The future of the six comprehensive institutions in Rome and its province which currently have problems of overcrowding will be decided by 20 December 2022. The council of the Lazio Region has approved the guidelines on the planning of the school network for the year 2023/24. One of the most important issues addressed by the plan is that relating to the “sizing” of schools. In particular, there is a huge problem that affects around 12,000 students.
Point 4 of the school network planning plan states that “the Provinces, the Metropolitan City, the Municipalities must identify and monitor oversized educational institutions with a number of pupils exceeding 1200”. This, according to the Lazio Region, is the maximum limit beyond which one should never go. Unfortunately, however, there are six schools that have far exceeded these numbers. Five are located in Rome and one in Guidonia:
- IIS Salvini 2.153 – town hall II
- IIS De Sanctis 1.872 – XIV town hall
- IIS Amaldi 2.002 – town hall VI
- THEIS Pacinotti Archimedes 1.818 – town hall III
- LS Enriques 1.974 – town hall X
- IIS Via Roma, 298 2.067 – Guidonia
These institutes, the plan continues, will have to limit, for the next school year, “the number of incoming enrollments, taking into account the maximum capacity of the premises and the spaces available”. Safety regulations weigh on these choices, in particular “in consideration of any need for social distancing for the purpose of preventing possible health emergencies”. For this reason, the plan invites these institutes to favor “the enrollment of surplus students in other schools of the same address and district”. Furthermore, it is specified that it will not be possible to accept “registrations subject to the possible finding of additional classrooms/buildings with respect to those already available”
Solutions to the problem will have to be found by a technical table which will have to evaluate “situations of excessive exceeding of the maximum limit of 1200”. The plan does not explain what the options are for proceeding with the downsizing of institutions. The table, we read again, serves to find shared solutions “to the various needs for rationalization of the territorial school network through the significant involvement of all the institutional subjects concerned”. The members of this body are then listed, specifying that the decisions of the table “will be included in the regional sizing plan”.
The future of students
So what will happen to the students of the six overcrowded institutions? Certainly, as already underlined, institutions will have to be very careful about the enrollment of new students. Then, even if it is not clearly explained in the plan, there is the risk that entire classes could be transferred to other schools in the same area, obviously maintaining the chosen address. Moreover, the plan already invites overcrowded institutions, in the process of new enrollments, to promote “schools of the same address and district”. This same philosophy could also be applied to male and female students who are already attending the relevant institutes. Therefore, a very hot December is expected for students in the province of Rome, who have already been struggling for years with overcrowding problems, lacking spaces and rejected entries.