The opinion of the freedmen

There School failure is a serious problem and should concern everyone: the early abandonment of studies and the insufficient preparation of young at the result of training course they have negative effects on the whole communityboth in terms of higher social costs – think about the resources to support those who cannot find work and those to deal with crime – as well as in terms of the lack of well-being due to social exclusion and the difficulty associated with inadequate education .

A few days ago, thousands of students returned to the School woods at the end of the summer holidays. It is hoped that this new beginning will also mark a positive change with the worrying situation that has arisen in recent years regarding early school leaving. The collected data on the topic related to the last school year recorded an increase in the number of boys and girls who abandoned their studies when they pass between the first and second year of high school or in any case in an unsuccessful way faced the school path. , not to acquire the fundamental skills for the next one entry into world of work.

The pandemic has certainly exacerbated the situation, especially in socio-cultural contexts already in trouble, as it appears from the data Prosecutors for minors. In the 2021-2022 school year, reports of dropouts or interruptions in school attendance increased: at Prosecutor of Cagliari, in just one month, 300 reports were received, compared to an average of around 700 registered per year in recent years; the situation presented is equally alarming Prosecutor of the Juvenile Court of Napleswhere in just under a month around 900 reports arrived, more than double the number of those in the whole year 2020, which were around 400. The data also show the worrying dropout of primary school children.

June 2022 Guarantor for childhood and youth published the document Early school exchange in Italy: a multifactorial analysis, provides a detailed picture of the Italian situation and shows useful strategies to counter it “kaleidoscopic” phenomenon the “causes and effects even distant in time and difficult to measure in their articulation” (page 20). Dispersion, Garant observes, “can actually occur at different stages of the school career and can consist of dropping out, early exit from the training system, andAbsenteeism, in the passive presence or in the accumulation of gaps and delays that can affect the student’s cultural and professional growth prospects” (page 20). The latter examples fall under the so-called “implicit dispersion”, a term used to indicate all those situations of students who, during school, learn little and poorly, without achieving a minimum level of skills necessary for access to work.

According to the data of the Guarantor, in 2020 an early dropout rate of 13.1 percent was recorded in Italy, higher than the European average, which is around 9.9 percent. They did worse than Italy – as the data shows Eurostat 2021 – only those Romania (15.3 percent) in the Spain (13.3 percent). In the Germany the rate is around 11.8 percent, while in Sweden and France the situation appears to be better, with rates of 8.4 percent and 7.8 percent respectively. Early failure rates of less than 3 percent have been recorded Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Ireland.

The causes of early school leaving are multiple and heterogeneous. The socio-economic conditions of the families have a significant impact, as well as 2021 by Istat in the context of cycle of hearing on the issue of early school leaving, which highlighted a close correlation between the early dropout of young people and the low level of education and/or professionalism of the parents: “School before graduation” – read the Istat report – “It concerns 22.7 Percentage of young people whose parents have at most a middle school certificate; very low dropout rates, equal to 5.9 percent and 2.3 percent, can be found for young people respectively with parents with an upper secondary education qualification and parents with a tertiary title. Similarly, if the parents practice an unskilled occupation or do not work, school dropouts are more common (about 22 percent), while they are limited if the highest occupation between that of the father and the mother is highly skilled or clerical (3 percent) . and 9 percent, respectively)” (page 7).

In addition, Istat specifies, “the disadvantage of the family environment seems to have a greater influence on the early school leaving of young people living in the southern regions than their peers. Residents in the north“. These data are also from the Report Invasion released in July 2022, which highlights the strong geographical differencesboth in implicit failure and in early school leaving, with a higher percentage than the national average, already from primary school: Campania, Calabria and Sicily more than 60 percent of students do not reach the basic level of skills in Italian and 75 percent of students do not reach the basic level of mathematics. The same result in mathematics was also found Sardiniawhile Campania was also the region with the highest dispersion rate (19.8 percent).

In the Europe the phenomenon concerns or mainly the rural areas or the disadvantaged areas of large citiesin Italy, on the other hand, it is present in both contexts without special differences, with the sole exception of the southern regions, where the percentages of early schools are higher in urban areas.

The phenomenon affects males more than femalesMoreover, the data show consistent numbers of school dropouts or failure below foreign studentsalthough with important differences between those born in Italy and those born abroad: for the latter, in fact, there were greater difficulties and higher percentages.

The socio-economic factor is not alone in determining the dispersion. As Garant observes at the end of the cognitive investigation, “other reasons, not to be underestimated, are attributable to individual motivations that can lead to premature abandonment of studies and among which anxiety disorders have a significant weight. The problem is quite widespread in the Age group between 15 and 18 years, especially among those who have problems with social, public speaking, and who suffer from school phobia, panic attacks, etc. (page 175).

The structural deficiencies of schools, the lack of adequate spaces (such as playrooms, gymnasiums, libraries) and educational services also negatively affect early school leaving, as noted Save the children in the document On the search for lost time published in the first days of September. In order to reduce the territorial gaps and effectively combat the early school exchange, the Ministry of Education, with decree no. 170 of 24/06/2022 allocated the first tranche of resources of the Plan against leaving school earlywhich provided a total of 1.5 billion euros to combat early school leaving and educational poverty, such as that of Pnr. In the first phase, resources were dedicated to school buildings and in this second phase, funds will be allocated directly to schools, which can also establish school networks, according to the criteria specified in the decree (Article 2). The first 500 million will finance projects in approximately 3,198 schools with students between 12 and 18 years of age.

The complexity of the phenomenon requires a wider action, with the cooperation of social services, families and Third sector. The guarantor of childhood and adolescence indicated three necessary interventions: the removal of the causes that determine the educational poverty, prevention, promotion of the factors that contribute to the success of the school. It is therefore important to ensure adequate support for the most vulnerable families and to promote actions that improve the basic skills of the adult population, as well as to improve the educational and professional orientation of the first cycle of education. The student must be guaranteed the respect of two fundamental rights: the right to be heard and the right to receive adequate training, as stated in the UN Convention on the rights of children and young people and of Convention European Union of Human Rights.

In February 2022, the guarantor for children and youth published the document The school I would like to go to, in which the results of the public consultation of boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 18 were collected and to understand what the actual educational needs of young people are and what problems they faced. The students expressed the need to have adequate rooms for learning, laboratories, sports facilities. More than 90 percent of the participants indicated that the dialogue between teachers and students and the well-being of the school were useful actions to improve learning. There was also a need for more attention to digital education and to the expansion of individual skills and engagement, through the use of judgment as well as the mood expressed in numbers.

62 percent of the participants – read the document – “believe that it is useful to create sports and cultural spaces that can be used from the outside also outside school hours, while more than half (55 percent) consider the connections between the School as important in associations and companies or the realization of School-work alternation projects in the area. Less than half of the participants, on the other hand, believe that more funding is needed to enable this synergy (44 percent) and 40 percent consider more inclusive activities for school-based Students with disabilitiesAccording to 99 percent of the interviewees, a greater integration between school and territory should be promoted.

The indications of children are undoubtedly useful in combating early school leaving and thus in the creation of a fairer society, because, as also reminded by the guarantor of childhood and youth, “school success leads to the achievement of social justice“.

Taken from the Rosario Livatino Study Center

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