Educational poverty posing threat to Italy: study

发布时间: 2015-09-15 06:01:58  |  来源: Xinhua  |  作者:  |  责任编辑:
关键词: Educational poverty posing threat to Italy: study

As some 9 million students were back to their school benches across the country on Monday, a study warned the risk of educational poverty would loom over the future of Italy's next generations.

Almost 25 percent of 15-year-old Italians performed below average in maths and 19.5 percent in reading in latest international tests (PISA), and such rates would increase up to 36 percent and 29 percent respectively among pupils coming from low-income families, according to the study.

"Economic poverty and educational poverty feed each other, and are transmitted from one generation to the next," the 'Enlighten the Future 2030' study by Save the Children charity said.

The study was based on the results of latest PISA tests, which regularly assess 15-year-olds in key subjects across 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

It also considered Italian Ministry of Education data, official statistics, plus public consultations with children and families across the country.

The findings drew wide media attention especially in the light of a much-discussed school reform, which was being just implemented with the start of the new term, and has yet to show its potential impact on the quality of public education.

The study outlined clear targets in order to halve several factors behind educational poverty before 2020, and to eradicate them by 2030. Yet, its first and foremost suggestion would be to assess child poverty.

"An action plan against child poverty is a top priority, and could be approved by the government even within the next financial law (by the end of the year)," Raffaela Milano, director of Italy and Europe programs with Save the Children told Xinhua.

"This is crucial, since child poverty weighs tremendously on the educational path of children".

Beside poverty, geographical origin and gender would also contribute to inequality in education, according to the study report.

"Undoubtedly, being a female born from a low-income family in Italy's impoverished southern regions increases the risk of educational poverty sharply," Milano explained.

"Socio-economic conditions, gender, and sometime also being a foreign-born student, are all factors bringing about additional disadvantages that our school system is not yet able to fill."

Data in the report indeed confirmed pupils in Southern Italy are more disadvantaged than those in the North: some 32 percent of females and 28 percent of males in Southern regions did not reach the minimum skills in maths, against 16 percent and 14 percent of their northern peers, respectively.

Such condition should bring the government to allocate fresh financial resources granted with the school reform "according to the different regional needs, because standards are not the same everywhere," the charity's official suggested.

Italian schools also showed "significant flaws in terms of services and extracurricular educational opportunities" that help pupils to develop their skills, the study said.

Some 64 percent of pupils overall do not have daily access to leisure activities, sports, and cultural projects in school, and this rate reaches its highest point in Italy's southern regions.

Furthermore, 48.4 percent of Italian children aged 6-17 did not read any book in the previous year; 55.2 percent did not visit any museum; and 45.5 percent did not involve in any sport at all, the report said. Endit