School dropout, Calabria at the helm. How will we spend the Ministry’s funds?

CATANZARO – The fight against early school leaving is possible. The first step in doing so is to get your hands on financial resources. And the Minister of Education, Patrizio Bianchi, knows this very well, so much so that he has allocated 500 million euros – the first part of the Pnrr’s intervention against the millennial problems of young students – to first and second grade schools. of secondary of all the territory. Funds, the latter, already distributed at the regional level and then between the institutes. Needless to say, Calabria, with its black shirt on the way out of the school desks, collects more, with more than 25 million euros. Our Region only follows those who do worse: Campania, with more than 79 million allocated, and Sicily, which gets about 74.

He helps us frame the phenomenon, also from his long experience as dean of the scientific institute “Leonardo Da Vinci” of Reggio Calabria, vice president of the Region of Calabria, as well as education delegate, Giusi Princi. “These are funds that are essential to counteract educational failure,” he says. This land reached 0.75 percent dispersion in 2021 and 14 young Calabrians out of every 100, aged between 18 and 24, only have a high school diploma. The situation is at least alarming, so the ministerial action is essential: the funds will be managed directly by the ceded schools (more than 200 in Calabria) with the aim – he adds – to improve basic skills and expand the ‘training offer’.

In other words, with the resources allocated, the institutes will have to launch real projects, capable of “taking” children out of the streets, to encourage them to study, to stimulate them so that they have passions, dreams, ambitions. The schools – continues Princi- could become, for example, real social centers, also open in the afternoon (taking into account that in the Calabrian territory there is a shortage of educational agencies), where, precisely, they hold theater workshops and art, of music. There is a lot to do and a lot of ideas.

In addition, the funds – intended for the centers based on precise indicators and the socio-economic situation in which they find themselves – will have to be committed by the institutions from September, for a period of two years. Then, again from the Ministry of Education, two more tranches of funds will arrive: some for those aged 18 to 24, with the aim of obtaining a diploma; the others to reinforce the so-called basic competencies and thus overcome the territorial gaps.

“In parallel with the action of the Ministry – continues the vice-president – we are also advancing on this front at the regional level: we want, with the resources of the PNR, to strengthen school laboratories and create new ones, encouraging more. -Curricular courses and training. And all this, among other things, from that winning story – he declares – that was mine in the “Da Vinci”: four of my students in 2011 were even awarded by the Accademia dei Lincei between the best in Italy ».

A way like any other, ultimately, to say you know what you’re doing. Or rather, you know the direction you want to go. “This,” says Prince, “of the fight against the marginalization of students” has disappeared, especially where crime is high and the problems are numerous. “

As a sign of awareness of the problem, among other things, it is no coincidence that the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella inaugurated last year in Pizzo. “It is very true – says the regional delegate of Education – The institutions are there, and will be there again on July 12: Minister Bianchi will come to the Citadel to sign the educational pact for Calabria. This is a protocol, also signed by Minister Carfagna, in which we will undertake to carry out interventions to protect young students, mainly those in the interior of Calabria, in which the degree of dispersion is higher “.

Still in the document, which wants to assert the “right to study”, “a great role will also have – says Princ – the stretch 0-3: in fact we live in a land where even the youngest are abandoned in themselves and that is no longer conceivable. “

Finally, in addition to data, statistics, and cold numbers, Princi is eager to specify something more. “There are stories behind the percentages,” he said. And there are teachers too. I think the latter represent the secret to combating the phenomenon of dispersal. Managers, of course, he concludes, must take advantage of the opportunities, also economic, that they face; but teachers can make students believe that anything is possible, even become what one wants.

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