Digitally forgotten at school, at work: is PNRR enough to change the country?

The tendency to limit in case of emergency the use of digital environments bannent School seems to prevail, after the blockade and still in the pandemic, hiding nearly decades of debates and practices to integrate digital environments for remote learning.

At the same level, in the post-confinement, which demonization of smart work it revealed, in facts and ideas, the significance of the digital turn that is lacking in the country.

The problems that arise in the management of the FATHERof smart work, and generally on the digitalization front, require attention to accompany its evolution and integration into everyday practices, within a cultural premise that can not be that of the unconditional rejection of digital.

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The importance of digital for schools at the time of the pandemic

Moreover, in the actions to combat the limitations and constraints imposed by the pandemic, the digital weapon was among the first to be attempted by governments and communities. In schools – as well as in universities – at a regulatory level, distance education has been imposed as the only way to continue activities. Between the commitment to the norm and the desire for normality, school communities have to act in institutional online platforms and – sometimes even more comfortably – in informal digital environments. In the varied Italian national panorama, they have bridged the distance, starting with different baggage of experiences and technologies.

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Digital and ecology theme: because you can not separate them from everything else

The Covid-19 emergency also has the extent of the contemporary challenge, which intertwines topics of a cultural, ecological, political, social, economic, technological, legal nature. We can not talk about a digital issue that is separate from the various areas that together make up social reality. In the same way, we can not speak of an ecological question that differs from the complexity that arises from the intersection of the many aspects that make it up. Starting from the pandemic crisis, both issues regain importance, even in the intersections that characterize them.

At the Italian national level, the language of use PNRR, the modernization of public administrationStrengthening the production system, the fight against poverty, social exclusion and inequality are part of a single challenge, with respect to which the next generation EU “can be an opportunity for a path to sustainable and sustainable economic growth. reopen “(ibid.). Digitization and innovation, ecological transition and social inclusion are the three “strategic axes” which, in the interconnection of elements, represent the value of what is at stake.

The school in the PNRR

Do School it is, in the recovery and resilience plan, part of this transformation, necessarily broader and already underway in the pre-pandemic period.

Do Training, together with social, territorial and gender inclusion, ecological transition, digitalisation and competitiveness, the elements are under the banner of those “promoting a robust recovery of the European economy” (ibid, p.13). In this context «Mission 4 (Ed. Education and Research) aims to strengthen the conditions for the development of an economy with high knowledge intensity, competitiveness and resilience (p.173). As for the digital transition, “the digital revolution represents a huge opportunity to increase productivity, innovation and employment, guarantee wider access to education and culture, and bridge territorial gaps” (ibid, p.19).

In the adopted perspective, the attention around the “Pillars” that must support recovery, Education is thus introduced in the broadest sense “policy for the new generations, childhood and adolescence” (ibid, p.15). it is in the sense, in fact, of Politics that national plans must act to improve education systems, as well as the competencies of the entire population, including digital.

Inconveniences, shortcomings and criticisms of the school

Certainly not a new framework in which it is important to remain, however, to recall the responsibilities of public policy. The growth plan of each individual institution is a fundamental and essential part of a framework that remains multidimensional and feeds on complex and general conditions, premises and objectives. This is clear from the National Recovery and Resilience Program, which articulates in combining topics three strategic axes, six pillars, sixteen components, six missions. And for Mission 4, he recalls the inconveniences, the “structural shortcomings”, the “unresolved criticisms” of the education and training system, of territorial gaps and gender zuSchool dropoutop Infrastructure, to the so-called “historical” “skill misunderstanding between education and job demand”; in addition to the already declared “low level of R&D expenditure”, the “low number of researchers and the loss of talent”, the “reduced demand for innovation”, the “limited integration of research results into the productive system”.

Topics to be addressed at the level of education and training systems, in a line of continuity ranging from early childhood to university, doctorate, research and business. Between early childhood and university, the model of technical and vocational training is given an important role, to which the PNRR recalls the reform implemented by the Ministry of Education, which is based on the “innovation of Industry 4.0 (…) In the Renewed Context of Digital Innovation ”(pp. 180-181).

The centrality of the digital and ecological transition – complex in relation to elements that characterize the two themes – is reminiscent of transversal priorities, and it could not be otherwise, in which the vocabulary of the goals that are not met sounds right.

The contradictions that hinder digital in school

In order to stay at the level of digitalisation, the complexity of the issue goes through us daily experience and for the reformation derived therefrom, from the contradictions which still survive. Instead of using digital tools to improve distance learning – to set an example that most students, students and teachers are familiar with – the DAD has become synonymous with emergency and second-class education. The legitimate need for female students and teachers the experience of living in the school relationship in the presence has led to an escape from the possibilities that online environments offer. Instead of reinforcing the mixed modality, which guarantees advantages in different conditions, offers the best presence and the best distance, a strong public attention seems to be on demonize the use of digital technologies in education.

To return to one aspect of the ecological debate, it would be like confusing the “plastic-free” appeal with an undifferentiated demonization of plastic instead of commitment – and current conditions – vis-à-vis Recycling and proper disposal. It would be like confusing solutions: replacing plastic bottles with aluminum cans, at least without any effort to guarantee the reuse and prolongation of the life cycle of the materials. For example, without providing adequate containers for separate collection, without actually taking care of the disposal and recycling procedures, without promoting adequate public communication on the subject.


In the transversality of the elements that characterize the digital and ecological transition, it is therefore worthwhile to consider the plan of Responsibility for public policy. And together with that, in the social dialectic, individual action, intertwined by individual institutions and communities. In the digital fragility and vis-à-vis the ecological collapse, this despair is reminiscent of an essential cultural dimension and a necessary industrialism that goes from public choices to declarations of accumulated errors.

The first announcements and investments in education, under the PNRR, invite public and local authorities to Requalification of school building heritage and infrastructure, to approach “the knot of the land.” Node to solve the recovery, to grow in the transformation that has already taken place rapidly in the pre-pandemic period. “A change – as Kerckhove remembers – first and foremost in the fundamentals of our culture that changes at a rate that transcends our ability.”.

Beyond resilience, the end of the normal state of disruption is to be hoped for, in a cultural framework supported by public policies that will welcome and encourage the transition that is taking place in all areas and that we need. Transition, in which transversality mentioned several times can only be cultural.


Buffardi A. Individuals, Technologies, Society: Digital Transformation in the Covid-19 Era. Interview with Derrick de Kerckhove. In IUL Research, Vol. 2 n. Eng., 3, 2021, pp. 21-32

by Kerckhove D. “Covid-19 is a Perfect Storme Accelerating Digital Transformation Societal Waves”. In T. Cavrak (ed.), The role of personal digital twins in controlling epidemics, 2020, IEEE Digital Reality, pp. 28-29

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