The Slovenia Times

Slovenian to be taught at Val Canale schools

Science & Education
Primary school children. Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Slovenian will be taught in the Val Canale in Italy starting in November after trilingual education was introduced this school year. Classes will be held at the Ingeborg Bachmann institute in Treviso and in other towns in the valley, which is a meeting point of Italian, German, Friuli and Slovenian cultures.

The Trieste-based Slovenian newspaper Primorski Dnevnik has reported that two teachers from Slovenia will be teaching the classes, one of whom has been teaching Slovenian abroad for 20 years. They will be paid by the Slovenian Education Ministry.

Slovenian will be taught as a subject, starting in kindergarten, as part of the trilingual education project also featuring Italian and German. Some subjects will be taught in Slovenian, which will require the cooperation of the Slovenian teachers and the teachers of the subjects.

The Slovenian Cultural and Economic Association (SKGZ), one of the umbrella organisations of the Slovenian minority in Italy, is pleased with the development, noting that it will help bridge the gap in terms of education in Slovenian. The support of Slovenia is key when it comes to education, the organisation wrote.

The multilingual education is a five year pilot project, as detailed in a decree signed by the then Italian Education Minister Patrizio Bianchi in October 2022. It began in September when the German classes started but the Slovenian side struggled to find teachers.

According to the newspaper Novi Matajur, there have only been Italian schools in the Val Canale since 1919. The region has been trying to find a systemic solution for Slovenian language classes in local schools for 20 years. Slovenian has appeared in schools in different ways but never in an organised manner. Financing and finding teaching staff were the main issues.

Slovenian schools in Italy in general are experiencing a shortage of Slovenian-speaking teachers, as do kindergartens.


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