At the official beginning of the next school year, just over 60 days are missing, compared to two weeks ago the situation is a bit clearer but the shadows are still very many and, above all, it is not clear at all how, in just two months, ideas and proposals that are coming from the Ministry of Education and other government officials will be implemented.
Let’s try to make a quick list of the main issues.
Let’s start fromlatest announcement by Minister Lucia Azzolina: an appropriation is on the way to hire 50,000 fixed-term teachers in order to allow the training of less numerous classes.
Excellent intention, but there is a problem of timing: if the appropriation will be included, as probable, in the Relaunch Decree, it will be available only after the approval of the provision and therefore not before July 20th. At that point there will be 40 days to proceed with the hiring, without considering that in most of the northern provinces the rankings are almost empty with the consequence that it will be necessary to rely on the so-called “making available”.
For a month the recurring leitmotif has been: “We make school in museums, libraries and speakers”.
To explain the reasons for the impracticability of the idea, it is not even worth spending too much time, it is enough to observe that, to go to lessons in a library, pupils must be able to go; but the question is: is it worth taking lessons in non-school premises if the pupils have to get on buses and public transport to go there? Not to mention the cleaning problems and more.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza is talking about doctors to be assigned to schools to allow checks on the health conditions of students and staff.
This is also an excellent idea which, however, clashes with at least two problems to be addressed; the first is that of “human resources”: doctors are not found at every street corner, indeed there is already a shortage in normal hospital services and it is difficult to understand where at least 7-8 thousand can be found (one for each educational institution) to monitor schools.
But there is also another aspect: no pupil can be visited by a doctor without the explicit authorization of the parents, therefore we must also think about how to solve the problem.
Minister Azzolina, for her part, also taking up the requests from unions and movements, speaks of restore the 3 thousand abandoned school buildings in recent years due to the demographic decline.
An excellent idea, except that the verb “restore” is not exactly the same as “inserting the keys in the door and reopening the building”.
To restore, you need to reopen, put the heating system and toilets back into operation, check the general safety conditions (there are buildings that have been closed even for it would have been too expensive to bring them up to standard), set up the Internet connection and furnish the premises.
And speaking of furniture, another of the excellent ministers of Azzolina and her staff is to provide schools with single-seater desks. Now, calculating that in September only one million new desks are needed (Italian students are about 8 million), the question that arises is: where will we find such a quantity of pieces? Shall we import them from some foreign producer?
To conclude: we talk about staggered exits and entrances to avoid gatherings. That’s fine, but has anyone already done some simulation to understand how long it will take to get 500 pupils into a school and then to get them out?
We will see what answers to these problems will come from the experts of the Ministry in the coming weeks.
Unless in Viale Trastevere and Palazzo Chigi they think that these are too simple problems and it is not worth even wasting too much time.