Every November 20 is celebrated, under the initiative of the United Nations, the World Children’s Day, aimed at recognizing the objectives, characteristics and challenges related to the new generations, interconnected with environmental, civil and technological issues. The latter, in particular, are also linked to theeducation continua per tutti, which occupies a central section of the reference report, issued annually.
The schooling ratewhich takes into consideration the percentage of the population between the ages of 7 and 14 who goes to class every day out of the total pertaining to the same age range, is progressively increasing in developing countries, particularly those of Central Africa, due to the progressive cessation of warfare at an inter-ethnic level.
Which, one wonders, the quality of the teaching offered? The answer, in any case, is also connected to the health of the school system as a wholewhich is globally affected by cuts and limited welfare.
The WOF report: more students in the classroom does not necessarily equate to a higher quality of teaching offered
The WOFon the occasion of World Children’s Day, fights for numerous rights pertaining to the sphere of childhood and growth. Fundamental among these is the right to education. Superficially, states have made great progress in ensuring that this right is realised. Decades of rising enrollment mean that around 90% of primary-age children are in school.
But to make sense, the right to education must guarantee learning. For most kids around the world, that’s not the case. According to a development economist who took part in the drafting of the report, Professor Lant Pritchettdirector of the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, such a catastrophic scenario exists because, shockingly, many education systems simply don’t prioritize learning.
“They exist for a variety of purposes,” he says Pritchett. “They push kids through schools, they build school systems, they commit to them. They commit to signing up. They are engaged in the traps of it. But they don’t have a clear, driven purpose, a driving commitment to learning.”
What indications for Europe and for Italy?
Recent works commissioned by European authorities through Eurydice, OECD and the Commission have guided attention to the health and overall state of the school system in relation to the phenomena and aspects that characterize it, on which the recent report has focused WOF. Among these, not in order of importance, are the payment of teachers in relation to purchasing power, the school dropoutthe level of welfare guaranteed to the teaching staff, the school calendars adopted in relation to the learning objectives.
For Italy, the WOF insists on remuneration and on the dispersion and premature abandonment of lessons which, especially in the South, affects the very high share of one in five students. “The aim is therefore to invest in social assistance at the local level and in a healthier and more inclusive system”, indicates the WOF in the report.