Dispersion: without educating communities, the 500 million PNR will not solve the problem (28/06/2022)

The Ministry of Education, with a decree of June 24, distributed the first 500 million provided by the PNR among the regions and schools for actions to combat early school leaving and educational poverty, in implementation of the investment line 1.4 allocating a total of 1.5 billion. euros for this purpose. Distributed resources such as rain for some and irregular for others, with inadequate criteria or too concentrated only in some aspects, without anticipating a real action of the system and without requiring an impact assessment: so say the criticisms they have suffered following the decree, mainly principal. In essence, the risk is to replicate the usual framework, within which schools will do what they have always done, without, therefore, producing changes and without reducing gaps. Could this be the only way we have to take advantage of the great opportunity of the PNR, with funds that will never return?

Marco Rossi Doria, president of the social enterprise Con i Bambini, was in the working group convened by Minister Patrizio Bianchi to define the general guidelines for combating dispersal and overcoming territorial gaps, in the framework of the application of the PNRR . A group that took office at the end of March and that on June 1 handed over its document to the councilor (you will find it here): they never received a response. In the meantime, however, the Ministry has allocated the resources, following a path far removed from what the group of experts expected: this morning they have in fact written a new letter to the Minister.

“The question is technically very complex, if you set the zones with a too poor range of indicators – for example if you do not take into account the unemployment rate of adults in the territory in which the school insists – or if you have a center with few sections. in a difficult neighborhood … that the school risks not taking the funds. We had proposed a more complex set of indicators. The mistake can always be there, but the most predictable ones would have been avoided “, he comments. In fact, the decree on the distribution of funds between autonomous communities identifies the early exit rate from the education and training system in the 18-24 age group as specific objective indicators linked to the higher risks of school dropout (index ELET – Early Leavers of Education). and Training), the rate of attendance of foreign population, the rate of population without a high school diploma in the age group between 25 and 64 years, the rate of families of five or more members, the number of high school students of first and second grade of the reference region and then – in the division between individual schools – distributes the funds on the basis of the rate of “implicit dispersion” calculated by the Invalsi: identify the territories, that is, the resources go to schools that have at least 8% of students who in Invalsi obtained very low results in both Italian and mathematics.

The real problem, however, for Marco Rossi Doria is that “there is no written information on how to make collaborations, there is only a generic indication, so that schools risk behaving like with a PON, without making an upstream collaboration. There had to be a link to establish the educational community to be able to use that money. ” It is not too late: “The Ministry can make a circular in the centers that deepen, saying that now the schools put around a table the educational resources of the territory and do a project. We have three courses ahead – in our opinion the resources should be able to be spent not at the end of 2024 but at the end of the 2024/2025 academic year – and many resources, interesting things can be done, a difference can be made .. But we have to avoid the presumption of wanting to invent the recipe from scratch every time ”. Because this about educating communities, Marco Rossi Doria never tires of reiterating, it is not something for some: “It is the accredited world literature that has been telling us this for years, these are answers we gave thirty years ago, it is not a what. which characterizes the 420 projects of Con and Bambini but is something that is in the history of the Italian school, you just have to want to see it ».

The issue, round and round, is always the same: the school is a key player but cannot continue to pretend to be the only one, thinking it has all the skills needed to educate. “To combat early school leaving, it is necessary to understand the situation of children with the social services of the municipality, or to coordinate with the juvenile court, to support fragile parenting. Who does it? The teachers? And if the student speaks another language and your school, have you lost sight of what you did? There are educators who have these competencies, different from those of a teacher, which must be played in synergy with those of the teacher. We need to keep the school open, be by the side of the children, give a new horizon of motivation, make possible an alliance with an adult figure. These are answers we have already given, it is not possible to ignore this story and do it from scratch every timeSays Rossi Doria.

Also because the 500 million of the PNR are structural and serve to change course: “But if it is a question of changing course, the educational community or the impact assessment cannot be ignored. We are facing a serious conceptual weakness.

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