Our cooperative´s main identity is the cooperation between parents, staff and collaborators

Txantxiku Ikastola was opened in Oñati in 1967, with just 28 students. Ten years later it became a cooperative. Andoni Zendoia is currently in charge of the ikastola and its broad educational offer, as students can study Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate all in the same school. He believes that being a cooperative provides advantages such as cooperation, solidarity and self-management.

 

When and how did Txantxiku Ikastola come about?

The ikastola was founded in September 1967, thanks to local initiative and the parents of 28 students. The first student body was made up of 28 boys and girls aged 3-4. At first, the church helped the ikastola a great deal. Starting out wasn’t easy as there were problems with a very strict inspection but the people promoting the ikastola did a great job and we have them to thank for the ikastola as we know it today.

When did the ikastola become a cooperative?

Debate and mutual collaboration have always been very important when defining the ikastola’s fundamental principles. At the end of the 70s, several people in charge of managing the ikastola took on the task of setting up a cooperative and a small group drafted the statutes and rules of the cooperative in their spare time. And so, the Txantxiku Ikastola cooperative was founded in 1980.

As a cooperative, how would you describe Txantxiku Ikastola´s identity?

In my opinion, our cooperative’s main identity is cooperation between parents, staff and other contributors. The ikastola’s lines of action are defined by consensus, we all make up Txantxiku Ikastola and it is fundamental that everyone takes part. We keep students centre stage and we try our utmost to provide the very best education.

Might the fact that it is a cooperative put it at an advantage over other models?

The fact that it is a cooperative provides many advantages in terms of self-management. As I was saying, the partners define the future of the cooperative and it is very important, necessary even, that everyone takes part. On the other hand, the advantages are not just administrative because, by working with other cooperatives, we are involved in many joint initiatives: training sessions, pedagogic projects, legal and financial consultancy, discussing best practices, etc.

All this thanks to the organisations that we have set up for this purpose, in other words, Erkide (Basque Country Cooperative Confederation) and in the field of ikastolas, Ikastolen Elkartea. Cooperation between cooperatives is very important as, in addition to innovation and improvements to society, it develops sources of support and solidarity

How do you see the future of the cooperative movement?

The future is bright for the cooperative movement. In our current globalised society, cooperation is fundamental, and this lies at the very heart of the cooperative: cooperation both inside and outside the cooperative. That will make us stronger and I believe that it will make a vital contribution to help us tackle future challenges. Without mentioning the bonus for the school atmosphere: implication and participation from everyone is essential to educate our young people, and cooperation between everyone in the educational community is fundamental.

 

Andoni Zendoia
Director of Txantxiku Ikastola

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