Fondazione per la Scuola della Compagnia di San Paolo
Foundation for Schools
Mr. Nicola Crepax
About the organisation
A few years following its creation in 1563, the Compagnia di San Paolo started off a series of projects aimed at offering assistance and education. In particular, this saw the setting up of the Casa del Soccorso delle Vergini, founded in 1589, to offer hospitality to "young women of good breeding" who were lacking in means. In the second half of the XIX century the Casa di Soccorso became an educational institution and was given the name "Educatorio Duchessa Isabella ". In 2001, the Compagnia di San Paolo reorganised the work of the Educatorio which was renamed the Fondazione per la Scuola della Compagnia di San Paolo under its own Institutional Bodies and with the aim of playing an active role in the support of educational institutions, within the framework of the school system reform.
"Working with schools" in order to improve the quality of education in Italy with regard to the changes following the introduction of school self-government: that is the mission of the Fondazione per la Scuola (Foundation for Schools). The Foundation works in co-operation with the Ministry and its decentralised offices, the regions, local authorities, the associations and organisations which are active in the school sector, with the following aims:
- to contribute to bringing schools closer to the highest European standards, facilitating the transfer of European and Italian benchmark experiences and best practices among schools;
- to promote a better knowledge of the history and institutions of the European Union, its future prospects and the meaning of being citizens of Europe and stimulating interest in participating in European programmes and initiatives;
- to foster employability through the acquisition of knowledge and abilities which will prove valuable in the workplace.
Some of the Foundation's other important initiatives include:
- Xké? Il laboratorio della curiosità, a center that promote science education by gene rating curiosity and interest among students throught discoveries, experiments, and lab works;
- the Educatorio Duchessa Isabella Scholarships programme, which represents the continuation of the time-honoured work of the Educatorio in the field of education;
- the promotion of other initiatives concerning education which involve the Compagnia di San Paolo in cooperation with local bodies and regional institutions. In Turin these include the projects:
- Provaci ancora Sam! which aims to tackle middle school failure rates and the phenomenon of school drop-out;
The history competition
At the beginning of 2002, the Fondazione set up a study and research programme to explore the teaching of contemporary history in a number of European countries and a multimedia history teaching programme to facilitate teaching and learning in primary, middle and secondary schools. As part of this study the Fondazione initiated a history competition "Concorso Eustory" in order to improve history teaching in schools and raise pupils' interest in contemporary history. Moreover the competition aims at strengthening democracy and promoting European identity. The first history competition was announced in January 2004 under the topic "Migration in Italy (1980-2000)".
The competition is intended for students of secondary schools and other secondary educational establishments. The work should be be the result of a group or class project, but also of single students. The project can be presented as written text, video, hypertext. Documents and photographs can be attached.
The jury is chosen by the Fondazione per la Scuola and is composed of members of the Fondazione, professional historians and university teachers.
The main evaluation criteria are:
- the relationship of works with the topic
- the quality of research
- the originality of the research topic
- the variety of sources and material
The award ceremony takes place in Turin. All prize winners and their supervisors are invited. The number of prize winners may vary. The first prize consists of 10,000 Euro for the school and must be used to buy school equipment and materials. Each single student who wins the competition receives some cultural material, such as books and DVDs, worth 300 Euro.