Monday , August 2 2021

At the age of 12, the most famous "professor" of San Juan already has 36 students and wants to expand the school he founded – 01/12/2018



– "The mobile phone!"

The voice, firm, resonates in the precarious and small "classroom". Nico does not need to turn after this warning and continue writing accounts on the board. He knows that behind his back, despite his 12 years, the students will listen to him and hold the phone in his pocket.

Nico is Leonardo Nicanor Quinteros, the child who has chosen to help other children from the humble neighborhoods Piedritas I and II, in Pocito, San Juan, "so they do not repeat." He was only 8 when he began to teach two cousins. Today four years later, 36 students attend the "Mother country and Unit" school he "founded" in his grandmother's patio The house of Ramona.

Focus Nicanor, at the head of the class.

Focus Nicanor, at the head of the class.

"Homeland for the colors of the flag and Unit, because that's what we want from the children," he says seriously the "profe", as everyone knows Nico. He is also a child, but with other responsibilities. So she decided that on July 7, 2014, she asked for Ramona's permission to hold her back and there she opened the doors of her "school". "I learned to just teach"He says Bugler without anything of arrogance and with much timidity.

It's time Nico gets her students. Dream of extension of the "classrooms".

It's time Nico gets her students. Dream of extension of the "classrooms".

Pocito is a department located 20 kilometers south of the capital of San Juan. Nico lives in the district of La Piedritas II with her grandmother and returning home is not a complicated task for any foreigner. Guards, teachers, kiosks and children can be calm to notice, with greater or less precision, where the most famous stage school in the place is.

"It's a neighborhood of humble and workers," said a municipal agent. "Many work in the field, reap grapes, olives or everything that is needed," he added after giving precise rates to locate the house.

Nicanor and his students. The little school works in the house of his grandmother Ramona. "You do not come here to play, but to learn," explains the "teacher." Photo: Dolphin Rodriguez

Nicanor and his students. The little school works in the house of his grandmother Ramona. "You do not come here to play, but to learn," explains the "teacher." Photo: Dolphin Rodriguez

After passing through a gate that rarely closes, you must walk about 20 meters along a steep road and turn left to find "Mother country and Unit"In the middle of the trip is the main entrance to the house of Ramona, and on the right side a small roof roof where mixing furniture, boxes and mattresses are mixed. Here is the bunker where Nico keeps the books in front of every storm that is not usually in that hot San Arena.

Solidarity and vocation Nicanor teaches classes daily, from 14 to 18.

Solidarity and vocation Nicanor teaches classes daily, from 14 to 18.

"Mother country and Unidad" It's not a conventional school. It does not have, of course, official recognition. Although it does not need it either. There, in a small point in the region of Domingo Faustino Vine shoot, it is simply taught and learned. And Nico and his students are not looking for something else.

The doors are two elastic old beds. The walls, made of cardboard, sheet metal and nylon. Inside the spaces are minimal: three classrooms, two of two, divided into fabrics that work like curtains. Each room has its door and tin where small pieces of chalk can be stored. It's a kindergarten, where children sit on bricks around a table. "Years of two years come … Here they begin to play first," Nico explains naturally. The other two classrooms are for higher grades (1st and 2nd, 5th and 6th). Outside there are the banks for the 3rd and 4th grade students, plus flagball with the Argentine flag and up to a bell to call the playground.

In addition to teaching, Nico-studies. It goes to the first year and has already won a scholarship to study the education school when the Secondary has finished. Photo: Dolphin Rodriguez.

In addition to teaching, Nico-studies. It goes to the first year and has already won a scholarship to study the education school when the Secondary has finished. Photo: Dolphin Rodriguez.

Nico is present the first year in the school August 12. Because the "teacher" must also study. That's why he rises every day at 7, changes, takes breakfast and takes his bike to go to school.

At the age of 13 he returns home, lunch and an hour later he begins with his favorite task: "I like to teach," he accepts. And he opens his eyes a lot when he says they have already given him a scholarship to study the education school when he finishes the Secondary.

Classes start at 14 and end at 18, although sometimes they can extend a few more hours. The vast majority of the 36 students are children who aim to reinforce the knowledge they have acquired in their schools. "But someone can come, not just those of the neighborhood," says Nico, who also offers his students a cup of tea in winter or a glass of juice in summer.

To class Some of the students of Nico, arriving at the house of their grandmother Ramona.

To class Some of the students of Nico, arriving at the house of their grandmother Ramona.

There is nothing new. "When I was younger, I gave him 20 weights to buy snack at school, but he spent 10 weights and with the rest he bought his students something to eat," her grandmother remembers emotionally.

Nico takes his job very seriously. "They learn, they do not play," he says. Who can testify this is Mirta Donoso, who is 40 years old and is the largest student in the school.

"Sometimes I ask him if a account is right or wrong, But it puts me so big"It says, smiling this woman, who goes more than half an hour under the sun to go to school." It's not a shadow, it's a desert, "adds the mother of eight children. Some of them are also attending the school of Nico . "I'll continue because I want to learn more. My dream is to finish school and to be somebody in life, "says Mimi, who must keep her tears when she counts. that you can write your name.

My fun Nico plays the bell of his "school", which he baptized "Motherland and Unit". Photo: Dolphin Rodriguez

My fun Nico plays the bell of his "school", which he baptized "Motherland and Unit". Photo: Dolphin Rodriguez

Nico's story became known in May when Ramona told a house where she was doing a house what her grandson did and the media began to invade her home. "Everything has changed much after that moment," says the young man. "It was crazy," agreed Alejandra (35), the mother.

Gifts, awards and awards have been multiplied. Also some trips to other provinces and paid holidays to Mendoza. However, there were also some promises that remained in this, such as an online internet connection, which still shines due to its absence.

Although the dream is much bigger. "They told me they would build a classroom to teach, the idea is that the next year is ready," Nico thinks. In fact, the promise was to start raising the school in September, but until now there is no news. Then Ramona continued a campaign to fulfill her grandson's dream: she went to the Anses delegation and took a loan to buy the materials to start building the school.

With the grandmother Ramona and Nico.

With the grandmother Ramona and Nico.

Nico is the fourth of five brothers and, when he was only two months, he suffered spiral arrest. "God has left him again on this Earth"Says her mother convinced." What he does, moves, "Alejandra continues. He began to cry with two children and grew up in something very great."

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