(Trilogy dedicated to all schoolchildren in the United)


Let's for a moment the policy by, and talk about things clean.

We speak, for example, final exams in schools.

Perhaps you will ask me:

Who was the first who invented this joke melancholy exams? –

Until yesterday, I confess my buaggine, I do not know that I had never bothered to, for the same reason that I never bothered to find out who invented the cuticles, the fignoli and horseflies.

Today I know: and I know because he told me one of my good friend: Professor Guido Ruffino.

This Ruffino, who is a proponent of abolition of exams strenuissimo ( boys! cavatevi hat and salute! ) said that the tests were set up by Irnerius, professorer of Roman law at the University of Bologna, in the twelfth century: which established the rules and rites for the assignment of the new dignity of doctorate. And from the University of Bologna, the custom of the examinations for the doctorate came to the University of France and England, and then in the rest of Europe.

Now, boys, did you know that the name of the inventor of the examinations, I highly recommend it in your holy prayers. Do not forget to charity!

Meanwhile, course of time, what happened had to happen: namely (as stated by the Ruffino) began to haggling titles ( it seems that the history of capons given away to teachers and examiners to be more of the same old capons!), So that the exams had become illusory to sign, that all the talented and witty and satirical sberteggiati were placed in canzonella.

How to remedy this scangèo? It was thought to aggravate the hand, and to make the most difficult exams, more stringent, most watched. The whole effort thrown away. The water is gone from the closed, and even today, even to the present times, you could swear, says my good friend, that all pupils are fit to an examination, a third of its value just due to the happy outcome of this experiment.

Even the Righteous, that, before being poet, was a schoolboy in Pisa, playfully joked about the ease that almost all the students who have never studied, namely the ease of

Peck in fifteen

Days examination

In all'ebete Barba


Of drudges

Ciuchi e birboni.

That peck, for those in the know, oro valley as weighs. It is a coined word which seems to signify the seriousness and majesty of all examinations passed, present and to come!

What did the Ruffino?

The Ruffino seems almost to have taken those verses of the text for the Righteous, and wrote some forty pages ragionatissime and conclusive, to demonstrate the utility and, Stereo to say, morality to abolish exams.

The exams, how you do in school today, never give, May the quasi, the right value of the pupil; exams, how you do today, can, in most cases, or ciurmeria vulgar or a game of luck and wits.

I said ciurmeria, and I'll explain in the words of his friend. Who of us is that, Having dabbled as a boy some room for exams, do not remember, laughing, the history of sandwiches gravidi of these resolute, dispatches that run on the brick in the form of balls of paper, formulas written in pencil on the nails and on the handkerchief, and a thousand tricks suggested by cunning and audacity of the pupils, which they know ched all depends on the outcome vintage school that one test?

Someone may observe that the master, knowing the strength of his disciples, is in the case of notice of pranks and hear from afar the odor of contraband.


A good account, we must not forget that in some tests, as would be those of Baccalaureate, There are many young strangers to public schools, the capacity of which being quite unknown to the examiner, he is not able to judge whether their work is apocryphal or not. And if the examiner does not have the factual evidence to justify his doubts, can not cancel the job; and if the job is done right, must approve.

And so the student, although ignorant, comes out victorious with a lot of degree and license: and so the earth is populated more and more lawyers who throw themselves to the government employee, or the deputy, they do not know a word of law; of doctors, stealing bread to dentists and pedicuri, because they have not studied medicine; of high school teachers, who teach geography, thinking of pies and mulled Strasbourg on the Rhine, and teachers of primary and secondary schools, confusing in good faith lenses ustorie Archimedes with those of the biblical Jacob's soup.

And when the exams are not a ciurmeria, I said earlier that, in many cases, are clarified for a game of luck and wits.

It is almost always, in fact, that school children casual and bold, even if they studied little and reluctantly, got exams, There are, for the usual, best proof of all other, even those who have studied diligently and well.

But the ease and boldness are qualities that do not touch at all.

Have a nice say pupils, close examination, who are not afraid; that fear is borne; that fear is a tare that the pupil makes himself.

The fear you can not leave home, as you leave the dog; and courage are not taught and not learned.

Anyway, examining whether poor s'impappina, so much the worse for him and his family. Have also studied as a martyr throughout the year; has even shown diligence and profit on all his classmates ... who cares? Interrogation of the oral exam has not responded well to all the questions: his was a miserable !Dunque not healthy ...: therefore it will not!

Here is the logic of the tests!



But you need to go for long? Maybe you need more words, to demonstrate that the tests, facts as they are today, really deserve the name of farces unnecessary and acrobatic exercises, as he calls them the Ruffino?

Down exams! And substitute instead a principle more logical and practical; namely the investigation of the merits of the daily work.

And I will keep this word in the last canto.



Law ..... did not have time to bloom, why .... because the just man falls seven times a day, and our ministers, that you are good, but no right, fall in average fourteen times a year, and fifteen in leap years. If every drop left a bruise, Italian statesmen should be as many blacks Hornets.

Walk into a school, says Ruffino, stand upon the notebooks in the hands of schoolchildren, sfogliateli, and you see at once that passes difference between a pupil and the other; you see immediately what are diligent and good, and which the careless and the donkeys ( with all due respect ).

There's more: with the supply of those notebooks, you also have a way to judge the value of the master; or to put it in that language which is called poor, perhaps because it is understood by all, you stand upon two birds with one stone.

As for the written and oral tests to be repeated every month, or every two months, they would serve not only to countercheck, but it would be the complement of the conscientious investigation done on written work diligently and kept in small archive of the school.

So is the custom in England, in secondary schools, where the transition from one class to another does not depend on an examination, but instead is, as they say the abbachisti, an affair of digits: as is the custom for the steps in our class and upper secondary schools.

Now I wonder: if the system has been successfully running, because he can not be taken as a general system in all schools, in all licenses, in all degrees?

This question is difficult to understand who is not waiting for reply.

Certain contradictions we must leave them as they are.

Be studied to explain, to comment and to justify, returns the same as creasing and make grotesquely funny. Might as well put a blonde wig and wings of angel pig to St. Anthony, with the intention to pass it off as a cherub.


Very serious ...... and an irrefutable argument of varying abilities of pupils.

But someone will say:"My good Jesus! Even the teachers are men like everybody else; also suffer from the masters of likes and dislikes; also the masters resemble the confessors of nuns; Today with this nun are sophistical and stingy; tomorrow with that other have wide sleeves ... very large ... .tanto wide, that a mortal sin would pass comfortably, without even need to bend down and lower your head ".

And even if as you say.

But, for all to know, that, in judging my neighbor, I'm going to reverse the courts. The court held the accused guilty for so long as, because of him or of his jurors, he has not clarified innocent; I then, vice versa, I think the man for a gentleman, so long as I hath made known for a good pocodi, or for a man to his knees weak and prone to falls, as the horses of omnibus and the cars of square.

And why should I doubt, Random virgin, honesty and impartiality of public teachers?

A few exceptions have never made a rule.

A good account, the teachers of the public schools do not blindside the stain as robins. Before accepting them and put them in place,, it stacciano the qualities of the soul and intellect..

Maybe, do not say no, that any teacher on the eve of a final exam and conclusive Ciurli me a bit 'in the handle: but I can not resign myself to believe him capable of keeping unfair, partial and sad for all the three hundred sixty-six days of the calendar year. It would be a titanic effort: would be the thirteenth labor of Hercules, s'intende bene, Hercules of a rascal and galerabile without trial.

We, therefore, according to Ruffino, we have different ways to judge, with correctness criteria, the work of the pupils and teachers: we have, namely, daily work, sages mensuali or bimonthly, and the school newspaper or register.

The smart ones perhaps bisbiglieranno. But who assures us that the kids do not find the way to earn some good points unduly, getting help in written work at home from those who know more than their? Who assures us that the wise mensuali or bimonthly not become a lie, intend to give it to the people of good faith? Who assures us that the register or the school newspaper tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as if it were before the President of the Court of Assizes?

He is just to allay all these fears, it was thought that the establishment of a Supervisory Committee: what the committee, as has already been said, should be composed of persons chosen from among the relatives of the pupils, and presided over by a 'school authority, as the royal administrator, or the inspector, or the City Councillor for Education.

It had hitherto famous school fees, scombussolarono that everything: so why, we do not want to test these committees, established in the image of schools boards English?

The members of these committees, it is easy figurarselo, wait with love and work smart and diligent to the good performance of those schools, where they study their children.

– We will wait maybe too much! - Whisper some evil - and in order to ensure the success of their children, leave that classifications become homemade noodles When he had to say that language in two cuts of Messer Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi.

Adagio Biagio, – I replied to his friend Ruffino; – to get there, should be that of the president dancing, and he obligingly lent itself well to this shameless farce, that, disclosed in public, piglierebbe the name of coarse immorality.

And not to miss in other delays, I list and tell: do not you think that this system is more logical, more practical, more equitable, more useful than the final exams? And do not believe that it would be spending to make the experiment?

I think so.

I believe that more, once experienced, there would be a case of having to say, like the dad, to eighty years old, wanted to try to get the fire put to bed: "It was better if I had tried before!”.

Strilleranno geese; but the Gauls do not go up in the Capitol, and peace will reign in the student body and in the family.

Text taken from (Note GAY - Carlo Collodi)

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