At least the ius scholae


Stefano Iucci

In Germany in 2001 the ius soli was introduced: those born in Germany are German. Point. A series of studies carried out on this and other European cases have shown, without a doubt, that the acquisition of citizenship has positive effects on minors (lower dropout rate, better results, greater propensity to continue studies) and in society as a whole – for example in terms of the labor market, but more generally because of the cohesion and inclusion it produces.

Not to mention, of course, the most sensational aspect: and that is it intolerable injustice who sees children growing up close to their peers in all aspects the same as them in class, but “different” and discriminated against when they leave a school where they have been Italian for years: same studies, same teachers, same tests, still which often do not have the same notes.

If Italy still lacks a common sensitivity for the ius soli, among political forces (but not in society according to at least many surveys, including that of the Futura Observatory), a great opportunity presents itself in recent weeks. In fact, one is under discussion in the Chamber bill on the ius scholae which refers to an audience of 900,000 foreign minors, 80% of whom, it must be remembered, are second-generation: that is, they were born in Italy but are not Italian.

The ius scholae is much smaller than the ius soli, but its approval would be relevant. Since the National Immigration Conference held in recent days, the Secretary General of the CGIL, Maurizio Landinistressed the importance of a law that “can be an important first step in the reform of citizenship and, finally, give young people born in Italy or who came as children the right to be legitimately recognized as Italians and Italians “.

The bill signed by 5-star MP Giuseppe Brescia, despite the split of the majority – with the Lega and part of Forza Italia at the barricades – was fired by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and aims to amend the citizenship law which dates back to 1992 and which establishes that a foreign minor has to wait 18 years to become Italian; if the new rule is approved, for those born in Italy, or who arrived before the age of 12, “it will be enough” to have resided legally and without interruption in our country and to have regularly attended a period of five years in belonging institutions. in the national education system or in three- or four-year education and training courses for the attainment of a professional qualification. It is not an automatic process: it will be the parents, as long as both are residents of Italy, who will have to make a “declaration of intent” when the son or daughter reaches the age of majority. This would be a change of pace for ours, which in matters of citizenship is among the most restrictive laws in Europe.

In short, a moderate rule that photographs a reality under the eyes of everyone. A simple common sense adjustment that, on the other hand, it must suffer the onslaught of the worst resistance linked to retro and outdated ideologies that have resulted in 728 amendments, some of which are laughable: oral exams that should test knowledge of parties, sagas, culinary traditions or even meritocratic requirements, as if citizenship were a reward to be bestowed only on the best.

Calza, Flc: Not the best, but let’s get it right
According to the latest report of the Ministry of Education, referring to the school year 2019-2020, students with foreign nationality in Italy are 876,801: 10.3% of the total school population and well two-thirds of them (573,845) are second-generationa share that in kindergarten rises to 80%, while it represents 75% in primary, 62% in secondary and 40% in secondary.

In short, the numbers are impressive. “Our hope is that this law will be enforced quickly: it is right that those who grew up in the national school system have the opportunity to become Italian citizens “. Thus Manuela Calza, of the national secretariat of the Flc CGIL, who points out that” citizenship is an instrument of inclusion and active participation in the community, generates a sense of belonging and awareness of one’s own role in building the common good, as well as of course helping to eliminate discomfort for many girls and boys. “

An inconvenience that often occurs a great disparity. If in Italy early school leaving in 2021 is on average equal to 13.1%, among students with non-Italian nationality it reaches 35.4%. “There are many explanations,” says Calza, “but it is clear that, as the German example shows, the acquisition of citizenship is one of the key factors in increasing educational levels and limiting dropout.”

For the trade unionist, moreover, the law would enhance the role of the school “It is recognized as an institution that guarantees equal opportunities.” Of course, agrees the director of the Flc CGIL, it is still not enough: “I think that the two principles underlying the ius soli and the ius scholae must interpenetrate. In other words, the right of citizenship must be recognized both for those born in Italy and for those who, despite not having been born there, study there ”.

Biancuzzi, Student Network: No More Discrimination
Students at the same wavelength. Which underscores how lack of citizenship creates difficulties for students even in the context of school life. “For example on educational trips they cannot go abroad Attacks Tommaso Biancuzzi, coordinator of the network of middle school students. It sounds silly, but it’s not: travel is a unifying, inclusive factor. Not participating marks a distance from the class group you grew up with and confirms that you are nothing like the others. ”

Even for students, the proposal is “of civility and common sense,” although it has many limitations, and must therefore be approved quickly. After all, concludes Biancuzzi, “what makes you more Italian than having studied here and sharing student life with others”?

Lorenzoni: even field teachers
But how likely is it that the law will be passed before the end of the legislature? For Franco Lorenzoni, professor and founder of the Casa Laboratorio Cenci, there is a risk that it will end up with the ius culturae that collapsed at the end of the last legislature. “That’s why,” he tells us. it is important that the law be passed immediately in the House: if there is now any possibility that the process in the Senate will end before the dissolution of the Houses there is. The blackmail of the League, which threatens to leave the government, is wrong, because it is a parliamentary initiative, so much so that Draghi himself got rid of it. There is consensus in the country, but unfortunately, as often happens, politics is moving in another direction.

Also for Lorenzoni, the ius scholae is a “downward commitment”, however it is important “because it paves the way for a right that has been denied for decades, something of enormous gravity, because whoever teaches or educates knows that 900,000 minors who do not have citizenship suffer various deprivations: they live conditioned by what happens to their families, making it even more difficult to grow up, which is already full of uncertainties in a period of great youth suffering as a result of the pandemic and the war. ”

“Those with a history of migration – adds the teacher – suffer from multiple factors. Deprivation of citizenship is added to poverty, language difficulties, inclusion deficits, so that although the school does a great job in many cases, it is true that ghetto schools and classes still exist that they represent a big problem, because it is precisely the cultural inhomogeneity what represents an important factor of growth ”.

Therefore, Lorenzoni also asks the educational community to take a step forward. “My call – he concludes – is that in September teachers pay a lot of attention to this issue: not to make propaganda, which I don’t like, but because the job of the school is to address people’s real problems.”

And what is more real and reasonable than that fight for these invisible barriers to fall that separate girls and boys, girls and boys, who spend the most important years of their lives side by side?

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