Environmental education and prevention to early school leaving - Quartieri Spagnoli of Naples – Environmental education and prevention to early school leaving
2021 – ongoing

Since 2021 we have started a long-term collaboration with the FOQUS Foundation and the Social Enterprise “Dalla Parte Dei Bambini” of Naples for the creation of an excellent training offer with a specific environmental vocation. The new school, founded by this collaboration, will be located in the centre of the Spanish Quarters of Naples, a social context characterized by the highest risk of early school leaving between 8 and 13 years old in Italy; the highest degree of anthropization of the urban context at the European level, the almost absolute lack of green areas and by the highest national rate of unemployment on a neighbourhood scale.

The EDUQA initiative aims to produce a positive impact on the social condition, educational innovation and environmental awareness, generating a new identity for the Spanish Quarters, from a symbol of social fragility to a neighbourhood where the rights and needs of children and young people are placed at the centre of their own emancipation processes.

The project involves the construction of a nursery school (0-2 years), a kindergarten (3-5 years), a primary school (6-10 years) and a lower secondary school (11- 14 years). The interventions will be conducted with a perspective of urban regeneration. Those buildings currently in a state of abandonment will be recovered and converted into learning environments, intended for the development of innovative educational practices and for the dissemination of a new environmental culture.

With this clear objective in mind, the schools were designed and will be built having as a reference the best international standards of organization and design of spaces, intended as the “third educator”, with green areas provided for experimental education and research activities.

From a pedagogical point of view, the new school will apply the Freinettian model of active school, according to which one learns by doing, through the experience that is the base of all knowledge and every educational practice. The educational action starts from the idea that there is no child equal to another, but that everyone is the bearer of their own way of being and being in the world, and the school must be able to welcome and enhance this. Starting from the recognition of this uniqueness, the educational project intends to make available to each child the tools necessary for the unfolding of their own personal path.

The effects of educational practices and their replicability will be studied and evaluated by INDIRE – the National Institute of Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research – which will carry out, with its own researchers, analysis and evaluation of the results.

The EDUQA initiative therefore has a strong social component to combat educational poverty and the explicit and implicit early school leaving. In addition, it strongly promotes a new culture of sustainable development, that in future shall hopefully involve the whole school environment.

Key numbers



beneficiary children


sq. m covered and 400 sq. m of green area recovered




years as time horizon for this intervention