Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

The View from Here - Italy - School's out Forever? A System on the Precipice: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

The View from Here - Italy - School's out Forever? A System on the Precipice: News

Article excerpt

The debt problems threatening to engulf Italy, if not the entire eurozone, have pushed the Italian school system to the verge of collapse, according to those charged with running it. Heads of the organisation that speaks for the municipalities responsible for education budgets say that some schools may not be able to keep their doors open due to lack of funds.

The country's provincial government association, UPI, states that 10 cities are at risk of bankruptcy and has raised fears that schools may not be able to reopen after the summer break finishes in mid to late September.

"With these cuts we won't be able to guarantee the opening of the school year," UPI president Giuseppe Castiglione told reporters in Rome.

The system is already reeling from cuts made by the previous Berlusconi government, when 70,000 jobs were scrapped and EU^R1.4 billion cut from the education budget. Now subject to another "spending review decree" that aims to axe public spending by EU^R26 billion in three years, the spending cuts will also include a major reorganisation of local authorities.

The cities where shuttered schools might be a reality this autumn are mostly in the south, but regions north of Rome are also deeply in the mire. …

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