School, precarious teachers and the nightmare of the substitute algorithm

The testimony of a young teacher from Rimini


| 08:04 – 18 September 2022

Archive photo
Archive photo.

by Nicola Guerra

For the Ministry of Education it is impeccable, but it is the people directly affected who pay the price. At the beginning of the school year, there is still a lot of discussion and controversy has arisen over the new digital tool for assigning substitutes: the Gps algorithm, which draws up the provincial rankings of precarious teachers. It is already the second year that the school relies on this new technology and, in the last period and throughout Italy, there have been numerous reports of candidates who have found serious anomalies in the allocation of places. Among these also the situation of one young graduate teacher from Rimini who tells us about his first experience in entering the world of work as a real nightmare. Like her, many other colleagues and colleagues have had to face the unfair system that does not work. “The functioning of the algorithm is not clear to anyone – comments the teacher – what is evident is that many candidates with deserving scores are overtaken in the rankings by teachers who should have much lower positions. Doing so really risks compromising both teachers’ careers and the entire school education system, which will consequently equip itself with less qualified staff.“.

But let’s be clear: it is above all the “preferences” mechanism that is leading to reports and criticisms of the GPS algorithm. One of the most recurring cases is precisely the assignment of a temporary post to those who are later in the ranking, in a school not included among the preferences indicated by the teachers themselves when registering on the ministerial platform. The phase of choosing the locations and preferences is fundamental, and it is clear from the reports that omitting one or more preferences, a district or a Municipality means tacitly renouncing the aforementioned assignments, with exclusion from the ranking for those possibilities. “This is a merciless mechanism“tells the teacher” e above all the real functioning is not explained! Furthermore, making appeals is a useless and unproductive practice, the Pecs by the trade unions are completely ignored“. But if for the Ministry this technique of assignment is completely devoid of anomalies, what is evident is that young graduates and precarious teachers will still have to face the infinite process of this infernal machine in an essential way, to succeed (perhaps) to get some miserable substitutes miles from home, all without having concrete answers and left in oblivion by the Ministry.The only hope for them remains that of obtaining a position through short-term substitutes from school rankings.

School, precarious teachers and the nightmare of the substitute algorithm