Between the masks and the Cyrillic alphabet: ‘The school has responded’

First was the pandemic, which for the third year in a row knocked on the doors of the classrooms. Then came the war in Ukraine, with the need to place hundreds of students in the school system within a few days. “We can say that the school has gone beyond the crises, rediscovering its role as a reference point for the whole of society,” said the director of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport (Decs). Manuele Bertoli, to draw up the school year report, which is due tomorrow. A year marked by the need to know how to adapt quickly to new circumstances and that, the leaders of the DECS said with a touch of pride, “took place completely in presence. In the end, the decision not to close the schools in the first months of 2022 proved to be a good one “.

‘Average absences only in early January’

The most difficult transition when it comes to the pandemic happened in the winter months when the Omicron variant took over. “At the beginning of January, absenteeism rates were 7-8% due to quarantine and isolation. on the other hand, absences were in line with normal periods, about 3-5%. We hope that in the future, in the event of a new pandemic, we will be able to keep the school present. ”

‘More than 640 students integrated, and work continues’

The second “peak” of stress for the department came in March, when the war in Ukraine forced thousands of families to flee Switzerland. “When one crisis is over, the other starts right away. Our work focuses on ensuring regular school integration, with medium- to long-term prospects, “said Bertoli. More than 640 children have found a place among the Ticino classrooms, and another part will be introduced instead by the beginning of the school year 2022-23. Some numbers: about 110 go to kindergarten, 260 primary school, 170 middle school and 100 compulsory posts. “The commitment continues this summer,” said the director of the DECS. With intensive Italian courses. Over 200 teachers are available placed and registrations exceed 400 units. ”The language skills, which the authorities have repeatedly repeated in recent months, are considered as a goal that can be achieved as quickly as possible.

‘Monitor and contain, we do not want to lose children on the road’

New for the school year that is over is also the legal obligation that applies to all young people living in Ticino. It is not the equivalent of compulsory schooling. But it requires every young person to have a concrete formative project ahead of them. “The first challenge was the supervision. Understanding what young people between 15 and 18 do,” explains the DECS coordinator and director of the school division Emanuele Berger. There are a hundred really problematic cases “for which a specific alternative has to be built”. Another service launched last September is school counseling for situations of possible abuse or sexual abuse of minors. “These are specialized staff who assist teachers in emergencies to assist victims or potential victims.” Progress in the creation of inclusive classes is also continuing. “We have 36 at the moment, and we want to reach 50. This is a common doctrine that is increasingly in demand, also a sign that culture is changing.” And in order to facilitate the transition and the formation of the future, the digitalisation of the institutions is central: «15 places will be digitized in summer with interactive whiteboards and Wi-Fi. 12 institutions have already made this intervention “. All before the recovery of the courses, which will take place on 29 August.

Placement Campaign: Start the year with a bang

He can laugh too Paolo Colombo, Director of the Vocational Training Division. The first results of 2022 of the placement campaign actually signed 566 contracts, an increase of 21% compared to the same period last year. The figure is also higher than that of the years before the pandemic, “there is satisfaction, but we must not let go of our guard. We are only a third of the way down the road.” In fact, the data presented show that it is still 889 places are vacant, so there is no shortage of jobs.

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