missed the fantastic thing about Ortigia, she says.

“Everybody learns as they stay, so I am positive my kids additionally discovered and grew by means of this expertise. I additionally met some very good and useful individuals there, so I’ve nothing unhealthy to say in regards to the Sicilian mentality.”

Nonetheless, the publication of Elin’s grievance letter sparked a nationwide debate in Italy, with mother and father, academics and teachers taking a stand, primarily in protection of Italian colleges.

The problem even reached the decrease home of the Italian parliament with Rossano Sasso, former Secretary of State for Training and consultant of the Nationalist League get together, posting on Fb in help of Italian academics.

Sasso mentioned she refused to “take classes from a Finnish painter” who steered authorities reform colleges with outside breaks and enjoyable playgrounds.

“Very offended”

Italy’s Training Minister Giuseppe Valditara issued a press release warning towards “generalizing off-the-cuff judgments” about Italy’s academics, whereas acknowledging the necessity to enhance Italy’s schooling system.

Elin says she is now making an attempt to tone down her criticism, arguing that the Italian translation of her Finnish-language letter printed by Italian media sounded “angrier” than the unique.

“I simply needed to level out quite simple measures that may very well be taken, like recent air breaks,” she says.

“I do not hate something or anybody. I simply realized that my youngsters did not like going there, and it is the primary time they reacted like that.”

He added that he understands if pupils are supposed to take a seat all day, however anticipated the faculties to happen, if not just like these in Finland, then just like these in Spain, the place the household had beforehand lived.

Elin mentioned the household needs to share what they’ve discovered from their time in Sicily as a lesson to different international households craving to stay the Italian dream, recommending that they search a quieter rural faculty or take into account homeschooling.

chaotic site visitors

In her authentic letter, Erin additionally criticized the chaotic city atmosphere in Syracuse and the environmental impression of site visitors jams as automobiles line as much as enter Ortigia by way of its solely bridge.

“How is it attainable to suppose that the numerous adults who rush to high school each morning and each afternoon will be purposeful?” she wrote. “Is site visitors chaos (and what in regards to the atmosphere) sensible for households?”

Elin believes that Italian faculty authorities might want to increase consciousness of the advantages of kids strolling to and from faculty alone with a view to scale back automobile site visitors and encourage pedestrians in city facilities.

“In Finland, kids go to high school by themselves, they use bicycles or stroll, and in the event that they stay greater than 5 kilometers from faculty they will take a taxi or faculty bus. They eat lunch at college, then go house by themselves when the varsity day is over,” she recounted.

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Elin says her doubts started the day she arrived at highschool to jot down to her two oldest kids.

“The noise from the courses was so loud that I questioned how the hell it was attainable to pay attention,” he wrote, including that college students’ heads shouldn’t be stuffed “like sausages with an excessive amount of studying for underdeveloped brains.”

His phrases have brought about a stir in Italy, resulting in an internet debate about whether or not the Mattssons are proper or incorrect, or a little bit of each.

In keeping with Giangiacomo Farina, director of the Siracusa Information—the outlet that printed Elin’s letter—her feedback replicate “cultural variations which have provoked an unwarranted media outcry.

“Merely, the Italian faculty system is extra centered on educating content material and fewer on educating buildings and outside play areas”, he can’t.

Nonetheless, he provides, educating in Italy may be taught one thing from Finnish strategies.

increasing data

Farina says her newspaper slowed a surge in Web site visitors with greater than one million readers within the days after Elin’s open letter.

Many Syracuse households posted feedback, with some siding with the Mattssons and agreeing that educating in Italy wants an replace.

The mom of a woman who attended the identical class as Elin’s 14-year-old son wrote that the Finnish boy as soon as requested the place the bathe was after bodily schooling and everybody laughed.

He additionally mentioned that the boy steadily complained to his daughter about how backwards Italy was and that issues within the nation had been actually unhealthy.

Syracuse historical past and philosophy professor Elio Cappuccio advised CNN that Italy’s schooling is “a lot richer in content material, fields of research and common tradition in comparison with different international techniques.”

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“Our college students start at a really younger age to be taught many issues after which they be taught to broaden their data. This opens their minds,” he acknowledged.

Pierpaolo Coppa, a Syracuse schooling official, mentioned it was “incorrect to match the Italian and Finnish educating fashions, that are fully totally different” and that “two months usually are not sufficient to evaluate an academic system.”

“Some factors raised within the letter may very well be mentioned additional, however the skilled high quality of our academics is of the best stage,” Coppa advised CNN.

The CNN Wire
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