The 10 million Italian students, who have been unable to go to class for more than a month because of the coronavirus, have their sights set on the May 18. That is the date indicated by the Minister of Education, Lucia Azzolina, as possible return day to kindergartens, schools, institutes and universities, provided that the pandemic has then completed its phase of decline and there are no new infections. “Until there is security the boys do not return to class. If there are risks they will not. I will listen to what the health authorities say, “said Azzolina last night on a Rai television program, in which he recognized that” one of the possible scenarios “is that the next course the telematic didactics must be extended. This could become mandatory in the current school year and not only be advised, as it is now, with a new decree that the Government plans to approve today.
If there is finally a ‘back to school’ on May 18, it will be possible to take the ‘maturità’ (the Italian selectivity) exams to enter the university and retest for the boys who finish middle school (11 to 14 years old) . In the event that it is not possible to resume face-to-face classes during this course, as experts in virology fear, the ‘maturità’ will be replaced by a single oral test in which all students will be admitted even if they have not passed the exams in their centers. It is a modality that was already used in the province of L’Aquila after the 2009 earthquake and consists of a control that can be carried out electronically.
That all the students are admitted to the ‘maturità’ “does not mean that they are approved”, insisted Azzolina, who justified this decision because “we do not have the mathematical certainty that we have reached 100% of the students with distance learning ». The minister also explained that for kids who finish middle school, the usual end-of-cycle exam will be replaced with the presentation of a dissertation, as long as it is not possible to resume classes on May 18.
It is expected that in the Minister’s Council, when the approval of a business aid plan is also foreseen, the situation of schools and possibility of nobody repeating course among the students of the other courses.
In this sense, the Government studies grant a general pass. Students will be approved, regardless of the grades obtained in the first evaluations and will automatically promote the course. Teachers will grade them based on how they have followed the classes throughout the course, including those that have been taught online at home. If the educators understand that the performance has been poor, the students will have to make up the subjects in September.
Antonello Giannelli, president of the national association of directors of educational centers, considered that this could be the only alternative to the exceptional situation that Italy is experiencing due to the pandemic. “But the failures must appear in the bulletin. It is unimaginable to approve those who do not deserve it. It is a principle of equity that must not be trampled on »Giannelli commented in an interview published by the ‘Corriere della Sera’ last week, in which he proposed that the failed subjects should be made up next year.
Faced with the possibility of continuing to worry about the coronavirus in September, Azzolina explained that the ministry is studying various possibilities on how to resume classes after the summer. Among them obviously impose a greater distance between students, which will not be easy due to the “atavistic problem” of the crowded classes, he acknowledged. “We are working on various possible scenarios,” he said, acknowledging that among them was to extend telematic education in the coming year.
The pandemic is already approaching the 130,000 infected and the 16,000 deceased in Italy. This Monday offered two hopeful data: the number of additional deaths (525) was the lowest since March 19 and, for the first time since the pandemic broke out, the number of people hospitalized by Covid-19 fell. Silvio Brusaferro, president of the Higher Institute of Health and member of the committee of scientists and technicians who advise the Government in the management of this emergency, assured that the contagion curve “has reached its plateau and has now begun its decline.”