“Unfortunately for many pupils and families this school year opens with a bitter surprise”. This is written by the mother of a girl with a severe disability, who sent a report to NovaraToday.
“At the beginning of the school year – she explains – I heard from the school that fewer municipal educators had arrived than expected, so there would have been some inconvenience. All the other families of Bottacchi’s disabled children are in the same situation”. The municipal educators present in the schools are not support teachers, but take care of the assistance to the person, following the child in all needs. “Those who really pay the consequences – continues the mother – are these children who, in addition to all the enormous difficulties they have to face every day of their life, must also cry for the insensitivity and incompetence of those who take care of these things: those who move educators as if they were puppets in defiance of any good rule of “school continuity”, those who say “we’ll fix things” but in the meantime deny themselves on the phone regardless of requests from all sides “.
The reply from the Municipality comes loud and clear: there are no fewer educators, but more children with frailty. “I would like to explain immediately that the number of educators has not been absolutely reduced – explains the councilor for educational policies Giulia Negri -. This year there has been an increase of 10% in children with frailty, but the educators are there and they are in proportion to the requests. As a Municipality we do a simple calculation: for each child we provide an educator for 5 hours a week. We do not know the type of need of each child, it is then up to the school to divide the hours according to the children their needs, because some need fewer hours, others need much more than 5. Unfortunately, the blanket is short: the number of educators is adequate, but there are children who have greater needs and would therefore need more hours. We cannot decide who needs it most, we can only make an average of the necessary hours. It is the school that must divide the hours according to the needs of the children “.
“Every year the Municipality spends 1 million and 800 thousand euros for this service and we are working to find as much funds as possible because we understand the difficulties of children and families – continues Negri -. Surely the mother who made the report is in a situation in which the daughter has had fewer hours available because there are more children with frailty in the school. Among other things, we always respond to all requests, so the school or mother can report the problem directly. We know very well that 5 hours a week for some children is not enough and for this we will have a meeting with the school management to understand if it is possible to add hours, but I would like to make it clear that we are not skimping on educators: our attention is always high towards families and some children”.