Kindergartens open until the end of July: a decision that denies the value of kindergarten and fuels social hatred towards teachers

The numerous letters and reflections written by the kindergarten teachers have not had any effect in the political world and even less in society. Indeed we could say that social hatred towards us has increased and is also supported by political action.

‘The dice now seem to be cast’, from 2024 the opening for eleven months of the kindergarten will come into force. Faced with this decision, far from shared and theoretically founded, one could counter with two simple questions: Do you know kindergarten well? How much value do you attribute to them?

By now it is clear that ‘there are no bureaucratic / legislative barriers’ that can stop these top-down decisions. Precisely because these obstacles do not exist, everything seems lawful, correct and theoretically founded. What foothold can we appeal to as teachers to defend our kindergarten? To some terms such as: value, principle.

Today’s society is used to putting aside some values ​​and founding principles such as good education and social living. The effects are visible to everyone, just look at how not only some children but also adults behave. Now you may wonder what the ‘preschool’ question has to do with the ‘values/principles’ question?

‘Discrediting’, past the term, kindergarten is primarily a matter of ‘denying the value’ of kindergarten. Society has changed but there are ‘values/principles’ which must be maintained even if they are ‘smoothed’. Kindergarten has the full value of SCHOOL. It is legally recognized as a pre-school level and therefore has all the typical characteristics of a school: teachers work there, all collegial bodies are envisaged, the educational-didactic action is the result of careful planning.

What is being done with theopening in July of kindergartens it’s a big ‘principle/value’ mistake. We are all aware that parents also need to work during the summer but it is not by ‘discrediting a school grade’ that this need is met. Society has changed, needs have changed but there are ‘principles/values’ that must remain fixed over time. One of this is the VALUE of the school, all grades of school. Maybe the majority still didn’t understand that kindergarten is school.

The political world seems to be resolving the whole issue related to kindergarten with the opening of July. What matters is having social consensus which then translates into votes in future political elections.

The opening in July was primarily justified by the Covid pandemic, then approved by the ‘many adhesions’ which also ended up on the front pages of the newspapers. Then there was a rethink, the promise to contact cooperatives and associations to find alternatives to kindergarten in July, ending with the resolution of the routine opening in July at the dawn of future elections.

The promise that the opening in July will result in ‘true continuity’ with the didactic-educational experience lived by the child throughout the school year. But if the schools are then merged, what kind of continuity are we talking about?

Did the ‘many adhesions’ resulting at the time of registration turn out to be such in terms of real frequency? Who actually tried to collect the data and make it public? Have budgets been made in terms of expenses?

Before the opening of kindergartens in July, a well-tested ‘summer kindergarten’ system already existed. So ‘there was nothing for children in July’, as it now seems to emerge. It was a conciliatory service organized quite differently from kindergarten, which gave children the opportunity to meet new friends, new spaces, new experiences and more playful-recreational activities.

Many could be added to this reflection other issues affecting the quality of the kindergarten system: lack of qualified personnel for annual assignments and substitutes during the year, method of assignment of assignments, number of children per section, children with special educational needs, seniority increments.

Manuela Costa

Kindergartens open until the end of July: a decision that denies the value of kindergarten and fuels social hatred towards teachers