In Italy, Angry Students Occupy Schools
Barbie Latza Nadeau’s article, “Italian students protest”, explains the reasons why Italian students have occupied schools around Rome to express their anger and frustration at repeated funding cuts, chaining gates shut and camping inside classrooms.
B. Nadeau supports her idea by interviewing the student protester Tommaso Bernardi, reporting exact facts of what is happening oversea and listing all the reasons why the students are so angry: at Darwin, a high school outside of the city center, more than half of the toilets are backed up and haven’t been flushed for weeks, mice run through the halls, broken windows and cracked floor tiles are evidence of years of neglect, holes in the ceiling let in the rain, there is no hot water, teachers employ space heaters and many students wear gloves to class, Flickering light bulbs—where there are light bulbs—cast a depressing glow over the cracked plaster walls, whole floors have been cordoned off to save electricity, most of the radiators are broken, buildings haven’t been painted in years. Throughout the country, students bring their own toilet paper to school and teachers often supply their own copier paper and chalk because supplies are nonexistent. Forget about Internet connectivity and smart boards—many public schools don’t even have functioning fax machines. n some schools, class schedules have been reduced to just three days a week on rotation so teachers can be used for more than one class. Elective classes, like foreign languages, are scarce because of staffing cuts, or taught by people who barely speak the foreign languages themselves. In many cases, art and music programs—once staples in the Italian education system—are taught without supplies or musical instruments. Hundreds of administrators have been laid off over the last two years, meaning that as many as a dozen schools share the same supervisors, who are often too busy managing what little funds there are to make the rounds, leaving the school administration duties to the frazzled teachers.
The author purpose is to let people really know how the Italian Government is managing money so that other countries can encourage the Italian Government not to cut money from school and research or just to make it feel embarrassed for what they are doing.
The author answer the research question saying that the only way of making things better is to spend much more money for schools, Italy spends just under 5 percent of its gross domestic product on education—the third lowest allotment in all of Europe.
Since the article is made by a foreign journalist who saw how other countries care about schools and how much they invest on education. She sounds as embarrassed as the students who are protesting, probably because she hope that, spreading the news, the government recognizes that this situation cannot last long in order to give a better future to Italian teenagers. I have experienced that condition but people don’t really realize how things can get better if only everybody cares about the problem and fights for it. Italians are not open-minded and they can’t see how schools are in other countries and compare them to our Italian schools.
I think that the author did a great job listing all the problems that students report, because they can give you a realistic idea of what the principles could work on if only they had the money to do it.