What happened to the “professionals”? History of a maturity

Education has been dismantled piece by piece for at least the last thirty years. It was explained several times from the pages of this newspaper. From school autonomy to the PNRR and DL 36, turned into law by the recently fallen government, which force the final enslavement of schools to businesses in an unprecedented way.

It was also talked about Board a few days ago very clear. And it is clear to anyone who knows a little about the evolution and history of the school in recent years that this slavery has affected mainly vocational training (even more than technique).

On the other hand, it could only be like this: it is from the professional institutes where the overexploited working class comes out, with low cultural and hyper-precarious training, both requested by the “Italian and European productive fabric”.

What I want to try to explain is what you see of the vocational training that happens to us almost by chance, as chairman of the high school graduation committee, also when maturity is underway (the covid, no one says it, but in the examination boards). continued to create huge problems) and in one evening, an evening of mechanics, engineers and maintenance workers.

The context, it should be remembered briefly, is marked by the major reforms of recent years, with Decree 61/2017 (which later became law), the Ministerial Decrees that followed it in 2018 and 2019 and the Guidelines, annexed to the of 2018..

We are facing a system in which you can go from the Autonomous Vocational Training (IeFP) to the State (PI) in each course of study and vice versa and which allows those who leave the four regional courses to access the fifth year of the state road to acquire the diploma.

They are the professionals of the Individual Training Projects, which then mean substantially the possibility of going to the company and not to school from the second year of high school (at age 15). Where learning is the norm from the second, in fact. Where many hours that should be of school are of work.

It is the context where IeFP students often and willingly have never done a real hour of history or Italian and where these are extremely penalized even in state courses. Where labs are often not up to par with what is done in the company (the students I examined can work with CNC machine tools, controlled by integrated electronic devices, very expensive machines), not because the school stays lagging behind in terms of preparation (on the other hand, FP classmates, known in this exam, mostly precarious and decidedly prepared, are almost all immersed in the world of work outside of school), but because a definite school such machinery cannot certainly be allowed.

Where companies have constant relationships with schools, from which they drink, to obtain free or low-cost labor, with the promise of future stabilization (a promise, it must be said, that is not always a lie, but that does not justify what is essentially child exploitation). This is the context of professionals.

The boys and men (a girl, as expected) I reviewed with the committee had gone to night school. A type of school in danger of extinction, considered more a cost than a resource and a service for the institutions where it is still present, therefore difficult to trace (some students even traveled an hour and a half in the media to go there and come back). attending school and often attending a last year inconsistent with the previous year), created to accommodate those workers who decide to access that training to which for a thousand reasons they did not have access in their youth. But is it still like that?

With us, the exam was taken by some adult workers: parents, mostly foreigners, who with the diploma can acquire functions in the company that are now excluded to those who do not have a higher degree, by the same European rules and logics that later miserably. impoverishes the quality of their training.

Most, however, I saw paraded in front of my young boys, who had lost years in day schools, “scraps” of technical institutes and sometimes even professionals, or boys who had chosen vocational training and then had done the transition to the Professional Institute while he continues to work.

And what boys were they? Guys who know the world of work, mostly with hard lives and hard work. Young people who, however, often had not had the opportunity to build their own human and cultural training alongside the professional.

Children whose Italian classmate had to be taught to write in an at least acceptable way in their mother tongue (sometimes), in a second language never fully acquired in other cases (children of foreign origin are many in these courses, by that logic). of downward integration, which wants weapons and not men and women, which has unfortunately earned it in this country).

Guys who had sometimes studied history for the first time in fifth grade, because the personalized itineraries, the choices of Vocational Training Centers, their fragmented journey, had prevented them from attending a minimum of hours of history and studying it.

Tough guys with painful lives. Guys, sometimes of a devastating fragility, those whom my colleagues told me were so daring during the year, imbued, when it went well, with the logic of “my company I want to open,” in a globalized world that is destroying the all-Italian ideal of small businesses, and, when it went wrong, extracted from the world of cryptocurrencies, online investments (in which they invested their much-earned wages), desperate for that success individual, this special being that this society offers him as the only way to feel human beings of any value.

The best all work in leading companies, which deal with niche sectors, or the luxury sector. The luckiest have entrepreneurs who are “raising” them, investing in their training, who pushed them to graduate, who want to learn (of course, as long as things and business go well …), someone soon will crown the dream of being a mechanic of a racing car team, someone will see the learning transformed into an indefinite contract, someone will go to the ITS Academy, where he will specialize more, always and only as the fabric demands local businessman, someone has discovered in fifth that he liked Italian and history, much more than mechanics, too bad the school is over.

They all do a number of hours of work that does not correspond to what is stated in the contract, most were excited and saddened to leave that school context: classmates, teachers, who somehow acted as a parachute in a society that can make them pieces in a minute.

And they are lucky, because they live in the interior of a large northern city, where they currently hold the productive fabric. They are lucky because the classmates I took the exam with were all serious, involved, present, prepared, passionate teachers. This is not always the case.

What I have seen, as a communist teacher, is the working class, the class of the exploited, who are still seeking redemption in school (even from bad choices, from the lack of wisdom and control of early adolescence) and to whom the school. it offers work, exploitation and little culture, little school, little training.

What I have seen are students that the Italian school does not know how to retain, interest, excite and therefore rejects, sends to the Regional Formation, where but too often the possibility of human and cultural formation necessary to make reasoned decisions in life is lost . .

What I have seen is an atomized working class, reduced to single individuals, deceived by capitalist individualism, to which we must speak again of the meaning of its class function which produces the true wealth of the country, to which we have to speak again. on social rights: to a decent job, not to eat 10 hours every day, to a house, to a non-consumer social life, to build a secure future; that we must return to talk about the right to education, to culture and also to a relationship with labor other than that of capitalist exploitation, a relationship with culture and labor that can emancipate and not enslave.

* professor, National USB School Executive


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