Does school recover in September? The reality behind the chatter of government propaganda

“The whole government is united to achieve the goal. There are regional school offices, the managers of our schools, local authorities, trade unions ".

This is an excerpt from the last speech by Minister Lucia Azzolina. This phrase reaffirms the usual statist centralism of the Italian school, hierarchically structured first in 1926 by Giovanni Gentile (the most fascist of the reforms) and then by Giovanni Berlinguer in 2000, who stiffened, to make matters worse, the pyramidal and hierarchical structure of the institutions homegrown educational. The bodies that decide are almost all part of the central State: the government, the school offices, which are regional only in that they are located in the Region but directly depend on Rome, and the school managers, who are also mere "transmission belts" of the Ministry of public education. Local authorities are "decentralized state" but always public bodies that have often completely lost contact with the popular base that elected them. First of all, the teachers are very absent, relegated more and more to mere executors of decisions taken in the different "button rooms" and, of course, also the parents: the students are then considered essentially as "users" necessary to place jobs. The main issue for Azzolina seems to be the accommodation of a plethora of teachers who are still in the limbo of precariousness, regardless of their actual competence and preparation. The numbers "fired" ("we will give place to 78,000 teachers") and the declarations on reduced classes or on individual and spaced desks appear much more as programmatic intentions ("we have foreseen 2.9 billion to restart the school in September") that not as real goals that you really realize how to achieve. It is the Conte government line, which makes the "good intentions" announced in television conferences believe certain and immediate!

My personal experience as a teacher (of law and economics) in a high school in Milan is that common to all teachers in the area in question: I learned from the newspapers, on February 23, that we would stay home for a week, the carnival one, and I also heard from Giuseppe Sala that "nothing is done in that week" and that therefore I could only be happy with it. Then we stayed at home in "waves" (always hearing from the newspapers, before the school). After that, after a certain time, we were informed that we should have done the so-called "DAD", distance learning, of which nobody had ever talked to us, much less explained how to implement it.

I noticed that everyone was constantly asking me if I was teaching at a distance and I had the impression that this was the criterion for seeing if I was "obedient" to government guidelines. I warned that most people viewed DAD as an intelligent way to make teachers work, notoriously laundering. Applying the usual "do it yourself" method, I somehow then entered this "virtual world" of remote lessons, talking to a series of turned off videos, from which I saw images of all kinds (scooters, bicycles, zodiac signs , often just a letter) and microphones that are also turned off (in this case with the justification of wanting to avoid interference). I had to fight bitterly to see the faces of the students I wanted to interrogate and even more bitterly with the parents who totally replaced their son in performing exercises at home (not to mention those who directly suggested to the son claiming that "the video was broken " ). At the end of the school then I had to, like the other teachers, admit all the students, even with ten-eleven very serious deficiencies, because this was the will of the Azolina (or of those who give her the operational indications, as it seems to me hardly credible that the above has an experience and an independent thought). Note that I could not even make the appeal, during the distance lessons, because they had no legal value.

In short, they forced us to carry out an educational activity in some way to show that we were doing something during the quarantine. Aside from the talk about the hours actually carried out, which is not comparable to that of the school "in attendance", the usefulness of the DAD was very relative to me, because the attention and concentration of the students was much less than the "normal" one ". It was, in essence, a "lark mirror" that the government used to say that it was concerned with dealing with the emergency situation (and to avoid looking for alternative solutions that would provide for the return to the classroom). The real problem, which I don't think touches that "mind" of Azzolina, was not so much the fifth grade students, who even in unsuspected times were promoted to 99.9 percent, but all the others: those of the first, second, third and fourth! You want to pick up the boys (who certainly do not want to commit themselves) admitted to the next class, however, even with a frenzy of insufficiencies, and to convince them to study!

The post Does school recover in September? The reality behind the chatter of government propaganda appeared first on the Daily Atlantic .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Fri, 31 Jul 2020 04:01:00 +0000.