At the heart of politics must be education

The data from the national education system have been there for years for everyone to see. In the international ranking, explains Mario Caligiuri, director of the Observatory for Education Policy of Eurispes and full professors of the University of Calabria, Italian universities are struggling and in school performance we cover the last places of the ranking, also illuminating an abyss between the North. and south, which was not even filled in the 160-year history of unity.

There can be no clearer evidence to show that the road we are taking is probably not the right one.

There is no need for detailed interventions but structural policies that take time to distinguish between contingent challenges and long-term ones.

In fact, as Koeno Gravemeijer, of the Eindhoven University of Technology, explains, “everything happens in education fifty years later”. So, just as the economic boom of the 1960s was accompanied by the gentile reform of 1923, we are now experiencing, for better or worse, the effects of the education policy of the ’68.

In our opinion, the starting point is that the focus of Italian society’s political choices should not be on the economy, but on education.

And that education is not at all, it is now eloquently proven that Sergio Mattarella, like Sergio Mattarella on February 3, 2022 as Head of State, received in his 40-minute speech 55 applause when Sergio Mattarella on February 3, 2022 again once received 55 applause, and among those who were not above education. do.

In fact, the subject of education is not on the radar of the political and cultural debate, and is reduced to specific facts, such as the DAD, where we talk about procedures and never about the content or quality of teachers.

Education, like all major social issues, is the consequence of political choices and individual behavior. The media system and the cultural system agree. But instead of dwelling on the effects, the causes should be seriously investigated.

There is undoubtedly internal responsibility in the world of education. Schools and universities, which are often called upon to solve social problems, represent a large part of the problems.

There is also a specific crisis in educational theories around the world, due to the shocking evolutions of recent years, with the use of obsolete words and, in the Italian case, the progressive emergence of an anti-language, which in some manuals of pedagogy it is used to avoid rather than describe reality.

But education is central to the future of any country. Based on all indicators, in Italy, although it has played and continues to play a very important role in social promotion, allowing the social rise of millions of Italians, the education system is losing ground compared to the others, with directly linked instincts to institutional inefficiency. , public corruption and organized crime.

High-quality investment in education pays off nationally because, as is well known, there is a direct link between school quality and GDP growth.

It is no coincidence that countries investing more in education are getting richer and in Italy even a small increase in OECD Pisa indicators is leading to a 5% increase in GDP.

We have to start a political and cultural debate here in this country about education, as was done in 1983 in the USA.

Then there was the report A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, in which, during the Cold War, the low level of education was directly linked to national security; Basic theme even in this precise moment, exposed as we are to powerful walls of war.

Also in the United States in 1966 the Coleman report stated that the intervention and quality of school buildings, and educational technologies, and changes in programs would not only be if one does not go ahead and at the same time in the social, Family intervenes. and urban contexts of individuals. The student. The only element that could make a difference was the quality of the teachers.

This is why the quality of teachers becomes fundamental. According to Piero Calamandrei, the school should be regarded as a “constitutional body”, so that the lack of quality of education and therefore the inadequacy of those who exist, ie school and university teachers, constitute a “constitutional violation” .

In fact, the quality of managers and teachers is crucial. Among the latter in schools, there are about 200,000 without qualifications, with the risk of lasting damage to the education of students. In universities, on the other hand, with mass qualifications, a very dangerous university precariousness arises, which results in explosives in the school world.

Therefore, the mechanisms for the training, selection and evaluation of managers and teachers need to be reviewed as a matter of priority. My point, Calabria, sometimes returns destructive data.

We do not realize it, but we live in misery. Politically, culturally and medially, there is not the necessary attention paid to education, which is by far the largest area of ​​public policy and on which the presentation and future of the country and the knowledge society depend.

Since the future is not expected but prepared, Italy should make the best use of PNRR funds today. One of the six missions concerns education, to which about 32 billion of 248 are reserved.

We are reminded of the two objectives: to strengthen the education system throughout the educational path (from nursery schools to universities); Support research and promote its integration with the production system.

In total, 9 reforms and 25 investment items are planned. The most consistent elements are school construction and technological equipment, practically it is procurement. Therefore, the crucial game of education must in principle be played on rules rather than on investments, and above all on the quality and efficiency of expenditure on the training of human capital (starting with teaching staff) and the connection of the world of work. .with the focus of research. .

Therefore, the objectives proposed by the Eurispes Educational Policies Observatory are to place the subject of education at the center of the political, scientific and cultural debate with initiatives and research; Monitoring the quality of expenditure and the effectiveness of reforms related to the education mission of the PNRR; and the elaboration of an in-depth section of the Eurispes Annual Report “Italy”, which will present its 34th edition in May, devoting much space to our educational issues.

In this initiative, we have involved the most important pedagogical associations, the prestigious cultural institutes, public institutions, experts and sectors, as well as experts and sectors that contaminate education, and we thank them one by one. In fact, it is an area that represents an appointment for all sciences, in the awareness that education is something so important to society that only educators can not deal with it.

Precisely for this reason, education can be the mother of all the battles for change in Italian society. Today, we are embarking on a journey that we hope will take far and wide with the contribution of all of us in the interests of the young people in the future of our country.

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