"Au sujet de la situation italienne de l'éducation" (texte en anglais)

Publié le : 17/04/2014


To understand the meaning of our debate in this congress you have to consider the following things:

1) Between 2008 and 2011 Berlusconi's government cut 140.000 workplaces (90.000 teachers and 50.000 other school workers, on a total of 900.000 teachers and school workers) with consequences in primary school (more frontal teaching, less full time, no little group of level) and in upper secondary school (from 8 to 2 hours/week less according to the different classes or type of school). After Berlusconi we got three new governments (Monti- Letta- Renzi), but no one was speaking about a giving back of these workplaces!

2) Two years ago practically the age of the retirement has passed from 60 to 67, with consequences on the turn-over of workers (the average of the age of Italian teachers is already the oldest in Europe!) and on the unemployment in school.

3) More than 100.000 temporary teachers and school workers are working in Italian schools without any prospects of regular recruitment and continuous work. The temporary work is a problem affecting also universities and research centers.

4) Now the government is speaking about a reduction of the end of upper secondary school at the age of 18 ( now the end is at 19). It means around 40.000 workplaces less. And where shall the cuts strike? In the upper secondary school with a school year less? Or in the nursery school with the anticipation of the primary school from 6 to 5? Or in the primary school making compulsive the last year of the nursery school?

5) In university we have a low level of matriculations: 60% of the people coming out from the upper secondary school, but 42% of the young people because of a big number of drop-out pupils in secondary school (around 20%) . And the number of matriculations is reducing because of the crisis. So we are destined to remain at the low level of a 20% of degrees among the young people (against the 40% asked by EU)

6) Salaries are blocked from 2008 for two reasons: no new bargaining and block of the automatic progression by seniority too. Just today a new law is providing the block until 2020! And the new minister of education is speaking only about the financing of private schools (only just 7% of pupils in Italy!) and the future payment of public teachers only according to their assessment!

7) Last but not least: the last PISA assessment says that pupils of the schools of northern Italy are at the same level of the Netherlands, pupils of the southern schools are at the level of Mexico. Around 100 points divide the best northern region and the worst southern region, a very big gap greater than in Spain (60 points) and in UK (30 points).

The debate in our congress has worked about the way to solve these problems according to the policies of our union and confederation. Resisting to cuts and salary blocks we had a good period of struggle in 2008-2009 with millions of teachers, school workers, students and parents in the streets. But after two years became more difficult the moving of big masses, also for the growing of different aims among the other principal unions. So we had less unitary actions, and often FLC CGIL remained alone in the struggle. In this situation we have had also to fight against some heavy attempts to the trade unions' rights.

So the questions are: resignation or wills of struggle? Involution or aspiration to a new open school? To keep high targets or to reduce them at a lower level?
In these days we are speaking about the bargaining, the growth of compulsive education from the pupils' age of 16 to the age of 18, the generalization of public nursery schools (now 30% are private), the giving back a of all the workplaces, a new project for the recruitment of the teachers, more means for the school especially in southern Italy, etc. And we shall do a new more powerful action about these subjects, starting from the question of the bargaining, until the general national strike, if it will be necessary! Our national general secretary said it!

We are called to a very hard struggle and resistance, but we know that the vocation of our union is not corporative: it is for a progressive reform of the school, for a continuous innovation in education, for pupils and for the whole society.