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Campania, almost 916 thousand students return to class on Wednesday: there is a shortage of support teachers

This is a large audience which makes Campania the second region, behind Lombardy, in terms of absolute number of pupils and the first region in proportion to the population


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Lack of ATA staff which risks paralyzing some struggling institutes and support teachers. In Campania the 2023/2024 school year starts with important critical issues that will bring some trade unions to the streets on Friday 15 September. The bell will ring throughout the region on Wednesday 13 September for 915.950 students, a large audience that makes Campania the second region, behind Lombardy, in terms of absolute number of students and the first region in proportion to the population. Yet, compared to the last school year, the number of students has undergone a considerable reduction, the result of the demographic decline: there are, in fact, 13.262 fewer students. The student population changes, but not the problems. This year too there have been complaints, especially from students' families, about the number of support teachers available for the audience of 1.605 students with disabilities. The Campania regional school office has authorized 25.852 places, more than last year's 23.704 but still not enough to cover needs. “We still receive many complaints from both school leaders and families, especially regarding the frenetic change of support teachers. Let's imagine an autistic student, who has difficulties in important relationships and who sees a teacher change every year, losing his point of reference: this does nothing but cause damage to children who need greater skills and constant presence", he said. commented Roberta Vannini, General Secretary of the Uil Scuola Rua Campania.

The biggest problem, however, is that of the ATA staff, who carry out administrative, accounting, management, instrumental, operational and supervisory functions linked to the activities of the educational institutions. In some schools there is only one ATA assistant, which risks sending the school into collapse: "If a school lacks ATA staff, the school is forced to close", underlined Vannini. This is the scenario that risks emerging in a municipality in the Caserta area where there are 21 school buildings and 23 school collaborators. “We need to make an act of courage and authorize more ATA staff: we cannot reason, as happens today, by placing the number of ATA staff in proportion to the number of students, because if the number of students drops the spaces to be taken care of are always the same . The number of ATA staff, therefore, must be adapted to the structures. So instead the number is always reduced, with the risk that the excuse closes if mere surveillance cannot be ensured." “It should also not be forgotten – he underlined – that school collaborators most of the time look after pupils with disabilities, with everything that surveillance entails”. “We are a little tired of only collecting critical issues, making requests but seeing that nothing ever changes,” added Vannini. For this reason, the Uil Scuola Rua Campania will be the protagonist of a protest on Friday 15 September in front of the headquarters of the regional school office: "We will bring a folder with all the critical issues and we hope to be listened to", concluded Vannini.

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