«We don’t teach those who haven’t qualified in Italy»-

The order (in preparation) of the Ministry of Education to award fixed-term contracts to support teachers who obtained their qualification abroad has been blocked for now. The news, which was circulated yesterday, had sparked a series of protests, by qualified teachers in Italy with difficulty, by families who fear that their children may receive support from insufficiently trained teachers, by trade unions who fear that teachers may be overtaken by those who have obtained title in a manner not certified by Italian standards. But last night’s meeting with the unions has stopped the issuing of the ordinance for now: the Ministry of Education, from what has been learned, yesterday evening expressed its willingness to increase the preliminary investigation procedures for the recognition of qualifications obtained abroad, providing for the establishment of a specialized structure to deal with the amount of applications. Why This is exactly the point: lacking precise and certain paths to specialize in support in Italy, chronically lacking hundreds of support teachers at the beginning of the school year, every year the ministry must evaluate thousands of cases of teachers applying to be admitted to teach with qualifications abroad. More than 11,000 applications have been submitted, of which over 11,000 come from Romania, Spain and Bulgaria. 85% are related to the achievement of the support qualification.

Courses are missing

As the CISL school points out, “the proliferation of training courses activated by EU countries, attended for the purpose of using their qualifications to access teaching in Italian schools” is “the consequence of the lack of activation, for too many years, of qualifying courses and a suitable number of support TFAs on the national territory. The situation is aggravated, as far as specialization courses are concerned, by a heterogeneous and unequal training offer between the various regions». However, with the “free everyone” to those who obtain qualifications abroad there is the risk of the “paradoxical effect that a teacher, qualified or specialized in Italy and fully included in the rankings, will in many cases be overtaken in the score by those who do not still has a valid title in all respects – use Joseph D’April of Uil- because it has not yet been recognized by the Ministry and that it should not be expendable in the rankings. So let’s not talk about didactic continuity – adds D’Aprile – if the substitute assigned to the teacher awaiting recognition of the title, can lapse when this should not be recognized ». Only the Anief union is in favor of the hypothesis of a ministerial order: “This modification is a necessary act, now the entries in the role on posts in derogation for years for specialized personnel in Italy and free access to the Tfa support or the substantial increase in admission numbers», says the secretary Marcellus Pacificus.

How are foreign qualifications different from Italian ones

But why is the recognition of qualifications abroad so scary?

This is explained by the specialized committee on support in Italy, which wrote a letter to the Prime Minister: «Those who specialize in Italy, in addition to having to take tests to access the course, must undergo 150 direct hours and 75 hours of indirect internship ; those who “specialize” abroad do not take entrance tests and do not carry out an internship». Another disputed point is that “in Italy it is necessary to take a specialization course for every school order and level and by law one cannot be included in a support ranking if one does not have a competition class in that specific school level ; foreign qualifications, on the other hand, are valid for several school grades with the result that some specialized colleagues abroad, having, for example, a competition class in the second degree secondary school, can also enter the first level GPS support bracket of the first degree secondary school». Furthermore, “when specialized teachers in Italy enter their title with reserve, during the opening period of the famous “windows”, they are then called to dissolve the reserve upon actually obtaining the title, otherwise they cannot participate in the assignment of assignments”: therefore the specialists ask themselves «why foreign “specialists” should be able to participate in the aforementioned assignment without lifting the reserve». In one of the European countries issuing these specialization qualifications, Romania, notes the committee, there is not even the concept of inclusion which is the basis of the training of every specialized teacher in Italy as well as the basis of the current legislation concerning all pupils with Special Educational Needs”. Finally, “allowing teachers included with reservations in the GPS support to apply for the assignment of annual assignments and/or on 30 June also means allowing them to participate in the assignment of tenured positions with the consequence that in Italy there would be hundreds of established teachers whose title has never been officially and legally recognized». In essence, the specialists note, the specialization title in Italy «is achieved with merit and sacrifices: eight months of attendance; ten courses and nine laboratories with relative exams; project and final report of internship and final thesis», while abroad «the knowledge and consequent compilation of the PEI, an essential tool for the work of the support teacher, in foreign training is not contemplated.

The resident: «Fragile pupils and those who take care of them are penalized»

Sabrina Montagnino is one of the future residents in Italy, and explains her fears: in her opinion, such an ordinance could «bring people without competence to take care of children with disabilities to the detriment first of all of them and their families. These people don’t know what Inclusion is, they don’t know the PEI and the Life project, essential tools to guarantee our children a life as normal as possible and full of inclusion. Until now Italy has been a beacon and a model for the rest of Europe, now what will happen? With this ordinance, Italy will go back. We ask to have visibility on this enormous problem that the government will make a burden on fragile pupils, families and those who would like to take care of them with sacrifice and dedication”.