"I hope to finish the school year in attendance. They are essential teachers and companions"

by Nicolò Guelfi

Only 13 years old, but a courage and a maturity that are difficult to find even in adults. Anita Iacovelli is a young Turin student who in November 2020, during the second lockdown, started one on her own small protest against distance learning, soon becoming a symbol for pupils from all over Italy. A simple and effective gesture: forced to follow the online lessons, the girl decided yes to connect from your computer, but to do it in front of the entrance to his middle school, the Italo Calvino in via Sant’Ottavio. “Already in the first lockdown I was fed up, in the second I really couldn’t take it anymore. I told my mom I was going to protest and I put my desk in front of the school. The English teacher complimented me. The next day I was no longer alone, there was my schoolmate Lisa and then Maia came too. In the following days other young people arrived, even from high school ”.

[display-posts orderby="comment_count"]

Anita Iacovelli in front of the Italo Calvino middle school in Turin while following a lesson in Dad

In a few days, Anita became an example for all boys and girls who could no longer learn and relate to Dad. The protest had such an echo that the American newspaper Politico he chose her as the youngest of the four female protest leaders that influenced 2020. Despite the cold season, the pandemic and the first “no” of politics, the peaceful protest did not stop: “When the president of the Piedmont region, Alberto Cirio, decided not to reopen, we moved to Piazza Castello. We were about 20 middle school boys and girls and many others from high school. My goal was to go back to school, I didn’t want to be famous. It was nice to be together, I had missed the others a lot. During the lesson hours we followed, while at the interval we played volleyball “. Although it was the strong discomfort that prompted her to action, Anita is aware that hers was not the worst of conditions: “While we were in Dad, I was often out in the open when I could. I was lucky because I had computers and connections, but many other guys didn’t and they struggled. Many have had psychological problems, some still have them today. We have all changed a bit with the pandemic, even adults. Dad changed us all. We spent two years of our life locked in the house. We only communicated via the screen. Many have remained so isolated that they have lost important friendships “.

Anita and her classmates play volleyball in the breaks after class

With the first reopening in 2021, the young Iacovelli and her companions were rewarded (it seems strange, but it is true) with the much hoped-for return to the classroom: “I was so happy to see my classmates again. It was a very nice moment. It was not so complicated to get used to it, even if in those days we were bombarded with checks – laughs -. We were all fine, in the end even my teammates who wanted Dad were happy to be back “.

Today Anita attends the last year of middle school, she studies hard and outside of school she already dedicates herself to competitive swimming. When she can, she likes to ski. On Tuesday 11 January she made one of the first important choices: she enrolled in the Gioberti classical high school. His hope is that of to be able to finish this last year, already halfway through, completely in presence: “I really hope they don’t close in order to spend time with my teammates and do the best possible. We have never even been in quarantine before. President Draghi also said that there is no point in closing the school, which is what we have always said. Opening shopping malls and keeping schools closed makes no sense”.

[display-posts orderby="rand"]

The protest of Anita and her classmates against Dad in Piazza Castello in Turin

According to the latest report “Education at a glance” dell’Ocse, published in September 2021, in the first 18 months of the pandemic, Italy left high school closed for 90 days, compared to an average of 70 in OECD countries. Students had to stay at home for 45% of total school days. Almost half. In the absence of specific actions, in addition to the psychological repercussions that Anita also confirms, the prospects say there will be one loss of learning equivalent to 7 months of teaching (almost a whole school year) and a 25% increase in the share of students below the minimum level of skills. And let’s talk about averages. In disadvantaged social contexts the situation worsens. In recent days there has been much discussion about the opportunity to resort to distance learning again.

Many representatives of local authorities, among which the most striking was Vincenzo De Luca in Campania, have independently made the decision of do not reopen the classrooms after the Christmas holidays. January 10 the regional ordinance has been suspendedThe TAR accepted the appeals against the closure of schools in Campania. The fifth section of the administrative court first issued a precautionary decree, with which it agreed with the parents and children against Dad, then also accepted the precautionary petition presented by Palazzo Chigi and by the Ministries of Education and Health. When asked what she wanted to say to those in favor of the closures, Anita replied very clearly: “The school shapes us for our future and teachers and peers are important for this purpose. Our professors are teachers of life. I have been saying this since the pandemic began ”.

Leave a Comment