How will school change in light of the new regional directives? What will the Province's commitment be in terms of education and training? What will the Province's policies be to overcome disability issues? Councillor Beatrice Draghetti has kindly accepted to answer these questions and more. 

From normativity to experience

Since the autonomy of educational institutions, and the Commune and Province's application of important functions and delegated powers by the State, it has been a matter of providing a constant evolution to this valuable potentiality, physiognomy and efficaciousness allowing the pursuit of the objectives that the impressive actual normativity stipulates.  

Autonomy has transformed schools into new institutional entities with a significant administrative role, capable of being interlocutors in the territory, dealing with the new communal, provincial and regional authorities. These, I remember, relate to three levels: territorial programming, to integrate the learning program within the complex development objectives; resource optimization with particular consideration to the integration of professional training/education; coordination of various actions to ensure educational success and training efficiency.       

The governing and administrative model reform in our school system has placed us in front of inevitable requirements concerning the understanding of the new scenario, application of authorities, and experimentation of new relations.

It was consequently decisive to create a system between functional autonomy (schools) and local autonomy: from common goals to respective responsabilities. It was considered a priority to activate solid links, personalize the most significant areas in order to support them adequately.

Students who are travelling on path, rich with opportunities and resources, allowing them to exercize fully their citizenship and to integrate themselves adequately into society because they are well trained and because they are competent: that is the most important and common preoccupation for those who hold have responsabilities in schooling and education, for those who have govern and administrate. It is on the basis of this exceptional commitment that autonomous entities have been asked to meet and agree on building together their relations and common actions.

An important aim was to create places and times for discussion, exchange ideas and grow together according to the objectives in order to fully grasp their importance and to give them a contextualized profile.   

This can be a rich exchange when plural and collective subjects meet: school, children's family members, administrations. It is a matter of activating a course of actions and getting results: plans need to be made, in due time; working in teams; accepting the logic of a transparent progression with clarity and motivation.

We have together judged that it was opportune that institutions and local agencies find and provide instruments to link each other in a personalized course of action with important reciprocal responsabilities. In this sense, the Province has agreed to build and sustain concrete and efficient modalities of relation: an agreement which would guarantee and obligate contracting parties regarding their objectives, which would ensure continuity, and which could provide clear and coherent objectives to all available resources (people, money, structures).    

Territorial Conferences were organized for a better educational program in the province's seven precincts with all local and functional autonomous entities in the territory, and with the involvement of other significant realities. Conferences are organized to reach a few objectives: knowledge of the territory, as an indispensible element to arrive at the personalization of educational requirements, professional training, and workforce integration, coherent also with the socio-economic context, and the capacity to personalize and propose orientations shared by the various actors, institutional or not, involved in educational policies, training and workforce integration in the elaboration of guiding lines. 

The Conferences' thematical areas are numerous and complex:

a) Policies for school and training success: this area defines the necessities at the level of institutional action, so that every citizen may enjoy what is offered in terms of education, professional training, integration into the workforce, in order to increase schooling achievement, and better workforce integration (right to education; equal opportunity; fight against school dissipation; promotion of access to school, school qualifications, and integration by persons with disabilities; promotion of rights of citizens, school and professional orientation);  

b) Policies for a better educational program: this area is constituted by a large number of intervention sectors and relative institutional authorities, both personalizing at the territorial level the existing and potential educational program such as the courses that individuals may undertake. Specifically, it is a matter of characterizing priorities, action plans, orientations to intervene in many sectors: study orientations and their territorial arrangement; plan for networking schools and educational institutions; management of school network; actions in support of school autonomy, plans for the use of school buildings; professional training; integrated school program between education and professional training; projects for qualification of school programs;

c) Policies for promoting the right to learn during the full cycle of life: this is a field of action bridging between policies for better school programs and policies for training and school success.

In order to ensure the efficiency of policies in these three sectors, it is necessary to connect them with other areas, which are closely connected: social and health support policies; active work policies; local development policies.

A transverse objective to all sectors of action is to put into place equalizing policies useful to overcome existing territorial disparity like the right to education and training, access and choice, opportunities for successful school results, access to cultural resources, and recognized rights to citizenship.

Policies to overcome disabilities

The Provincial Program of Policies for Training and Work 2000-2002 states that the general objective giving orientation to planned actions for the next years is to build a true integrated model of educational, training and work services and at the same time to create necessary operative conditions to make sure that this commitment can concretely develop and grow. The Program also requires the strenghtening of internal provincial administrative services and offices working on the entire front of work and training policies: a true integration based not only on the reciprocal exchange of information, but, above all, on project collaboration, on management coordination and on added value, which could be provided for each initiative if it is thought and carried out as part of a larger system.    

Some specific areas and themes require, other than a method of collaboration and integration, an explicit planification, transverse projects and dedicated organizational solutions. Based on these assumptions, the Sector for Services to People and Community has been building since the end of 2000, a service called Disability Services Coordination which has taken on, among others, the responsability to provide an annual report on active services for persons with disabilities and integration in school, training and work systems, in relation with Social Services.   

The first report came out in May (it is available at the Provincial Administration) and presents the complexity and originality of responses provided at the provincial level in an articulated description, which analyzes the effectiveness of many provincial sectors. 

Aside from the annual report, it is interesting to point out the existence of the portal on disability, which is being developed respecting accessibility, usability and updating guidelines, and is still in its experimental phase. It is an instrument guiding on main relevant subjects and on the progression of projects. 

I would like to briefly mention the renewed Agreement of Program L. 104/92 signed on October 15, 2001 by the Province's 60 communities, School Administration and AUSL (Local Health Unit Agencies).

The implementation and articulation of the new Agreement underlines the following:

- the importance placed on the person and his or her educational and training path;
- a greater involvement from families;
- a reinforcement of the community's role;
- a more important integration between all systems involved: school, training, social and health;
- a more important integration between professionals through individualized methods of work which put emphasis on a collective character in decision-making processes, and a better dissemination of necessary information for programs at all levels;
- the right to education through the personalization of actions, allowing access to school and training system by every disabled student;
- reinforcement of instruments to control the Agreement itself.

The Agreement plans (art. 6) the constitution of a College of Surveillance to ensure that the Agreement is being respected, to see how plans and projects are progressing. A representative of families nominated by the Provincial assembly for overcoming disability will be invited to participate in meetings. 

Looking ahead

A few months away from the approbation of Law 53/03 (Delegation to the Government for the definition of general standards on education and on essential levels of benefits in terms of education and professional training), while waiting for decrees to be issued, and while the regional law project (standards on equal opportunity to accessible knowledge to all and in all cycles of life, through educational and professional training reinforcement) continues its route towards approbation, it is very important to keep high and coherent the ideal tension, which has inspired schooling and training policies promoted by the Aldermanship on our territory.

Interventions for modernization and change will be so much more efficient when fundamental rights of freedom and equality in citizenship are confirmed.

School and training are the independent variables ensuring growth, and if school and training renounce their commitment, what remains is the social conditioning maintaining differences, distances, opportunities for people.

Motivated and oriented by these convictions, we dedicate a particular attention to the beginning of regulation 03-04 for fourteen-year-olds registered since January in hight school who, because of the new described scenario of the Moratti Law, however not yet applicable, could be tempted to resolve early on their relationship with school.

Through an agreement between Institutions and Agencies who have the direct responsability in promoting training success of fourteen-years-old (high schools, Province, training agencies, school administration), we are working on building solutions for integration between schooling and training offering to all students real opportunities of training success, emphazing on the first two years of high school in the perspective that there is a coherent move with regional and provincial orientations.

Integrated choices in the first two years of high school will allow a significant didactic innovation even in traditional disciplines, which could ease the learning processes and reinforce basic and transverse competences. Or, it could also provide a closer interest to work culture which also is necessary. 

As it is now recognized, both mentioned aspects are basic for school life and for adequate opportunities offered by professional training and apprenticeship.   

This is a forceful synergy and a commitment between the various Institutions and entities, and it will allow, we are certain, a more efficient journey through education for younger citizens, and in respect of valuable objectives. 

Beatrice Draghetti
Councillor to Educational, Training
and Orientation Policies