from FRANCESCO RAO – School is one of the most important issues of the moment, not only for Calabria but for all of Italy. The topic is broad and here I will address a small part, making some proposals, referring other reflective ideas to future interventions. In fact, given the results offered annually by the OECD and INVALSI, Parliament, clear of their respective political expressions, could have assessed this issue by interpreting the signals dictated by the productive segments, most exposed to the scarcity of human resources and at the same time called to meet the growing needs of an increasingly complex society, projected to a lifestyle that will affect the next 50 years.

As for our Calabria, this year the INVALSI data marks another alarm signal. With a bit of positivity about the past, given the times, I would like to be able to wait for the beginning of a discontinuity in which on the one hand there can be the beginning of growth and on the other relegate this cultural gap to a mere historical memory destined to be one more reason to do better without wasting time.

Our region, our young people, their families and the whole world of education and training, in the coming years, will be called to undertake an unprecedented challenge to recover in a short time the important percentage of that cultural gap that it has always divided the North. of the South, effectively avoiding greater job opportunities, an increase in GDP and limiting migratory phenomena, especially of our young people.

That said, it is absolutely not my intention to fail our school system. However, a substantial review of competencies needs to be practiced through ongoing training and updating. This statement places great confidence in a strategic sector for the nation and populated by people often demotivated, forced by the lack of means and tools to resort to improvisation, leaving aside ministerial planning and the exercise of that share of ‘useful autonomy to establish collaboration and participation with agents outside the school but who are an integral part of the educational community.

To this are added the effects of the various revisions of expenditure, practiced over time in the school sector, without imagining what the future effects may be. And then the resort to merging schools even 50 miles apart, with the intention of limiting the number of school principals and leaving dozens of teachers under a guide practiced in the middle of the ether or with limited presence was a solution. What cultural benefits has it produced? As for me, the example dictated by art. 5 of the Constitution, as is the case of the Carabinieri Stations, present in all the municipalities of Italy, should apply to all schools, ie one school principal for each school in the area. While some may say we cannot afford these costs, I would like to stress that culture is not a cost but a national investment. Meanwhile, for Calabrian students, children of a lesser God, all indicators relating to public and private assessment systems cross their respective analyzes into a common conclusion: with an implicit school dropout of 18%, the future appears marked.

Our weak point, as the Agnelli Foundation has repeatedly pointed out, remains the first cycle of high school and the effects of this cause will be shifted entirely to the next school segment. There will have been time and way to find all possible critical problems, also taking into account the incidence of the developmental phase of adolescents. In view of the recent data, is it legitimate to ask what corrections have been made to the system and what improvements have been made? The approach to the study of mathematics, geometry, science, foreign languages, although it has begun since primary school, is practiced in the three courses of what for us, born during the last century, went be the middle cycle. Have the difficulties of teachers working in this particular sector been considered? No methodological proposal has ever been evaluated, aimed at building shared educational pacts in which to involve families more, also with the intention of promoting and detonating that office that feeds more and more appeals and complaints as a result of assessments, reminders and / or or disciplinary action?

Also for this phase, in the face of growing educational poverty and the propensity to drop out of school, more obvious phenomena in the internal environments, resorting to non-permanent teachers, so that afternoon returns are not activated to allow all students to close . at 18:00 hours of the school day making them do other activities in addition to homework, such as sports, music, drawing, theater, etc. etc.?

I may seem like a visionary, but my conviction continues to see school as the beating heart of all communities, large or small. And in this sense, schools should not remain open only from 7.00 to 14.00, but should be open until 22.00, imagining the post-curricular phase as a phase of self-management in which non-permanent teachers, volunteers , the animators and those who are willing to respond to the appeal of the Ministry of Education or the Department of Education, may be involved, after signing a contract and recognition of appropriate attendance sheets, to raise the level exponentially cultural development of our young people. In these locations, I would also see greater involvement from the Associations. I would think of the practice of exchange consisting of painting the walls, arranging doors and windows or paving the respective classrooms used as a reward for the annual usability of the premises and services made available to the various associations, also made in condition of stimulating territorial cultural growth. Curricular teachers need to be supported. They do an impeccable job every day but we need to tie our children to study, limiting them to an amount of freedom in the afternoon that in the medium and long term will end up feeding this percentage of early school leaving destined to affect cultural level of the country, in welfare policies, in the phenomena of micro and macro-crime and in the abandonment of all those local identities, potential sources of resources, abandoned for lack of “brains”, able to revive local history by making them a future resource. (between)

(Francesco Rao, journalist and president of the Department of Calabria ANS Sociologists)

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