It’s important to reopen schools. It’s also fundamental to start again with extra-didactic activities. But in complete safety, without teachers, school operators or students running any risk of infection. CELIM started a fundraising campaign for the purchase of disposable masks, hand sanitizer and latex gloves. «These protections — explains Silvia from CELIM — will be used to guarantee the safe development of summer and extra-didactic activities starting in September (homework space, theater and murals expressive laboratory, percussion). It is really important to guarantee a safe come back for our children once the school will reopen». Personal protective equipment will then be distributed to educators, young people and families who need it most.
But let’s take a step back. In most parts of the world school lessons and extra-didactic activities have been interrupted to prevent the spread of infections from Covid-19. According to a UNESCO (UN agency that deals with cultural activities) report, more than one billion and a half of children, teenagers, and young adults from kindergarten to university stayed home. We talk about 91% of the student population. In Europe the numbers are striking:10,8 million of students at home in Italy, 15,4 in France, 15,3 in Germany, 9,7 in Spain. Schools and universities are closed everywhere, even if we have activated the so-called online learning, at least we Europeans. These, however, can not make up for the school, even if they prevent our children from losing count of the days, which are all the same, as happens to someone who is kidnapped for a long time. Also, online lessons don’t reach every student in the same way. Even in Italy a million and half of the students were left out. The government has allocated 70 million to ensure adequate devices and decent internet connections for all. But it is clear that however efficient (especially with older students, let’s say from middle school up), online learning can only amplify the initial inequalities.
So is it important to reopen schools? When? In September? How? In complete safety. Even if the national president of the “Associazione Nazionale Presidi”, Antonello Giannelli denounces «the impossibility, for school directors, to manage the reopening of schools safely without first implementing adequate (and permanent) system interventions». Accordùing to ANP, «a safety protocol must be promptly formulated which accurately outlines the measures to be taken, to limit the homemade solutions by the single schools and to ensure the maximum safety of all; the autonomy of individual schools needs to be supported through a conspicuous adjustment of economic resources and especially human resources».
«Our initiative — concludes Silvia from CELIM — is fundamental if we want schools to start again safely. We need help from everyone for this fundraising, only like this, we will manage to create the conditions for schools reopening. Support our fundraising!».