Assumed that school will not resume in May, the question everyone is asking is: “But how and when?”. Pending the solution of the Ministry of Education, politicians, experts, technicians are working to study the plans that will guarantee safe access to classrooms for over 8 million students and 1.2 million operators, to which must be added the numbers relating to peer schools (about 950 thousand students and 200 thousand teachers). Continue to study, that is, but without risking an outbreak of the epidemic. Everyone agrees on one point: that a protocol must be adopted to adapt all institutions and ensure that students of each level of education can adopt and follow the same indications, avoiding chaos. «Open schools, protected society» is the title of the plan produced by the Polytechnic of Turin, which is based on staggered entrances and exits at regular intervals of time, to avoid gatherings, outdoor and distance learning activities, halving the number of students per classes with shifts. Stefano Parisi’s plan, drawn up with Prof. Giuseppe Bertagna, of the University of Bergamo, and Emmanuele Massagli, President of ADAPT, University of Modena as part of the Operational Plan https://ricostruireitalia.it, is also based on the need to divide students into small groups and divide their activities between classroom study, e-learning, other activities in places of culture, other outdoor activities. But let’s see in detail.
Azzolina: «In September you have to go back, it’s straight»
“In September you have to go back to school, students have the right to go back to school” and this also applies to “elementary schools”, Education Minister Lucia Azzolina told Skytg24, reiterating the possibility of “mixed education” partly in presence and partly online remotely. “We never talked about double shifts” for the resumption of school in September, she insists, explaining that the hypothesis is to divide the classes: “half of the students for half a week” would go to school, then the other half , and in any case the students who are remotely “connected, so sociality remains” would always be kept.
Coronavirus, compulsory distance education and promotion for all: the school at the time of Covid-19
The new rules
Halved classes and attention to nursery schools and kindergartens
For the resumption of school in Italy it is necessary to define a national protocol, “analogous to those drawn up for the restart of production activities”, notes the Polytechnic in about 60 pages which try to define the modalities for a safe resumption of school. Starting from the assumption that “school and early childhood education services are just as crucial as productive activities for the recovery of the country” it is highlighted as “the education system responds to problems of family-work balance for parents, but above all to the constitutional rights of children and young people to receive education and to have access to resources for the full development of their skills. Needs and rights – it is emphasized – which have been, perhaps inevitably, compressed in recent weeks with negative consequences that have widened the social inequalities between children ».
Depending on the age of boys and girls, specific assessments will have to be made, explains the Polytechnic. The smaller the children, the more difficult it is to imagine that they are able to adopt aware prevention behaviors, first of all wearing masks: it can only be made compulsory by elementary schools. After all, the study notes, the smallest ones are the least susceptible to the virus, which could therefore fall earlier. For nursery schools and kindergartens, however, the relationship between educators / children must be reconciled in terms of the need for care and care (very material) and that of safety in terms of health.
For kindergartens the number of children per educator is the reference parameter. At the 0/3 years old the number of infants / educators is currently 5 (from 0 to 12 months), 6 for children (13 to 24 months) 8 for adults (25 to 36 months). It is hypothesized to bring the maximum number to 5-6 for all three age groups, in order to better control not only the children, but the number of parents that revolves around them. The sections of the kindergarten are currently constituted with a minimum number of 18 and a maximum of 26 pupils, except for cases of disabled pupils: in this case it is advisable not to exceed 10 children per group. For older children, therefore from primary school upwards, the number of students per class is expected to be halved, and the implementation of an alternation of distance and face-to-face teaching by providing “half a group in class and half at home with periodic shifts”. Shopping? For the Turin university, the following are to be foreseen: “Costs for schools and individuals and associations in the area for all prevention devices (from Plexiglas to masks) and for sanitation; costs to be borne by local authorities for the preparation of the premises, structures and furnishings and for the renovation of outdoor spaces; management costs and logistic impact of personnel management “.
Schools across Europe are ready to reopen (or have already done so)
From June to September
The plan that Parisi instead presented to the head of the government’s task force, Vittorio Colao, proposes to reopen the schools immediately, from June to September. Also in this case a subdivision of pupils is proposed, in groups of eight. On a daily and / or weekly basis they must be distributed on intra-moenia activities, e-learning from home, other activities in places of culture such as museums, period buildings, exhibitions, theaters, and sports activities (also visits to parks and gardens botanists). The activities in this scheme take place from 8 to 17, and the school can also use Saturday morning to guarantee the shift. Since the number of teachers currently employed by the schools would not be sufficient, it is proposed to use university students attending degree courses that enable teaching as an option within the health system (an option that could also exceed the limits imposed by the advanced age of our professors). The proposal to rebuild assumes that we can reopen schools in 5 weeks, going through six key steps: health protection, defining operating rules to guarantee it to students, teachers and auxiliary staff; a general plan of the Ministry of Education to provide indications for the types of summer training offer for students and resources; national and territorial task forces; temporary modification of the teachers’ contract; greater autonomy of the school: and finally the LARSA, or workshops for the deepening, recovery and development of learning. Between one activity and another indoors there should be at least half an hour’s break, to ensure the sanitation of the rooms. Too cutting edge compared to the reality of the Italian school? “The logic with which we are working is precisely that of addressing the Covid 19 emergency in many areas, with a new approach compared to the past in such a way that from the emergency we can move on to an ordinariness by modernizing the country”, explains Parisi .
May 2, 2020 (change May 2, 2020 | 4:23 pm)
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