Migrants, Mattarella: “The future of Italy depends on their educational inclusion”

The President of the Republic at the inauguration of the school year in Forlì: “Migrants can constitute great potential for the country”

“It should be carefully considered that our classes are attended by around 800 thousand students, migrants or children of foreign migrants. One tenth of those enrolled in our institutes. This is a massive educational commitment. They study as Italians, they learn our culture and our values, and they can represent great potential for the country. An important part of Italy’s future may depend on their positive inclusion“. This was stated by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, on the occasion of the inauguration of the school year at the ‘Saffi-Alberti’ Institute in Forlì.

“However – continued the Head of State – the peculiarity of the condition of migrants, combined with the poverty conditions of many of their families, means that these girls and boys are exposed – more than others – to delays or dropping out of school”.

“School also reopens in Romagna, a sign of tenacity and resistance”

“We have decided, for this beginning, to meet here, in the heart of Romagna, hit last May by a devastating flood, which caused victims, destroyed homes and businesses, flooded cultivation fields, upsetting the lives of many people. The school year opens regularly in these lands, despite the damage suffered by the structures. It is a strong and concrete sign of tenacity and resistance”, said Mattarella, on the occasion of the inauguration of the school year at the ‘Saffi- Alberti’ of Forlì.

“The opening here today represents – through the school and beyond it – a message of unaltered closeness to the people of Romagna. In the days following the flood – the Head of State recalled – many volunteers from all over Italy , especially girls and boys, took up shovels, brooms and buckets. Their contribution was invaluable in the fight against mud and in demonstrating a culture of solidarity. They demonstrated, concretely, that Italy is a community. That we can get out of problems all together”.

“School is for everyone and everyone, it does not tolerate exclusions and gaps”

“The Republican Constitution – the fundamental Charter that regulates and inspires our coexistence – has established that ‘school is open to all’. Because all citizens, from birth, are equal. One of the pillars of the Republic. School is, therefore, for everyone and of everyone. It does not tolerate exclusions, marginalizations, differences, gaps. It would be – and, sometimes, is – deformed”, stated the President of the Republic.

“It is the place – the Head of State recalled – where children and young people learn the fundamentals of knowledge. Where they come to terms with their own history and roots. Where they experiment with diversity and coexistence. Where they become passionate about art, literature, science, technology, designing the path of their own tomorrow. Where they experience mastery of themselves, of their feelings, of living together. There is no individual future without knowledge. There can be no free and orderly without school”.

“Fighting abandonment against serious deviance and degradation”

Mattarella underlined that “we cannot grow up with the necessary civic spirit in isolation. Because forms of separation, although not declared or intentional, produce seriously insidious risks for the entire society. We must avoid the risk of young people who, growing up outside of school channels, translate their marginalization into a refusal to coexist or as an impulse to rebellion. For this reason, inclusion is a fundamental factor. The spotlight of recent news has focused on some cases of very serious deviance in which young people were the protagonists. Robbery , murders, fights between youth gangs, intolerable violence and harassment against girls, unacceptable episodes of bullying and arrogance that mortify other boys”.

“A wide-ranging action at different levels is necessary – added the Head of State. With policies aimed at investing in young people and the future, with structural interventions to bridge the gaps between territories, with strategies to expand opportunities and paths of integration and solidarity, with the repression of crimes, in particular of the activity of criminal organizations that seek to impose themselves as a violent alternative to civil life, to legality, to democratic institutions themselves”.

“All this – added Mattarella – makes it even more fundamental to fight, with ever greater determination, school abandonment. Because school is the first and most important response to degradation. A good school is the most effective and precious tool of which the Republic aims to create and spread a culture of legality, coexistence and respect among young generations”.

“Parents respect teachers”

“We must encourage the work of many enthusiastic and willing teachers, help them on their way to walking together with the students, preventing them from changing every year, with the need to rebuild the relationship with them each time. By ensuring they have adequate economic conditions, and fully giving back to their function the prestige that they deserve in society and which is sometimes called into question by parents who do not realize that they are harming their children”, said the President of the Republic.

“Because – the Head of State recalled – as Plato taught, ‘When children presume to be equal to their fathers, teachers tremble before their pupils, and prefer to flatter them rather than guide them, when the laws are despised, and no authority is tolerated any longer. , then it is a sign that tyranny is about to begin.”

“Pnrr to strengthen the school”

“The national recovery and resilience plan – a historic occasion for Italy – obviously also concerns the strengthening of schools. Everywhere, throughout the national territory, because schools are a common heritage of the whole of Italy. The spirit that must guide us is that of a choral undertaking for institutions and society”, reiterated Mattarella.

“The school – added the Head of State – needs continuous maintenance and updating. Also to fill structural limitations. We must work to avoid crowding of classes, which penalizes study programs and opportunities for students. The safety of school buildings and the alternation between school and work must be guaranteed as a priority. In this sense, I appreciated the words of the Ministers of Education and Labor. Parents and children must live the school experience with complete serenity.”

“Strengthening teacher-family dialogue”

“Attention to young people is fundamental. Maria Montessori, the great Italian educator famous throughout the world, wrote: ‘Human society cannot change without adults and children collaborating’. School must be increasingly open, welcoming and integrating. It is in company that one learns ‘to have ideas’, as Homer writes in a song of the Iliad. Girls and boys have resources that older generations could not even have imagined. They are many steps ahead in technological and digital knowledge. They are trained to live in a time where everything is accelerated, global. The school must run to keep up with them, and it can only do so by making young people protagonists, strengthening the dialogue between teachers and families, and with the social reality in which it is inserted”.

“We must believe in young people. Focus on them. Help them grow. Because – concluded the Head of State – the school is you, dear girls and boys. School is your path to freedom. Have a good journey. Happy school year to everyone”.