«There are 13 million Italians without school qualifications. The educational emergency is not marginal, as it concerns about 59% of adults». With this statement, Sebastian Amelio, central figure in the recent reform of adult education, opened FierIda, the first national fair on adult education. FierIda was organised in Naples from 29 to 31 May 2017 by the network RIDAP – Italian network for adult education, in collaboration with the MIUR. The aim of this first national event was to give visibility to the sector and highlight the ongoing projects and the results obtained so far, by carrying out a first assessment on the three years since the introduction of the reform, which established the Provincial centres for adult education (CPIA).
According to ISTAT data, reported by Sebastian Amelio during the event, 41% of the Italians from 25 to 64 years of age hold only a lower secondary school qualification. The situation is dramatic in Sardinia, Sicily and Calabria where more than a half of the population don’t have a school diploma. Even though Ocse-Pisa reported that the general level of education in Italy is constantly increasing, in 2012 the percentage of 25-34-year-olds without a secondary school diploma was 28%, much higher compared to the 15.7% EU average, and the third highest out of 21 EU countries, after Portugal (42%), and Spain (35%).
Italy’s economic growth and social development can’t be pursued without a constant development and updating of the competencies of its citizens. The CPIA, the centres for adult education, welcome in their classes a large proportion of the weakest part of the population, those at risk of exclusion from the world of work: migrants, adults without secondary school diploma, teenagers who abandoned school too early. After three years from the institution of the CPIA, which have revolutionised the organisation of adult education in Italy, there are many initiatives, different in each region, which are implementing the innovation foreseen by the new regulation. One of the objectives of the three-days fair was to give visibility to the work carried out by the 128 CPIA in all the Italian provinces. The Fair recorded high participation rates: there were more than 500 daily visitors among experts, institutional representatives, and many teachers of the CPIA enriched the three-days event with meetings, workshops, and operational communications.
The opening ceremony was attended by Luisa Franzese, Director of USR Campania, Lucia Fortini, Councillor responsible for education of the Campania region, Luca Tucci, DG for education and MIUR’s National evaluation system. The interventions focused on the evaluation of the last three years of activities. For what concerns funds for the consolidation of the new adult education system, about 2 million were allocated to sustain and enhance the new organisational and didactic set-up. Overall, 50% of the funds were dedicated to implementing the projects carried out by the CPIA; 30% to the activation of regional research centres for didactic experimentation and development under the umbrella of a CPIA; 10% to the updating of managers, teachers and ATA personnel; and 10% to the implementation of the actions foreseen by the memorandum of understanding between MIUR and the Ministry of Justice, signed in May 2016.
INDIRE/EPALE AND ADULT EDUCATION
Our institute carries out the monitoring of the reform, since its experimental phase, and supports the system actions providing the work platform reserved for the CPIA to share their projects and results. The researcher, Matteo Borri presented the activities that have been carried out so far.
According to the official data there were more than 1.800 centres related to the CPIA in the AY 2016/17. Almost 230 individual training agreements were addressed to adults getting back to education in order to achieve a diploma.
Financial education, according to the recent dispositions of the EduFinCPIA project, linguistic integration of adult migrants and in-prison education were among the most debated themes supported by reports and regional activities. The event also took on a European dimension with the organisation of three Erasmus + and EPALE workshops, during which activities and realised projects have been shared in the presence of the staff of The Agency Erasmus + Indire and the Italian EPALE Unit. EPALE, the European digital platform dedicated to adult education, represents a concrete resource for IDA and provides valuable support for the implementation of the reforms in schools, making visible and sharable the activities carried out in Italian schools, and being a meeting point for similar European organisations. EPALE is also a starting point for didactic international projects. Three experiences presented at FierIDA are already available on the EPALE platform: the experimental project of the CPIA of Ancona on financial education; the team building method drawn up by the CPIA of the province of Naples; The Erasmus + training experience of the CPIA of Naples, City 2.
WHAT EPALE IS
The Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) is the European digital platform dedicated to the professionals operating in the adult education sector. The online environment offers the chance to collaborate and meet to exchange ideas, experiences and solutions. Currently, it has 26 thousand subscribers in Europe and 3 thousand in Italy. The EPALE National Unit is based at Indire.