The Valley: Extinct without a School

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Today, the multi-grade school in Avers-Cresta is home to only a handful of students. The numbers always fluctuated, but the fear of an empty school building is always omnipresent. The school is as central to the survival of a community as the shop or possibly the church. A village or valley without a school is doomed and will soon be extinct. Avers is in need of families with children and depends on having teachers. In former times, pastors taught the children. Later on, literate men, such as the district governor, who knew how to write and read, taught others the alphabet. In 1856, however, the Cantonal education authorities issued a decree requiring that only “suitable" teachers with a teaching certificate must be hired. Since that time, teachers from outside the high mountain valley had to be recruited for teaching in Avers.