“No ventilation and unruly overcrowding. Stop three years ago “

Requests that a new antivirus protocol be worked on at ministerial level as soon as possible, but above all that clarity be created on the issue of “ventilation systems”, which according to many are the real weapon to combat the spread of infections. To take stock of the situation and condemn the lack of response, Cristina Costarelli, president of the National Association of Headmasters of Lazio and head teacher of Liceo Newton in Rome, who, in the interview with Skuola.net, listed the most pressing critical issues. to which the principals they will have to make up for a return in September “in safety”, as Minister Bianchi had hoped.

Masks yes or no? Here is the big dilemma that triggers the battle between those who claim they have just become a gag, useless in limiting infection, and those who, on the other hand, regard them as an effective weapon to counter Covid. In this regard, the Rector calls for the need for a clear protocol, because she emphasizes that “In light of a return with numerous classes, with closed spaces, without having addressed the issue of ventilation at least, it goes without saying that the idea of ​​restarting with masks comes to mind.”.

Three years after the start of the pandemic, a few steps forward

Cristina Costarelli does not turn things around when she currently only defines “probable” return to class in September: “September seems far away – points out – but at school it is as if it were tomorrow, and the worries that await us are the same as they left us. “. The third year after the advent of Covid begins again, but again it will return with the same conditions as previous years: “The criticalities are diverse – says the president of ANP Lazio – and ranges from the management of infections, to the absence of distance, from the absence of ventilation, and to broader issues that go beyond Covid, such as those relating to school construction. Pnrr funds are always advertised, but in fact we do not see anything in schools, especially in the summer. When inspections and maintenance should have been carried out, we see everything stopped instead “.

How to deal with the positivity of the virus? Still no official news

“The idea of ​​starting again with an almost unchanged situation worries us”, Costarelli repeats. Above all, because less than two months after the reopening of the school gates by the Ministry of Education and the national health system, there has been no hint of how to deal with the infection issue. “We parted ways in June – continues the principal – with the situation where nothing happened in up to four cases in the class, only the ffp2 masks were worn, while the danger was no longer taken into account as early as April. “. A deafening silence, that which school leaders complain about, also about the chapter “vaccination obligation”: “We know that the campaign for the fourth recall has now started. The obligation regarding the school’s staff is over, but we would like to understand if there is an idea of ​​reintroduction, if the use of the green passport remains “.

Poor ventilation in classrooms: a problem on the Covid front (and beyond)

For Costarelli, the ventilation systems in the classrooms are played a crucial step in making it possible to return to teaching “safely”. Which, however, is still totally absent: “We have been able to understand the virus in recent months, mostly transmitted through the air. Absolutely nothing has been done about this issue in schools. Guidelines are expected from February, but there is still a deafening silence. So far there are only recommendations that give vague indications “.

A problem that is further exacerbated by another central node that has now become a constant, namely overcrowding in many school buildings: “We’re leaving in September – expects principal – with classes that will reach more than 30 students, in rooms that cannot accommodate them, with a completely inadequate ventilation speech and recommendation to open the windows, which to date is the only measure specified for air recirculation “.

the masks? The only way to defend yourself against infection

One of the cornerstones of recent weeks’ political discussion, not just about school, is the issue of masks. For the moment there is not a single voice, not even from the health sector experts: there are those who preclude the possibility of reintroducing personal safety devices in the classrooms (on the other hand, they have now remained mandatory only in hospitals, rsa and public transport ); those who, on the other hand, regard them as the only useful tool to counter the new waves of Covid.

However, the principals seem to support the second vision: “In light of a return with numerous classes, with limited places, without having even addressed the issue of ventilation, it goes without saying that the idea of ​​restarting with the masks comes to mind. – Costarelli rises – would be to spread the infection without restrictions “.

And to the question of why there is no longer a mask obligation outside while there must be inside the school, the principals’ representative answers briefly: “At least for the respect for the fragility between students and school staff. Wearing a mask means giving everyone, even those with weak health conditions, immunosuppression, the opportunity to experience school with a minimum of extra security. We are all tired of the masks, but public health is leaving, perhaps with a situation that is still so uncertain that it would be appropriate to resume use “.

No to staggered entrances: They create inconvenience to students and school staff

Among the “wishes” of the Italian principals is also that they should no longer be in front of the far west, generated by staggered entrances: “They have led to a thousand nuisances for the students and for the school system.” Even because – as Costarelli well remembers – “The solution with staggered entrances is strictly connected to the public transport system: if the capacity of 100% is adopted on these, it makes no sense to make the time windows”. The desired solution is certainly to avoid them, but in case you were forced to reintroduce them, the manager suggests a solution: “An indication could be given to arrange a couple of entrance guards, but only if it is defined by the schools and is no longer imposed as it happened last year”.

Dad is no longer an alternative: School is present

Like the principal’s choir, one voice becomes the other big bugbear from the last two school years: Dad. Leaders actually say “no” to its reintroduction, except in exceptional cases: “The school is present – emphasizes Costarelli – The world has collapsed 100%, so father can no longer be a solution, except for specific cases related to infections. For positive students, of course, father will still be needed, but we do not envisage an extension of distance learning for all students. “. But at least at this point, everyone seems to agree that they want to avoid the return of online lessons as much as possible.

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