“Begin again looking to the future also knowing that to prepare for the future you have to sacrifice yourself, study, discuss, look for what is not yet there, ask questions and listen to them”. This is the cardinal’s message Matteo Zuppi for the first day of school which started today for 115,552 pupils in Bologna, 540 thousand in Emilia-Romagna. The administrator Antonio Giuseppe Panzardi inaugurated the start of the school year at the Aldini-Valeriani with the prefect Attilio Visconti who has returned to talk about the debate on mobile phones. The mayor Matteo Lepore was with the councilor Simone Borsari at the Barca where the outdoor area with a new basketball court and a playground was set up for the primary Giorgio Morandi. While the commissioner Vincenzo Colla was at the Institute of the Salesians of Castel de Britti. The rest are smiles found, after two years of compulsory masks in the classroom, greetings and messages from principals, posts from teachers who tell the first day on social networks.
The first bell represented the return to normal (even if the virus still runs) after two years of pandemic. “There are no more obligations in the anti-Covid measures, if not recommendations, the ban on entering the classroom with a fever remains and there are 5 days at home for the positives”, the Ausl reiterated in the meeting with the principals. Although there are no longer any mandatory measures, in many cases, however, there are those who have not given up on staggered entrances to avoid gatherings. “We leave with a great desire, but humble, knowing that the unexpected is just around the corner” summarizes the head of Copernicus Fernanda Vaccari.
Fear of students: “Don’t leave us in the cold”
At the Aldini Valeriani institute there is fear for the consequences of the energy crisis and the first to be worried are the students. “I would like to know if the warming will be kept lower due to the gas crisis” raises his hand Luigi, 17 years old. A concern shared by the president of the Institute Council Stefania Bonvicini who denounced “the 14 grades in class last year”, due to the windows open to prevent contagion. “It is not possible – Luigi insisted – to get to keep the jacket or cap in class. Automatically I cannot have a level of concentration that I can have even simply with 17 degrees”.
An ad hoc table was created with the councilor Daniele Ara on the theme of heating in institutions. The City spends 8 million a year to heat schools, while the Metropolitan City spends 3.5 million. “It is estimated that the costs will double or triple, unsustainable – observes the delegate to the school Daniele Ruscigno – we hope that the decree will arrive to help before the vote”. In the meantime, a lower grade has been decided in the classrooms where, in any case, the windows will have to be kept open as a prevention to the virus. At the meeting with his parents, the principal Carlo Braga reiterated it: “Sweatshirt or sweater in the classroom, get ready”.
Zuppi: “Education as an antidote to war”
“We need to look to the future in a world that is not so beautiful, marked by so much ignorance, so much prejudice, suffering, what you saw in the young people of Ukraine that you welcomed, by violence and war which is the exact opposite. education – Cardinal Matteo Zuppi says to the students – My wish is that school, sometimes a little tiring and sometimes it seems heavy, will be an extraordinary adventure “.
New year, old problems
Instead, what was confided was averted was the return to normality of the problems. Who come back on time, “we have not come out better”, the unionists and parents shake their heads. Then the restart becomes the journey between enthusiasm for the recovery, news and the usual troubles. In the meantime, it starts and then stops eight days later to allow seats to be set up in many institutions. In view of the vote, the Coordination of school council presidents appeal to political forces: seven requests – from energy efficiency in buildings to classes with fewer students, from more investments in the school to specialized teachers for the most vulnerable students – and a commitment formal: never again Dad.
Uncovered nerve remains the precariousness of teachers. More or less the teachers will all be in class within the first few weeks, at least not in November as seen in the past. But still too many alternates remain. In Emilia-Romagna, 7,717 positions were authorized. Well, 4,571 professorships remained vacant (59%), that is, assigned to alternates because, as usual, the rankings for tenure calls are exhausted, in particular in Mathematics but now also in Literature. This year in the region 2,848 additional teachers will enter the classroom indefinitely, for another 1,211 the recruitment will start next year.
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Despite the placing in the role of 800 janitors and administrators in the region, the emergency remains in the secretariats and for cleaning and surveillance in the institutions. In Bologna, the 350 janitors hired for Covid are missing, whose contract has not been renewed. As a result of the demographic decline, students are falling: 454 fewer in the city, 4,791 fewer in the region. But the phenomenon does not concern high school, which are still suffering the long wave of the baby-boom: in Bologna 1,300 more children. Padded classes, therefore, in the two-year period and amalgamations to which high schools such as Fermi and Copernicus have resorted to due to lack of staff.
The assembly at Copernicus: “School debased”
Accepting the appeal launched by the teachers and Ata staff of Copernicus, on the eve of the start of the new school year the town assembly found itself in the auditorium of the scientific high school to bring out what is wrong with the school and to organize forms of protest. In short, a mobilization that will warm up the autumn. “We denounce a constant reduction of resources, in terms of personnel and financing, combined with a set of rules imposed authoritatively by abusing the instrument of decree laws and bypassing the social partners, rules intended to hierarchize to divide (in the face of laughable remuneration) and upset the entire school system in a falsely modernizing sense “.
More specifically, the assembly denounces the “debasement, material and symbolic, of the role and social dignity of the school, of those who study and work there, by those institutions that should support them; the persistence of chicken coop classes of 30 and more pupils, regularly downplayed or even denied by the ministry, but which is the result of years of cuts in school budgets; the structural inadequacy of many schools with respect to the most common safety parameters, despite the promises made during the pandemic; the constant reduction staff; the undue and growing bureaucratization of teachers’ work, which is to the detriment of teaching; failure to adjust wages in the face of the constant increase in workloads; failure to use NRP funds for the real needs of the school ” .