Interview | Laura Caddeo:

The school in Sardinia has reopened its gates these days welcoming students, teachers, school staff and managers. It is the return to normality after two years punctuated by the difficulties induced by the Coronavirus: no more obligation to wear a mask, no distancing in class, no distance learning (not even for positives).

An investigation of the portal however, he highlighted how schools may not be prepared to manage a possible surge in infections, should it happen. And in Sardinia there are the complications due to inadequate digitization and the lack of sufficient bus rides for all students.

To our microphones Laura Caddeoregional councilor of Demos and former teacher and head teacher, tried to trace both the problems and the solutions necessary for the improvement of the island’s school system.

A new school year has begun: what are your wishes?

My hope is that each child and each child, each girl and each boy live these 200 days that await them in total psychophysical well-being, that learning is for them a reason for authentic pleasure and fun and for any difficulties they will encounter. they can find in school and, in particular, in themselves the strength of mind to face them and to overcome them successfully. I naturally wish the school as a whole a finally peaceful year, during which we can give back to the entire school community the exact measure of a project and an educational and training course aimed at bridging any form of inequality.

Inequalities that unfortunately exist inside and outside the school and which too frequently hinder and prevent the achievement of the best results for each of the pupils who attend it.

He has often highlighted the difficulties of the Sardinian school. What are the main problems and what can the region do to overcome them?

I am more and more convinced that the main problem of the school, and the Sardinian school is not immune to it, is that of not being able to effectively tell its work, the profound meaning of its mission. It follows that the reforms, the measures, the financing that over time follow one another to solve mainly the problem of early school leaving and early school leaving, become patches that are always oversized compared to the hole they want to cover.

The explanation lies in the fact that no one wants to face seriously and without demagoguery the real needs of school and education. I immediately state that when we talk about what is not good in school, we cannot ignore the hundreds of experiences of quality and even excellence, but at the same time we cannot ignore contexts in which the centrality of the individual in training is compromised. due to numerous factors: inadequate buildings, too many classes, inclusion of disabilities and specific educational needs often ineffective, unreliable organization of transport, ministerial dullness in the distribution of staff quotas which very often forces hourly completions of even only two hours in other institutions school, distribution of school autonomy in the territories, in some cases with changes to the organization of classes and schools even from year to year.

I fear the Regions have not so far been able to make the best use of the opportunities offered by the Reform of Title V of the Constitution where the regional competences regarding the right to education and vocational training are still poorly exercised. Skills that we must claim at the State-Regions conference to decide also, and not only, on the distribution of autonomy on the island and on the addresses that we offer to our adolescents with secondary schools.

From year to year there seems to be less and less interest in school. The important work of teachers and leaders is not accompanied by adequate political support. Since when has this situation been going on and why did it arise?

I am not sure that in Italy, and therefore also in Sardinia, there has ever been a genuine interest in school, if by interest we mean the desire to know it well through those who work it every day and therefore through the professionals. It is enough to follow some television program or browse the newspapers just at the start of the school year to realize the approximation with which we talk about school.

Very often we do not even know the small organization of this institution, we speak of school time as a single indistinct offer without considering the different school levels; the work of all categories of staff is trivialized as if we were talking about an office that handles paperwork. But the very serious thing in my opinion is that we rarely talk about who attends it and the purpose for which it is attended, of the fact that school exists and must exist for the formation of the individual, for the intellectual and psychological growth of the person. It cannot be ignored that this process cannot be postponed and as such it cannot be interrupted or slowed down or reduced at will and in any case always to save money.

It cannot be subjected to commercial logic and to purposes other than the global formation of the personality from three to nineteen years old.

The pandemic has opened pandora’s box regarding digitization in Sardinia. How are we positioned and how can it be possible to start a growth process, especially in the internal areas of the island, usually digitally isolated from other communities?

Also on this issue it is right that we understand each other. The pandemic has certainly brought to light a further problem, a further obstacle to the realization of the training course in its gradualness and continuity. But as we have already seen, the school of problems and obstacles to the effective fulfillment of its mission has many and of different nature. The pandemic has evidently shown how, lacking the main condition of being a school, that is the simultaneous attendance of all the subjects that make it concrete, it was not possible to count on an alternative condition, which would allow simultaneous attendance even if at a distance.

It had to be recognized that the right to education could not be guaranteed to all and all students starting from kindergarten. The inequality that the lack of digitalization expresses every day in any sphere of life of Sardinian citizens has found a powerful and widespread sounding board also in schools, demonstrating that there are small and less small towns on our island that cannot benefit from it. and the impossibility of realizing Distance Learning was just the classic tip of the iceberg.

I am convinced that we cannot continue to fill our mouths with important and essential concepts in the educational and training project that we prepare for our pupils and pupils such as the importance of leading everyone towards the ability to observe, interpret and affect reality, in the world around us without dialogue being the main tool. The dialogue between teachers and pupils, between school and family, between school and the people of the community in which the school insists, to know, to collaborate, to contribute, each one for the role they play in that community to the complexity of the educational project.

It therefore takes the necessary school time, the spaces to be used pedagogically, the cultural tools to be grasped, the pedagogical and didactic competence of the teachers to consciously and responsibly carry out the path. We have to imagine and work politically for a school that cannot be a unique and equal model in every context. We must resist the temptation of a return to the past that can only comfort those who cannot face the changes in our society. We must interpret the context that surrounds us in order to decline a school proposal that is consistent with those characteristics and above all faithful to the main purpose of the school: the formation of personalities who know how to look at the present with autonomy of thought and with the ability to creatively imagine the future.

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Interview | Laura Caddeo: