Catanzaro, open letter from Belcaro to Princi: On school sizing, use only the derogation unit for our province”

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By John

The councilor for public education of the Municipality of Catanzaro, Nunzio Belcaro, wrote an open letter to the vice president of the Region, Giusi Princi, with respect to the new decisions that the national government has adopted regarding school sizing, through art. 5 paragraph 3 of the so-called Milleproroghe decree, which offers the Regions the right to derogate for one year from the merging of a limited number of autonomies. “In the case concerning our Province of Catanzaro, the possibility – highlighted Belcaro – is to intervene on only one of them. You did well to promptly make use of this option, inviting the provincial administrations to indicate in a very short time, no later than beyond January 3, additional autonomies. Even though ours is not an institution with decision-making powers on the issue, we have never hidden our concerns about the choices that were going to be made on the future of our city’s schools”.

“Among the objectives of school sizing – underlined the councilor – is to ensure a series of services that only units of a certain size can offer. According to this approach, a school of optimal size should guarantee the the exercise of school autonomy through the activation of economies of scale, the institutional weight necessary to interact with local communities, propose a diversified and structured offer on the territory, which facilitates the exercise of the right to education. Optimization interventions they can always be pursued, but most of our first and second level comprehensive institutions fulfilled these peculiarities. Catanzaro saw half of the overall provincial autonomies to be sized merged, an excessive load that led to forced choices. We have communicated these doubts of ours to the Provincial Administration in a letter jointly signed with the Mayor of Catanzaro Nicola Fiorita already in times of unofficial hypotheses that were aired in decision-making bodies. Our City Council has officially expressed itself asking to challenge the approved plan.”

“You have a profound knowledge of the world of school, its fragilities, its balances. You know that comprehensive institutions will be merged in Catanzaro which will have to manage complexes that are unmanageable due to excessive number and distance. And institutions that contain factors of social criticality and dispersion will be merged identical to others that it was rightly chosen to preserve. There are other terms with which I would like to think about schools at a national level. We should invest with all the strength possible, given that our country is among the last in Europe in terms of investment ratio schools/GDP. Believing in it, putting in resources, not hearing about it, for too many years now, almost only for managerial and administrative aspects, distancing those who have the task of governing them from the role of didactic and pedagogical guide, swamped by a thousand bureaucratic and of responsibility. This is why I ask you in this open letter, chand the Region takes into account the situation that has arisen on this issue in the capitalto take into very serious consideration the enormous sacrifice of our city and therefore to use for Catanzaro the only exemption unit for our province”.