School dropout, 74.4 million for 373 institutions. But those at risk are not there

74 and a half million euros are on track to combat early school leaving in Sicily. But some schools located in popular neighborhoods of Palermo and other island realities, where the fight against school dropout and failure is an action on the agenda, are excluded from the division made by the Ministry of Education. And the directors are protesting.

On June 28, Viale Trastevere announced that the first 500 million euros of the Pnrr-Dispersiion had been distributed to Italian schools: the action of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan dedicated to combating early school leaving. And three days later, on July 1, he returns to the subject, stressing that 74.4 million have been allocated to Sicily to be allocated to 373 institutes. But looking at the very long list of beneficiary Sicilian schools, something does not fit.

Some comprehensive institutions (kindergarten, primary and primary school) located in districts with strong socio-economic and cultural disadvantages are not included in the list. “This is – explains the ministry Patrizio Bianchi – a very important loan, a national project that focuses on the most vulnerable.” But the response from directors excluded from funding was not long in coming. “It is an obvious mistake – say the principals of the Pertini-Sperone comprehensive schools, Antonella Di Bartolo, and Giuliana Saladino, Giusto Catania -, we ask for the revision of the decree of Minister Bianchi. It seems quite strange – continue the two school principals – that the comprehensive institutions Giuliana Saladino and Sperone-Pertini, which operate in particularly difficult areas such as San Giovanni Apostolo-Cep and Sperone, have been excluded from the allocation of resources for actions to prevent and combat early school leaving. “

In fact, sifting through the numbers on the list published by the ministry, we see that 17 and a half million euros arrive in the province of Palermo. A substantial part of which, more than three million, in favor of institutes that generally do not present high values ​​of dispersion. “Only a third of Sicilian schools received contributions from the first tranche of funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan earmarked by the government to combat early school leaving. – says Adriano Rizza, head of the regional FLC CGIL – And among these There are many institutes that operate in difficult contexts, where the dropout rate is higher than the national average. ”

The resource allocation decree contains the criteria used for distribution. Funds were distributed to schools based on indices: 65% of resources were distributed based on the early exit rate from the education and training system in the 18-24 age group; 20% depending on the number of high school students in the reference region; 5% depending on the rate of presence of foreign population, another 5% depending on the rate of population without a high school diploma in the age group between 25 and 64 years and the remaining 5% went to the presence of families of five or more members. . But the excluded criticize these criteria.

“The distribution of funds to combat early school leaving in schools is chaos,” insists Pietro Patti of Flc Cgil in Messina. In their province, for example, there are schools with a high dispersion rate that did not receive a single euro, while others received very low amounts compared to what they should have received. ”And the Catania director of Giuliana Saladino of Palermo challenges Minister Bianchi to go “to the Cep to discover the reality on which our school acts. We are confident that he will change his mind. “

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