SUNDAY 03 MAY 2015, 000:01, IN TERRIS

SCHOOL, RENZI CLEARS ALL DISSENT

ANGELO PERFETTI
SCHOOL, RENZI CLEARS ALL DISSENT
SCHOOL, RENZI CLEARS ALL DISSENT
Wall against wall, seems to be the method used by Renzi’s government on each institutional issue. It happened with the vote of confidence on Italicum, happened a few months ago on the initiative  ‘Unlock Italy’ and it is going on precisely in these days on the school reform. With certain aggravating circumstances: the criminalisation of that part of the teaching staff that is protesting, and taking the mick out on the date established for the changes to be made, in order to postpone the planned general strike. Which does nothing but exacerbate people.

But let's go in order. The so-called "good schooling" resulted in barricades a bit everywhere: too much power to the head teachers – it said – not only for the possibility given to them to autonomously define their own training plans, but also to the new rule which moves the responsibility at regional level, so much so, that any controversy with the headmaster, the teacher could end up being tranferred to another school miles away, giving up on internal debate,  confrontation and the protection of the worker. In addition, other crucial issues in the spotlight relate to the hiring figures. First estimates reported 150 000, then 120,000 and now have dropped to 100,000.

Hence the unions – for the first time have united for the first time in years –to protest with a general strike announced on May 5th, the day in which the tests have been established  (an examination which aims in assessing the learning levels of students in the third year of primary school). And what has the government done? It has put them off to 7-8 May, with the obvious aim in postposing the strike. A slap in the face to the democratic tool par excellence to express dissent.

And so, here we go again with the whole rigmarole on whatsapp-now selected as the platform for the exchange of information between teachers, thanks to the creation of numerous groups – to organise a other portest dates. A war of nerves, which furthers away confrontation and is bringing closer to – once again –to  the vote of confidence. As education is another of those themes dear to the left-wing, which in the teaching sector, can count on a large electorate.

The term used by Giannini to define ‘rebel’ teachers, says it all on the path that has been undertaken by the government: "Squadrons". And in defence of the the leftist democratists, the Democratic Party MP, Pietro Fassina intervened on Tweet: "Minister Giannini, the teachers are expecting your apology on your offensive words toward them. Do we need to proceed with a vote of no confidence? ".

Meanwhile, whatever’s left of that bit of democracy in parliamentary debate is still being applied, yielding some results. Lega Nord deputies Roberto Simonetti and Stefano Borghesi, have, since the last session of the Commission on culture, said: "Thanks to the Lega Nord, the majority has changed its idea on  ' good schooling ', in repudiating the hyper-central line of the government. The Committee approved Lega Nord’s amendment  for the participation of staff Ata in the training projects. There is also willingness-they have added- to open to their proposal on invollving entire teaching bodies and local authoritiesin the presentations of training offers. Thanks to the Lega Nord, we have opened the school up to  federalism, little by little we are tearing down the house of cards built by Renzi, restoring dignity and genuine autonomy to our schools. "

"The first signs of opening up-notes again the Lega Nord –is against the  principals acting like Sheriffs wanted by Renzi: the training offer will no longer be the prerogative of headmasters only, but will be shared with the the teaching bodies and the territories. Now we lie in wait for the majority to change direction, that further to these changes, others may follow that will give dignity to a reform that started off on the wrong foot owing to Renzi’s ‘centralist’ mania ". The count-down has begun.

Translation provided by Marina Stronati

 
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