by Bartolo Pavone
the Ministry of Education in agreement with the MEF has published decree n.220 / 2022 which allows the formation of classes in derogation within the limits established by current legislation, for the academic year. S. 2022/23. In Sicily, n. 419 places. The aforementioned decree could affect the schools of our archipelago, given, among other things, the approach of the beginning of the school year and the indications from the Ministry with note n.1998 of 19 August sent to the schools.
In the note dated 08/19/2022, the head of the Department, Stefano Versari, underlines the explanatory motto: “Get ready and be ready”. If the infections were to go back, schools will be able to adopt more restrictive measures. To do this, they will be able to follow the “Strategic indications issued by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità last August 5th. It should be emphasized that it is not a question of obligation but of indications. In fact, the anti Covid rules expire on August 31, and if there is no government intervention there can be no obligations for educational institutions. In my humble opinion, these directives and indications could be of interest to our schools as far as overcrowded classes are concerned (see the primary school classes in Lipari center); depopulation in recent years in the most distant schools (Alicudi, Filicudi, Panarea) as well as, of course, a possible increase in Covid cases.
It should be remembered that a few months ago in our archipelago there were over 200 cases. The Decree n.220 / 2022, provides two indicators to be entitled to places in derogation.
1) Social, economic and cultural status;
2) Condition of early school leaving.
In primary and secondary school the indicator of social, economic and cultural status is identified in the “ESCS”, on the basis of data relating to the school year 2020/21.
The index has four levels: Low, Medium-low, Medium-high, High. The values of the aforementioned ESCS indicator fluctuate: in primary school from a minimum of -2.62 to a maximum of 1.82; in the lower secondary school from a minimum of -2.82 to a maximum of 1.79; in the upper secondary school from a minimum of -2.86 to a maximum of 1.78.
In primary school, early school leaving means the “implicit dispersion” (proximity index of dispersion), ie the percentage of pupils in a condition of fragility in learning at the end of the fifth grade, based on the results of the INVALSI tests for each student.
This indicator is defined as the ratio between the number of frail students and the total number of students who took the aforementioned tests and is calculated taking into account the students attending the fifth class in the school year 2020/2021. The values of the implied dispersion indicator range from a minimum of zero to a maximum of 100; the threshold value is 2.68, which coincides with the national average percentage. The same can also be activated, to ensure the continuity of the service, in schools located in areas characterized by particular conditions of hardship linked to: depopulation; specific local situations, with particular regard to mountain municipalities and small islands; emergency situations or particular orographic conditions.
Application of exemptions: in primary school, classes can be set up with a number of pupils not exceeding 25; In lower secondary school, classes with a number of pupils not exceeding 26 can be set up; In the upper secondary school, classes can be set up with a number of students not exceeding 27.
Pavone, school: new decree can be useful to the Aeolian Islands | The Journal of Lipari