I think the point BGXCB is trying to make is also a philosophical one.
Esperanto is supposed to be a constructed language with a small number of rules, it's supposed to make sense, not deviate into the meanders natural languages have found. If lernejo is literally lerno + -ej- and -ej- is place, then lernejo must be a place of learning, in English that's a school.
The fact that a subset of Esperantists (or even all of them for that matter) understand primary school or middle school is an alteration of the original meaning, here it's a synecdoche (you're using a broad word meaning school to qualify a more restricted idea). By restricting the meaning of lernejo, you also restrict the meaning of any compound word that could spawn out of it.
A primary school could be a knablernejo or a junlernejo. A church (so a place of worship for Christians) could be kristanpreĝejo.
There is no point in using a constructed language if it's to make it veer away from its original flexibility, otherwise Esperanto will become as convoluted as natural languages are, over time.
Is there a difference between generally understood, and how the language works? It is generally understood, at least here, that pregxejo means church. However church is actually kirko, and pregxejo is the generic term for place of worship. Perhaps we have the same situation here, where lernejo is actually the generic term for place of learning, and school is really something more specific, perhaps skolo?
Are you asking or telling?
When I say "generally understood", I basically mean that this is how Esperanto works. If you would like me to explain to you in more detail, I can.
Church is not "actually kirko. The word you will hear and which people will understand is pregxejo. The word kirko exists but is almost never used.
The word "lernejo" means k-12 school. Higher education would be universitato or some kind of altlernejo.
Skolo but it's it's more like "school of thought" and does not refer to a place of learning.
I need to be careful not to confuse the Portuguese meaning with the similar but different Esperanto meaning. In Portuguese, dever means "should", so "Os jovens devem ir à escola" means "the youths SHOULD go to school, but in Esperanto, it seems to mean "have to" or "need to". What would the the correct way of saying "should" in Esperanto?
Since this is a question about English, I agree. I wouldn't say "go to the school" - unless you mentioned the school before (Edit or if it were obvious from the context that there was a specific school in mind.)
- There is a school on Park Street and we have to be there at the school by 7 PM.
If it's a question about Esperanto, I've commented elsewhere, that I'd probably say "al la lernejo" to talk about school in general. Here's one example:
- Verŝajne estas jam la kvara. Je la sepa mi jam devos ellitiĝi kaj iri al la lernejo.
(It's the first mention of any school in the book I'm quoting from.)