Headline, May 12 2021/ ''' '' SCHOOLS BACKBONE SCULPTS '' '''


 SCULPTS '' '''

ONLINE SCHOOL BUES : Italian students are just and just dropping out :

IN ITALY - IT IS ILLEGAL FOR STUDENTS below the age of 16 to drop out of school, and the local prosecutor for the minors' court, aware that social workers were swamped, asked school principals to report dropout cases directly to her.

ITALY : STUDENT FRANCESCA NARDI never liked school or thought she was particularly good at it - but with the help of teachers and classmates she had managed to stick around until 11th grade.

And then in Naples, the dropout rate is about 20 percent, twice the European average, and in the city's outskirts it is even higher. Teachers there have struggled to keep students interested in school, and they worry that students of closed classrooms will shut students out for good.

As school closed, student Francesco Saturno, 13, spent his mornings helping in his grandfather's fruit shop, sleeping in or glued to his PlayStation. He logged on to his his online class only twice.

His mother, Angela Esposito, 33, who herself dropped out of high school, worried that he might leave school and follow in the footsteps of his father, who earns tips of loose change for babysitting parked cars in Naples.

''I am scared that if he doesn't go to school he is going to get lost,'' she said. ''And getting lost in Naples is very dangerous.''

When the pandemic hit, though, she found herself lost in online classes, unable to understand her teacher through the tablet the school gave her. She was failing, likely to get held back and planning to drop out.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon she paused from chatting with two friends, who had already dropped out, near her house in the projects Naples eastern outskirts.

'' It's better if I just work,'' Francesca 15, said. ''And not waste another year."

Even before the pandemic, Italy had among the worst dropout rates in the European Union, and the southern city of Naples was particularly troubled high numbers. When the coronavirus hit, Italy closed its schools more than just about all the other European Union member states, with especially long closures in the Naples region.

While it is too early for reliable statistics, principals, advocates and social workers say they have seen a sharp increase in the number of students falling out of the system.

The impact on a generation may be one of the pandemic's lasting tolls.

Italy closed its schools - fully or in part - for 35 weeks in the first year of the pandemic - three times longer than France, and more than Spain or Germany.

And experts say that by doing so, the country, which has Europe's oldest population and was already lagging behind in critical educational indicators, has risked leaving behind its youth, its greatest and rarest resource for a strong prepandemic recovery.

''We are preparing badly for the future,'' said Chiara Saraceno, an Italian sociologist who works on education.

Italy's prime minister, Mario Draghi, allowed all Italian high school students to go back to school in person for at least half of their classes starting last Monday. Finishing the academic year in class, Mr. Draghi has said, should be a priority.

''The whole government thinks that school is a fundamental backbone of our society,'' said Italy's health minister, Roberto Speranza. ''The first place where we will invest.''

But a good deal of damage has already been done.

Throughout much of last year, the government argued that keeping high schools closed was necessary to prevent infections from spreading on the public transportation that students took to and from classes.

Elementary schools were allowed to open more often, but the country's insistence on closures, especially of middle and high schools, experts say, risked exacerbating inequalities and the country's profound north-south divide. National and regional officials drew sharp criticism, and even the education minister who was in office then argued that south schools should have opened more.

Mr. Speranza acknowledged that schools had paid ''a very high price in these months.''

Schools around the southern city of Naples have remained closed longer than the rest of the country, in part because the president of the Campania region, Vinccenzo De Luca, insisted that they were a potential source of infection. At one point, he mocked the notion that children in his region were ''crying to go to school.''

''I am really worried,'' said the prosecutor, Maria De Luzenberger. In the last month, about 1,000 dropout cases from Naples and the nearby city of Caserta have piled up on her desk, she said. ''That was more than in all of 2019.'' ''I did not expect such a flood.''

When the school is open, you can grab them and make them come; when the school is closed, what do you do.?''

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Students, Schools and The State-of-the-World, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Emma Bubola.

With respectful dedication to Leaders, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of Italy, and then the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! -The Ecosystem 2011 "

''' Blues - Bangs '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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