So we are wasting PNRR funds destined for schools

There are 9.5 million minors in Italy: 1.3 live in absolute poverty, 2.3 in relative poverty. “If we also consider the latest data that emerged from the Invalsi tests, we realize that over 25 percent of minors have a very low level of learning. And most of these are among those living in poverty, ”explains Marco Rossi Doria, president of the social enterprise Con in Bambini, which for years has organized projects in the field to combat educational poverty. And that along with Ludovico Albert, Franco Lorenzoni, Andrea Morniroli, Vanessa Pallucchi, Don Marco Pagniello and Chiara Saraceno is one of the experts that the Ministry of Education has called in to ensure that the funding from the NRP for schools is transformed into a real growth opportunity for the country. But the indications which the group had drawn up after months of work, “free, done for the common good,” at the time of the disbursement of the first installment of the funds, were ignored.

By Decree 170 of 24 June last year, one third of the money made available by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan was allocated to tackling early school leaving: 500 million allocated to about 3,000 schools. However, the excessive simplification of the criteria for defining institutions has paid off the standards used for the selection are not always representative of the realities. “For example, if I do not consider unemployment and I do not weight the results of the Invalsi tests properly or do not take due account of the factors that cause poverty in the areas – Rossi Doria continues – it may happen that the automatism through which schools are chosen to provide resources except those who would need them because they have few members. As happened in Naples. ‘Lucia Fortini, Councilor for Education in the Campania region criticized the criteria for allocating funds. Because they come to the schools in the good neighborhoods such as Posillipo and Vomero, while other institutes in more difficult neighborhoods, Ponticelli and Forcella for example, have been excluded.

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As explained by the first street teacher in Italy, so appointed in 1997 by the then Minister Luigi Berlinguer for the commitment given by Rossi Doria in the fight against school evasion in the Spanish districts of Naples, “since the crisis years, around 2006, the school began to be depleted with linear cuts of 7.5 billion a year which we have never recovered from. Thus, the sale of education was added to that of poverty, which caused the consequences to fall on children’s shoulders. 14 years ago, minors in absolute poverty were a third of today’s. According to Article 3 of the Constitution, it is the duty of the Republic to remove obstacles of an economic and social nature which, by restricting the freedom and equality of citizens, prevent the full development and effective participation of all human beings. workers for the political, economic and social organization of the country “. But that does not happen the right to education, which on paper is guaranteed but in practice is limited by several factors. First and foremost, the family and social context of birth.

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“Precisely for this reason, the PNRR opportunity should not be wasted,” Rossi Doria insists. It should be the first step in structuring good public policies that enable more professionals to work together to build effective educational communities. In which school and the third sector cooperate, because from many years of work in the field, we have understood that in this way the best results are achieved to combat child poverty and therefore also school dropout ».

Decree 170, on the other hand, does not even define the guidelines that schools must follow for the use of funds. And it does not build a territorial and regional coordination network ‘that guarantees regular maintenance during the execution of the work. It’s done for yards where stones are processed, it’s not clear why much more complex things, such as building a functional pedagogical improvement, are not given special attention “, concludes Rossi Doria. We still have time: only part of it funding provided by the NRP to the school has been disbursed and the guidelines for the use of the funds can still be drawn up.Therefore, the working group’s experts wrote a letter to the Ministry of Education.Let’s hope they are not ignored again.

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