Trieste - Italian schools that use Slovenian as a learning language celebrated their 70th anniversary in Trieste on Tuesday with musical performances by students and addresses by ethnic community representatives.
The event at the Kulturni dom cultural centre was initiated by a board of principles of Slovenian language schools in Italy to show the Slovenian community's connection to its roots, preserve tradition, as well as to provide an insight in the educational system and its future.
The event featured choir, dancing, and theatre performances by primary and secondary school students. The audience was then addressed by representatives of the various Slovenian-language schools, who said the establishments were a cultural meeting point for Slovenians and Italians promoting dialogue and cultural exchange.
Pietro Biasiol, head of the regional education office in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, believes Slovenian language schools to be an important part of the educational community in this Italian region. He stressed the importance of multilingualism as well as collaboration with Slovenia.
Minister for Slovenians Abroad Gorazd Žmavc said the school tradition in Italy was preserved and developed despite political pressures. He called for establishing a model based on intergenerational collaboration and underscored the importance of bilingual as well as trilingual education in the province of Udine, part of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
He believes that Slovenian language schools will continue running only if the language itself continues to be transferred on to younger generations.
Slovenian language schools in Trieste and Gorizia date back to 1945, when the authorities allowed them after a 25-year-long period of fascist oppression against the Slovenian language. It was not until later in the 1980s than Udine got its first Slovenian schools.
Today, Slovenian kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in Trieste, Gorizia, and Udine are attended by around 4,400 students. (Source: STA)