The Svimez alarm: children in the south lose a year of schooling compared to those in the north

Dinner4 August 2022 – 07:48

The situation: around 650,000 primary school pupils without a canteen or gymnasium and only 18% have full-time

from Simona Brandolini

Due to the lack of adequate infrastructure, a southern child spends one year less in primary school than a northern child. This is almost 4 hours less per week than in Centre-Nord. Among the advances in the Svimez report, a shameful picture emerges that should make us think more than others during the election period: in the south, around 650,000 students from state primary schools (79% of the total) do not benefit from any canteen service. In Campania there are 200 thousand (87%), in Sicily 184 thousand (88%), in Puglia 100 thousand (65%), in Calabria 60 thousand (80%). In Center-Nord there are 700,000 students without a canteen, 46% of the total number. We need to use the NRP to bridge the gap in social infrastructure starting with education. Turning the route towards the South means, among other things, affecting the inequalities, says the director of the association Luca Bianchi. In addition, around 550,000 primary school students in the South (66% of the total number) do not attend schools with a gym.. Only Puglia has a good endowment of gyms, while Campania (170 thousand students without, 73% of the total), Sicily (81%), Calabria (83%) register a clear delay. In Center-Nord, pupils without a gym reach 54 per cent. 57% of Southern high school students do not have access to a gymnasium; same percentage registered in primary school. It should be noted that almost one in 3 southern minors (31.35%) in the age group 6 to 17 years are obese compared to one in five in Center-North, 40% in Basilicata.


Full time

Only 18% of students in the South go to school full-time, compared to 48% in the Center-North: This means that they lose a year of school in a cycle. Since one of Pnrr’s missions concerns training and the elimination of educational gaps, Svimez sounds the alarm. And it is about the ability of the southern administrations to plan. Compared to the national figure (1,007 days), the southern municipalities spend on average about 450 more days to complete the construction of social infrastructures. Considering the three design phases, the works in Syd are already starting 300 days late. And therefore the Pnrr investments in social infrastructure in the South should begin by the end of October 2022 at the latest in order to be able to close the construction site when the plan is concluded (August 2026).

As for the economic data, generally the most worrying is the peak of inflation in 2022, which should affect the South in a more significant way. (8.4%; 7.8% in Centre-Nord), where the return to pre-shock levels should also be slower. These dynamics should determine more pronounced impacts on household consumption and on corporate investment choices, even with more concrete potential business continuity problems in the South. It will lead to a collapse in the consumption of more fragile households in the South, whose budgets are most affected by the increase in the prices of basic necessities. In this case too, the asymmetry between families translates mechanically into an unfavorable territorial asymmetry in the south. On the investment front, growth is stronger in the south than in the north in 2022: + 12.2% against + 10.1%. In the south, growth is mainly driven by those in the construction sector thanks to public stimulus (eco bonus 110% and interventions financed by the PNNR); the growth in investments aimed at expanding production capacity is, on the other hand, three points lower than in Centre-Nord (+ 7% against + 10%).

Finally, employment is growing, but of poor quality. In the first quarter of 2022, employment in the South returned to the level of the first quarter of 2020 with 280 thousand jobs still to be restored compared to the first quarter of 2009. The upswing in employment in 2021 was solely due to the growth in employment in the South precarious (temporary and involuntary part-time). In fact, the proportion of involuntary part-time employees is equal to 77.5% in the South against 54.7% in the Centre-North, where, on the other hand, permanent contracts are starting to grow again.

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4 August 2022 | 07:48

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