Bologna, the forced regime of primary schools: 700 children drop out and fewer classes

    Governor of Emilia-Romagna Stefano Bonacini and his deputy Elly Schlein visit the Mazzoni nursery in Bologna
Governor of Emilia-Romagna Stefano Bonacini and his deputy Elly Schlein visit the Mazzoni nursery in Bologna

Population decline also has an impact on schools. But compared to other Italian provinces, that of Bologna seems to suffer less. “We will have 700 pupils and a few classes less in primary school, ”registers administrator Antonio Panzardi. “The trend is different in high school, where we see an increase in the number of students,” he adds.

Not a new trend

“It’s a trend that has been repeated for several years now,” notes Carmelo Adagio, manager of Gaggio Montano’s C. “Since I have been here, I have seen a decline in the Upper Rhine in all age groups. Twenty students less per year. This year there has been a slowdown with us but because I have a growth in foreigners: a reception center has brought us new members. But in the last five years I have lost three sections – says Adagio – There is a contraction in the number of classes although for now it is not a tragedy”. The question is what will happen over time. “If we continue like this, a rationalization of resources will be assessed and there is a risk that this will have effects on the mountain”. The presence of schools is as fundamental as that of companies for a complex territory like the mountains. “If a complex disappears, the incentive for young couples to settle in these territories decreases” underlines the manager. “What we are doing, to react to this situation, is to provide for an increase in services by expanding full-time where there was none (as has been done in Lizzano and Silla). The solution is to increase the services, but for that the personnel must not be reduced”.

The union

Precisely this is a battle horse of the unions, particularly alarmed by what is happening with the demographic decline and the relative lack of schooling. “In our region – confirms Susi Bagni, General Secretary of the FLC CGIL Bologna – the trend is different, we have a drop in enrollment in nursery, primary and intermediate schools, but an increase of 1,309 students in high schools. The drop is around 1300 and so they should equalize but they don’t. Because the drop is there, but it is distributed, so each class will simply have fewer students. 4 places will be cut in kindergartens, 20 in primary and 2 in colleges, but these places will not be enough to cover these 1,300 additional students. The teachers will not grow: “And in high school we are full of classes with 30 students, calculated before the ballots, which means that they will grow with chess.”

The organic “knot”

Bagni describes a situation that is certainly not reassuring. “The high schools were told “you will have the reinforcement of the staff which was necessary for the sustainability of the projects and recoveries and for the exemptions from the figures of the system”. This goes against the quality of education. And let’s not talk about technicians, with very large classes, for whom it will be even worse”. Lhe assures a trade unionist that “for years we have been asking for more staff to respond to these children: it would be an opportunity to give more full time to kindergartens and beyond, and not to have as many classes”. Bagni also points to Rome’s choices. “The government has decided to cut 10,000 seats, we have called a strike for May 30.”

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May 18, 2022 (change May 18, 2022 | 8:19 PM)


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