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Schools open from June to September: the ministry says yes, families respond

«School being open in the summer is nothing new. Many institutes are already active but it is positive to see that the ministry has decided to allocate funds: it means take charge of the malaise and sense of abandonment that families experience». For Francesca Fiore di Mammadimerda it is a step forward in the right direction taken by the Ministry of Education and Merit with the signature, by the Minister, Giuseppe Valditaraof the decree which allocates 400 million euros to finance «inclusion, sociality and skills development activities for the period of summer suspension of lessons».

The measure, says the Ministry note, concerns the current and following school year and is intended for primary and secondary schools. The projects are activated based on the proposals of the schools and the audience of recipients and the duration of the courses can be expanded by schools thanks to agreements with local authorities, universities, voluntary and third sector organisations, sports associations and families themselves, following the example of the best practices already developed based on the school autonomy.

With WeWorld Onlus the Mammadimerda duo launched the petition: Let's re-study the calendar. The objective is to ask institutions to remodulate the Italian school calendar. The signatures have reached 50 thousand just in these days. «The objective is a structural change, the ministry's proposal is positive, but not decisive and it risks benefiting schools that are already active, which have projects and are able to propose them. Others may be left behind.”

The real point lies in the inequalities that grow in the summer. Is called summer learning lossthe loss of learning and skills in the summer period and affects most those who cannot afford summer camps, cultural activities, alternatives, but those who remain “parked” on the sofa, in front of the TV or PC, at their grandparents' house. Doing these activities in school buildings, without the costs of private individuals, would be a first step in a general change which for the petition goes through a remodulation of the school calendar with only two months of stoppage in summer, July and August, and breaks during the 'year.

The objections to this proposal have been the same for years: the children cannot be made to do even more school, the school buildings are obsolete and unusable in the summer, the teachers cannot be burdened with additional work. «Obviously we cannot think that traditional teaching will be carried out in the summer in school buildings which are sometimes not suitable for use», explains Francesca Fiore, «programs and teaching must be adapted (music, coding, physical activity, cultural visits) like school buildings: unfortunately with climate change we have many warmer months ahead of us, we will no longer go to school in May or September? In Spain they have a shorter summer break than us with a similar climate.”

The invitation is to look abroad, but above all to get around a table to bring school back to the center of national interests. It is not only valid for the summer and certainly has costs that are much higher than what has been allocated by the ministry for the activities of schools open in the summer. «The lower secondary school must have a full-time section to give everyone the opportunity to do activities in the afternoon. There the disaffection towards school was born which later became abandonment. We need to provide training and this does not only concern those who have children, but the entire society: students are the future doctors, the brains who must remain, but also the kids who must integrate.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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