Invalsi Report 2022, the north / south gap is growing: in Calabria and Sicily the worst data

From the Invalsi National Report 2022 emerges a school that travels at double speed within the national scene, starting from high school.

It was officially released on Invalsi National Report 2022, which regularly evaluates the education and training system each year. After two years of pandemic, what emerges most is a still stable level of learning of Italian students, but it does not reach the pre-Covid standards. Instead, the territorial gaps widen, with the north and the Southern Italy travel at two speeds from high school, especially to Calabria, Sicily I Campania. The report was presented this morning atSapienza University from Rome by the President of Invalsi, Roberto Ricciwith the Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi and the rector of the university, Antonella Polimeni.


As for primary school, the results remained virtually unchanged from 2019, but with signs of concern especially for mathematics. If in Italian 80% of students in the last year reach at least the basic level, in mathematics only 66% of students reach the basic level, with Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia obtaining results below the national average. Good results in English: 94% (+2 points compared to 2018) of students reach the level A1 required by the CEFR in the reading test, while 85% of students in the listening test (+6 points compared to 2018) achieves the mandatory level A1 of the CEFR. The difference between schools throughout Italy decreases, although in Italian, English, and still more in mathematics, there is a more pronounced difference in results between schools and between classes in the southern regions. The primary school in the South, therefore, strives to ensure equal opportunities for all, with obvious negative effects that are manifested even more in later years.

Secondary school

In high school, the decline in learning recorded between 2019 and 2021 stops: students who achieve at least “adequate” results in Italian are 61%, in mathematics 56%, in reading English 78% and by listening to English 62%. Already from this level of studies, however, the gaps begin to increase: in all subjects, the greatest learning losses are recorded among students who come from the most unfavorable socio-economic-cultural environments. Compared to previous years, territorial differences do not improve, and in some southern regions (particularly Campania, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia) there is a greater number of students with very low levels of performance: 50% of the school population. in Italian, 55-60% in math, 35-40% in English-reading and 55-60% in English-listening.

high school

As the grades increase, the differences widen and become much more noticeable. In high school, in the second year 66% of students reach the basic level in Italian (-4 percentage points compared to 2019), while in mathematics only 54% of students achieve it (-8 points compared to 2019). . In six southern regions, the average result stops below the expected threshold after ten years of schooling (Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia). Compared to the first cycle of education, the territorial differences widen: students who do not reach the basic level of Italian exceed the threshold of 40% in all regions of southern Italy (except Abruzzo).

In the last school year, however, only 52% of students reach the basic level of learning Italian, and in six southern regions the average result stops below the threshold set by the national guidelines (Campania, Puglia , Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia). In math, one in two students does not reach the basic level (level 3 and above). In seven regions of the Center-South the average result stops at level 2, therefore below the expected threshold after thirteen years of school (Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia). Better test results in English: 52% of students achieve B2 in the reading test (+2 percentage points compared to 2021) and 38% in the listening test (+1 percentage point compared to 2021). Only in the northern regions (except Piedmont and Liguria) the average result of the listening test is in line with the expected B2. In secondary, therefore, the territorial gaps widen even further. Students who do not reach the basic level of Italian exceed the threshold of 60% in Campania, Calabria and Sicily. In mathematics, students below level 3 reach 70% in four regions (Campania, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia). Still in the same regions, 60% of students fail the B2 on the reading test and 80% on the listening test.

Increase the implicit dispersion

While the Invalsi report photographs trends that have their roots in the last 20 years, at the same time the data also highlights the effects of the pandemic on students. Among these, implicit school dropout: young people who finish their studies without, however, having the necessary basic skills. These are students at risk, who may have “limited prospects of integration into society very similar to those of students who have not finished high school,” says Invalsi. If in 2019 the implicit school dropout stood at 7.5%, to rise to 9.8% in 2021, in 2022 it stops at 9.7%. In comparative terms, the largest decline in implicit early school leaving is recorded in Puglia (-4.3 percentage points) and Calabria (-3.8 percentage points). However, the absolute differences at the territorial level are still very high: Campania (19.8%), Sardinia (18.7%), Calabria (18.0%), Sicily (16.0%), Basilicata (12 , 8%), Puglia (12.2%), Abruzzo (10.8%), Lazio (10.7%). The Invalsi 2022 tests involved more than 920,000 primary school students (class II and class V), about 545,000 first-year high school students (class III) and just over 953,000 high school students (class II and last year).

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