An alarming fact emerges from a new report on the health of the Italian school: our school system is among the more stressful in the world. And the pandemic has done nothing but highlight the shortcomings relative to the rest of the world. The unfortunate photograph was taken by the project “Let’s make school – Education in Italy at the time of Covid-19” created by the association WeWorldwhich for 50 years has been committed to the rights of women and children in 25 countries, with contributions from the Fondazione del Monte in Bologna and Ravenna.
Why the Italian school is the most stressful in the world: what’s going on
I am more than half Italian students who claim to be nervous while studying. The average in the rest of the world is 37%. Also in Italy, with 50 hours a week, which is the largest study load. Also burdened by the lack of appropriate breaks during the school year and it is difficult for children and teenagers to find time to devote to other activities and rest.
Nervousness and stress produce little interest for schools, with a catastrophic impact also on the social level. The consequences are true mental disorders And dispersion scholastic. In 2020 alone, at least one in 5 people between the ages of 15 and 24 worked or studied.
According to the report, the two years of distance learning without acute and targeted efforts can grow with 25% the proportion of students below the minimum level of skills, evaluated through the Invalsi tests. Especially among the most fragile social groups, due digital parts – here is the meaning of this term.
In fact, at the beginning of the Covid pandemic 70% of the children and young people under the age of 18 that WeWorld works with in the suburbs did not have a PC or tablet, nor the connection at home. At least 600 thousand students were completely excluded from the danger in the first period of the restrictions.
The three proposals to improve the Italian school and get out of the crisis
To address the serious injuries suffered by children and young people over the past two years, the association has compiled a list of three suggestions. Which aims to compensate for the lost time for students, fill the gaps that have accumulated during the health crisis, and strengthen the school system and create a less stressful but more constructive environment.
Extension of compulsory education
Extend the compulsory schooling from 6 to 16 years to it from 3 to 18 years allows to reduce the phenomenon of Neet children, acronym for Not in education, employment or training, that is, who do not study and do not work. There are three consequences of this change.
- Impact cultural. Schooling from early childhood makes it possible to perceive studies as a tool for personal growth and liberation in adulthood.
- The impact of prevention and protection. The obligation extended from early childhood to adulthood prevents early school leaving and educational poverty. Acquiring correct cognitive and non-preschool skills affects school performance and also the risk of dropping out in the long run.
- Impact on human and social development. Giving children and young people the opportunity to receive quality education and increase their skills affects the whole of society, given that it increases its human, social and economic capital. And it is therefore an investment in the future.
Transform the school calendar
The second proposal concerns the amendment of calendar school. First and foremost, by reducing the summer holiday months from three to two, that is, alone July And August, and insert several public holidays during the year, evenly and balanced. For the benefit of the didactic and relational continuity, also in this case by preventing school dropouts, but also by preventing competence loss from one school year to another. In the other European countries, the system is already organized in this way. Two influences.
- The impact of prevention and protection. A reduction in the summer holiday period makes it possible to limit the extended period in which young people do not receive an education, and prevents the risk of forgetting the acquired competencies due to the three months of deprivation of liberty.
- The impact of social equality. Summer can be an opportunity to increase the skills of children and young people through cultural, sporting and social activities. However, this depends both on the area’s offerings and on the financial resources and family background. With a more balanced school calendar, there would be more continuity in development processes for all students with the consequent reduction of inequalities.
Introduce the figure of an extra school leader
WeWorld finally proposes to create one new figure in educational institutions. This is head of after-school care, with responsibility for strengthening and coordinating the educational offer and the organization of curriculum activities in collaboration with the third sector. The goal is to fill the lack of active and relational experiences, exacerbated by the pandemic and repeated lockdowns due to the Covid pandemic, focusing on the interest of children and young people and optimizing the time to devote to studies. With this measure, two goals could be achieved.
- Promote the creation and functioning of community education pacts. The School Leader can create, formalize and coordinate local education pacts that replace local authorities, as is already the case at many schools in many areas of Italy. But with a competent and recognized figure.
- Increase the general well-being of students and the whole community. A broader and more structured leisure offer, which includes sporting, cultural, social, orienteering activities, etc., contributes to the training of the individual and his human capital, or rather the set of skills that can be used in life. Hence important opportunities for growth, especially for children and young people from more marginalized contexts and at risk of social exclusion and educational poverty. The area would benefit from the planning and use of these experiences thanks to the involvement of the whole community.
Speaking of school, here we have explained what will change from May 1 on the front of the masks. The Council of Ministers approved the new school package, which allows for 70,000 jobs. We told you about this. And while associations and institutions are trying to understand how to get our school system to evolve, there is also a proposal to reintroduce Latin from middle school, as we have envisioned in this article.