It is not enough for the Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi to say that “the school does not close“. The new dpcm, signed yesterday by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, makes it possible to close schools much more easily than is the case now. Not only the closure of institutes of all levels in the red zone, but also in the orange or red ones where the incidence of the last 7 days is more than 250 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants. The government’s decision, however, does not like even a part of the majority that supports Draghi. This is certainly the case with the 5 Star Movement which expresses its disappointment with a note from the deputies in the Culture Committee: “We cannot agree with a decree that closes schools and leaves everything else open. With the new Dpcm we take a dangerous step back from the management of the pandemic on the school front: the educational and psychological damage of our children is underestimated and, above all, there is a risk of having the opposite effect to that hoped for”.
Gianluca Vacca, group leader of the M5s in the Culture Committee in Montecitorio, at Fanpage.it he spares no criticism of the government: “President Draghi came to Parliament stating that he wanted to put schools first: signing a decree that allows the Regions to close them, before any other activity, I believe does not go in that direction at all. I do not hide that the disappointment with respect to this decision of the Government is there, it seems a surrender after months and months of battles to defend the rights of students, who in a year, especially in some Regions, practically never went to school.“. Vacca underlines how the reduction of face-to-face teaching has damaged the students “at the level of training and psychological well-being“. More “now they are officially placed in second place. But there is more: keeping schools closed gives them the opportunity to go out more, attend more crowded places where safety measures are not respected as at school, with the paradoxical result that could increase the risk of spreading the virus.“. Vacca concludes: “Now we ask that the support to families that are already being prepared be adequate: parental leave is needed but also other aids such as babysitter bonuses to allow parents to be able to reconcile home and work in the most peaceful world possible.”.
But there is not only the 5 Star Movement, which has always been a supporter of the reopening of schools even with the former minister Lucia Azzolina, to consider this choice wrong. Also Gabriele Toccafondi, group leader of Italia Viva in the Culture Committee in the Chamber, on Radio Toscana he admits that “reading the new dpcm and knowing that many schools will close again and return to the elections in Dad is a blow to the heart”. Nicola Fratoianni, secretary of the Italian Left, joins the protest of the mayors led by Antonio Decaro: “Clear words came from the mayor of Bari and the president of Anci and on which I agree. Not enough has been done about the orderly and safe reopening of the school”.
The Minister for Regional Affairs defends the decision to facilitate the closure of schools, Mariastella Gelmini: “We accepted the opinion of the CTS which was unequivocal and suggested the need to close schools in the red areas. We tried to keep schools open wherever possible“. Even second Graziano Delrio, group leader of the Democratic Party in the Chamber interviewed by RaiNews24, “closing the school is a very painful fact but it is necessary, the only way to get out of the crisis – even economic – is to stop the spread of the virus. They are obligatory choices on the basis of scientific data”.