MONDAY marks an anti-climatic end to a strange school year in Italy, with students and teachers saying their goodbyes via video calls. It is a particularly sad end for those in their final year of school, who will end the year without the usual parties and celebrations.
The last day of school arrives after three long months of school closures, during which teachers and students put commendable effort into using online technology and video lessons to continue the school year.
Despite challenges from technological difficulties to timetables having to take into account families with several children who needed to use devices, all levels of Italian schools, including nursery schools, have managed to continue an education programme via the internet.
However, the final day of school will see strikes by staff who want to highlight the difficulties of schooling amid the Covid-19 emergency. Flash mobs and gatherings are expected throughout the country.
There are also concerns surrounding how school will restart in September. Many ideas have been floated, including obligatory use of masks, plexiglass divisions between desks, outdoor classrooms, and mixed teaching with half the class at home and half in the classroom.
“I appeal to the Minister of Education, we need to plan, we need immediate guidelines to ensure a safe but real return to school in September,” said Giuseppe Sala, mayor of Milan.