il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

How much is school worth?

By Anna Segre

Ius sanguis, ius soli, ius scholae: the right of the blood, the right of the soil, the right of the school. If we look at the literal translation, aside from the current use of this terminology to classify laws concerning citizenship, there is no doubt that “right of the school” sounds much more comforting than “right of the blood” and also than “right of the soil”. If we considered blood, soil and school as absolute values, school would even more so be the one to prefer: “blood” and “soil” have something unsettling in them. I admit that this translation game is irrelevant, especially as regards the soli. However, we cannot deny that the laws concerning citizenship are bound to an idea of identity. And if an identity can be acquired through school, it means that, after all, school is not as irrelevant in people’s lives as somebody states. Therefore, speaking about ius scholae is not just a drive for integration, but also a leap of faith in the value of education and culture. And, conversely, denying ius scholae means (maybe not intentionally, but inevitably in my opinion) stating that school is not so important after all. This is certainly a secondary aspect of the matter, yet it may be worth thinking about.

Translation by Alida Caccia, revised by Margherita Francese, students at the Secondary School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Trieste, interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities – Pagine Ebraiche.