The PCTO’s many projects in the armed forces: war as a profession?

School-barracks alternation: initiatives are multiplying. For example, in Giugliano, near Naples, where on November 8, 2021 the municipality and the army signed a memorandum of understanding on the “training” (of students and teachers) “on the problem of the management of waste “. In the “Land of Fires” the army (born to make war) is accredited in schools as a solver of ecological problems. “Green Washing” or ecological commitment? Posterity will judge.

With similar projects, the armed forces make their own “civilian” and ecological role credible to young people, which would otherwise be unsuspected (also taking into account the environmental impact of war and the arms industry); leaving a mark of security and militarism on a problem that needs to be addressed education and information to combat mafia silencegiven the link between toxic waste, ecocide and the Camorra.


Peace wash“(Even for the Marines of Sigonella)?

The PCTO (“Pathways for Transversal Skills and Orientation”) with the military has been on the agenda since 2016, the year after Renzi Law 107/2015 (the “good school”) introduced “alternation school-work “. With examples all over Italy, often in the south; as in Sicily, where the agreement between the USR and the Army of December 2021 proposed, for the school year 2021/22, a training offer on “Notions of Topography”, “Design of building works”, ” Catering management and lobby service “. ”,“ Welcoming and accompanying visitors ”,“ Management of the kitchen service and food distribution ”, and many other topics. As if to suggest – with careful “peace-washing” work – that in those parts the barracks are the only remedy for the chronic unemployment to which the South has been condemned since 1861.

The “education” and familiarization of some fourth grade with the English language and interculturality: a project that later collapsed due to the protests. Killer drones, spy drones, warplanes and similar flowers fly all over the planet from Sigonella.

Military classes even in primary

South, but not only. For the current school year, in fact, “information conferences of the Italian army were organized in the Schools of Tuscany, activities provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding stipulated between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Defense, on related topics. with history, “tasks and” professional opportunities “of the Armed Forces”: for primary, secondary and high school students. uniform, with the words “DREAM GROW REALIZE.” Having gone out of fashion “believe, obey, fight,” does the military-industrial complex seek to validate itself as an educator and builder of peace and development?

In Fossombrone, in the Marche region, for the orientation that will come out in 2020, the graduates listened to the military lesson on “military careers, competition at the Military Academy of Modena and related university addresses, competition at the school Allievi Marescialli di Viterbo, modalities for voluntary enrollment in the Armed Forces and modalities of voluntary registration as athletes“.

Enthusiasts say “No”

Antonio Mazzeo, a pacifist journalist and one of the most active speakers on the subject, defines all this as a “militarization of consciousness and functional education to the general consensus towards multimillion-dollar rearmament plans and to create the ideological foundations of student-citizen-soldier “Model” of 21st Century War Societies. “

On the contrary, a school principal from Bari, enthusiastic about the PCTO in military structures, he defines it as “an absolutely different teaching / learning method from the traditionally logocentric one of school pedagogy, but certainly not new”; and uncomfortable even Comeni as a forerunner of “learning by doing” and alternating school-work.

War like any profession?

We have already written aboutinitiative of some entities among them Pax Christi (Catholic pacifist movement active for 77 years) “Demilitarized Schools”, promoted several times since 2013 and aimed at teachers to raise awareness of the “worrying concept of” security “based on the idea of” self-defense “And on the growing militarization of public and private spaces.” In the current war climate – between TV which urge us to take sides without hesitation at the prospect of a new world war: the issue is tragically topical.

Some grassroots unions took sides PCTO (militaristic or not), and went on strike on May 6, 2022.

Teachers as a megaphone of any interest?

In April 2022, 15 associations – grouped in a Coordination to oppose the presence of the military in schools – handed over to theUSR Sicily a document of protest signed by the citizens, organizing prisons and conferences. Are they right or wrong? Thanks to school “autonomy”, is the school now a no-man’s land, where organizations of all kinds are running to get their heads around it? And now teachers have completely abdicated their role, which is to decide autonomously how to use their professionalism (which is to choose content, methods and means to emancipate the learners from ignorance, making them free and conscious citizens and their rights)?

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