Giovanni Modugno, the Professor

Publish date 16-12-2020

by Annamaria Gobbato

"If school is to be life, life must be school: in a word it must be education", wrote Giovanni Modugno, from Puglia, educator of the twentieth century called simply by students and fellow teachers the Professor , alluding to the purpose of school education, that is, to train consciences to build personalities capable of critical and ethically correct judgment.

Modugno had intuited, like Don Bosco, that learning, far from being submissive or rigid, must be preventive. And to prepare for life, it is also necessary to become good citizens; in 1943 Modugno founded a school of political training for university students, just as a few years earlier he had conceived the School for peasants and workers. A socialist but also a convinced Christian, he invites us to overcome the fracture between life of faith and political civil commitment, stating that "the ideals of freedom, justice and peace are not feasible without a coherently lived Christian concept".

His commitment to the whole man eventually led him to build the Home for the elderly - Opera Don Guanella, one of the best equipped homes for the elderly in Puglia. He died in 1957, surrounded by the students with whom he had shared classrooms for many years, which had become a cenacle of life.

Annamaria Gobbato
NP October 2020

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