School dropout and “brain drain”: emergency like the health one

The numbers are not always able to fully describe a particular situation, but they help us to delve into the issues, offering us a first snapshot, a starting point however necessary. In 2020, as many as 543,000 students interrupted their educational path, failing to reach a higher qualification than that of the lower secondary school, the old middle school to be clear. A figure made even more worrying by the more than 68,000 young people who, in possession of a higher or university degree, have opted for the foreign route, further impoverishing our country of precious, human and professional skills.

School dropout and "brain drain" constitute, in fact, a situation of dramatic emergency, as important as the health one. The school has been treated for years by Cinderella , often entrusted to ministers with little knowledge of reality, unable to look critical issues in the face by putting their hand once and for all. The school must cost little, ask even less, and systematically take the place of the state in the management of social issues. Teachers are required to continue training in all fields of human knowledge, from psychology to information technology, passing through a meticulous acquisition of a contradictory and extremely complex bureaucratic babel. Not to mention, finally, the enormous responsibilities, civil and criminal, which fall daily on managers, teachers and ata staff.

The buildings are often obsolete, living fossils that testify to past greatness, when, despite a thousand difficulties, the school was entrusted to men like Gentile, Croce or Berlinguer, representatives of completely different visions and ideas of humanity. The political class, in recent decades, has made good use of the school, but has also not been able to put itself at the service of it. He did not listen to it, he deliberately ignored it, and where he intervened he did very serious damage.

The imposition of a teaching based on skills, following Northern European models, has meant, in fact, a contraction of the contents, a lack of absorption of notions, even basic ones. The frontal attack on an identity knowledge has produced a cognitive atrophy in the historical, geographical, literary sphere, limiting, in the concrete everyday life of "schooling", the occasions in which to exercise the faculties of the free exercise of the critical spirit. Pupils, from primary school, do not get used to the lively taste of tiring, but satisfying, successful in complex tasks. Teachers must remove obstacles, difficulties, invent alternative paths, motivate and intrigue, eventually replacing the students, not preparing them adequately for the world of work.

A country that does not invest in school slowly condemns itself to nihilism, relativism, widespread ignorance, irrelevance on the international political chessboard, simply loses weight and credibility. It doesn't matter anymore.

Furthermore, the pandemic has snatched entire generations of men from us who, through work, study and self-denial for the family, had contributed to Italian greatness, making the “boot” known and appreciated all over the world. Who will have to take hold of the historical memory of their work, handing down knowledge, professionalism and values?

The widespread denatality makes this passing of the baton even more problematic. As can be seen from this, early school leaving cannot be treated as a problem in its own right, disconnected from real life, represented by the economy, finance, the world of work and production. It is urgent, hoping that it will not be too late, an overview, able to grasp the ratio that indissolubly binds social and civil realities, apparently extraneous. Let us not forget the teaching of the ancients, according to which a life without research would not even be worth living.

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This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Wed, 21 Jul 2021 03:43:00 +0000.