School, in Lombardy 12% of students leave before graduation: mainly men-

from Giovanna Maria Fagnani

School dropouts in the region fell by 7.6% in twelve years: They were 19 out of a hundred in 2008. Stopped in eighth grade or even earlier. Figures below the Italian average but above the European. The Portofranco experience that accompanies 1,200 young people

Besides eleven students out of 100in Lombardy they stop at the diploma for third year of middle schoolor abandon even before. They were 19 out of 100 in 2008and then the percentage is gone improved. But dropping out of school – or the proportion of children between 18 and 24 years who stopped graduating from primary school and no longer attends training courses for years – it remains an open topic in Lombard. Because even if the number falls, it still exceeds the European average and there is a big difference between gender and origin. The proportion of “missing” students is much higher among boys: 14.4 per cent. In girls, it stops at 6.5. And the lack of integration of the students weighs heavily born abroad: In Italy, one in three do not complete their studies.

This is the photograph that emerges by cross-referencing Istat data for 2020 and the Subsidiarity Fund’s calculations. The number of dropouts in Lombardy is equal11.9 percent, less than the Italian average of 13.1 percent, higher than the European average of 9.9 percent. Leavings that sometimes start from one rejection: 6.123 cases on average in 2021, out of 290 thousand students. In high school, on the other hand, every third student was rejected or suspended last year.

How is this framework intervened in? “Need rethink the way of teaching, with the development of non-cognitive abilities in children, such as openness, teamwork and initiative. Decisive factors also in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, ”he explains Giorgio Vittadini, President of the Fund for Subsidiarity. The Senate is debating a bill on the subject of “non-cognitive skills.”

But in Milan, there is a reality that in 22 years has helped over 24,000 children complete their studies for free. It’s Portofrancoa student aid center founded in 2000 by a group of teachers and by Don Giorgio Pontiggia, then rector of the Sacred Heart Institute of Milan. Today it accompanies about 1,200 children a year, of which 300 are of foreign origin. THAT volunteers there are 300 teachers, university students and other professionals.

The history of Portofranco is told in The book «Fires lit» by Davide Perillo (ed. San Paolo), presented last week. And to think so it all started with a dinner, as narrated by President Alberto Bonfanti, Professor of History and Philosophy. “Together with a group of colleagues, we met from time to time for dinner with Don Pontiggia, who said: ‘Adults do not take young people seriously. You meet the boys based on the need they have, e.g. at this age, the need to be helped to study and to understand the value of studying ».

Don Pontiggia looked at the desire for knowledge that all boys have. “School commitment is the first thing they measure themselves with in life. And it can also be the first failure, “he explained and launched the proposal regarding create a center that can help with studying. So in 2000, the first office was born in Viale Papiniano, 300 square meters in size, now 1700. «Here the young people find meeting and help with their studies. And the beauty of seeing what comes out of this dialogue, ”says Alberto, who remembers his students one by one.

Boys who “challenged” even the teachers. One of them showed up to class one afternoon with a bar in his backpack: he needed it for a fight. Then there is Fabrizio, who said, “I killed myself with reeds” and fell asleep on the table. He bet with Alberto that he would graduate and pay him lunch. For Sarah, an Egyptian, and a young Kurdish girl, teachers had to do repetitions in English while waiting for them to learn Italian.

Now they work at the police station and at an embassy. Then there it was young Egyptian boy who only thought about playing football and understood love books during one of the study holidays promoted by the association. The good never fails to multiply: one of the teachers is also a volunteer in Bollate Prison. “An Algerian prisoner, hit by Portofranco’s history, gave him 300 euros of his savings so we can continue to help many young people.”

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April 19, 2022 (change April 19, 2022 | 07:28)

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