For a new school

Publish date 17-09-2021

by Roberto Lerda

We are at a time when everyone is talking about school due to the continuous closures and reopening imposed by the pandemic and by the trend of infections. The data provide us with a picture of many children in difficulty with distance learning, with considerable differences from school to school and from place to place. School dropout is increasing, performance and attention in the class is decreasing, cases of violence are increasing and there are more insecurities also on a psychological level.

In short, we find ourselves facing an alarming and unprecedented situation.
More than a year has now passed since the first and longest closure, which affected the whole of Italy in the last spring.
Then this year, which everyone hoped to be more positive, turned out to be very similar to the last one and characterized by "fits and starts" teaching: continuous closures and reopening. But the question we ask ourselves today, in a period in which everything seems to be improving, is: what has the school learned? And what are the prospects for a "new school"?

We certainly cannot pretend that the pandemic is a parenthesis and that, once it is over, everything will go back to the way it was before. We should improve, grow, learn from this too.
Among the recent appointments of Alfieri della Repubblica (honor addressed to minors who have distinguished themselves for actions of solidarity) we find the story of Silvia Artuso, a 9-year-old girl from Bergamo, who during the lockdown transmitted strength and hope to her companions by sending them the videotaped reading of a passage from a book dear to you. And another from Bergamo, Silvia Cavalleri, took care of a disabled companion, managing not to make him feel alone and helping him overcome the pain of the loss of his father.

These two stories teach us the two fundamental ingredients from which to start again: the first is passion, that is to recognize the beauty of everyone's abilities and get involved to make them bear fruit; the second is relationships, that is, mutual trust, mutual help, becoming friends by welcoming difficulties and overcoming them together.
If the school has learned, or rather rediscovered, these two pillars, then it will truly be a new school.

Roberto Lerda
NP May 2021

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