Italian School System

Italian translation

Sent to us by Barbara Buddeke of Accademia Farnese, Caprarola and Stefania Fidanza, ITALY, 1997

(English translation of the Italian original by Barbara Buddeke of Accademia Farnese, Caprarola (VT), ITALY)

Contribution to the EDUVINET "Living Conditions of EU Citizen" subject

The division of the school system into three levels; primary level, secondary level and superior level disappeared almost in every country of the the European Comunity.

Only in Italy this distinction still exists. The reform of the secondary school, introduced in Italy in 1962, had to be completed with a reform of the superior school.
This reform was not forfilled and so the mentioned reform provocated a gap between the elementary training and the superior training.

The Italian school system at present is based on primary, secondary and higher education. The primary level starts at the age of 6 until the age of 11. Before the childern can go to the nursery school from the age of three years until they are six years. This school is not compulsory but is now rather normal to send the childern to these schools. With the Italian school system in vigour it is not always easy for the nursery schools to be accepted as a normal and real istitution of education.

After the primary school follows the secondary school until 14 years of age. At that age the compulsary education is completed. The compulsory education is free , families have to pay for the books only at the secondary school.

At the end of compulsary education, childern take an exam and those who pass it can start their higher education. This education wasnít founded with the finality of basic education.

The diploma you get at the end of higher education gives access to professions(directly) or indirectly by the admission to the University. In the end the school has the purpose to prepare the managing class.

Higher education involves the following schools: Liceo scientifico (scientific high school) ,Liceo classico,(classic high school),Liceo Linguistico,(language high school),Istituto Magistrale,(magisterial school), Istituto Tecnico (technical school),Istituto Professionale(professional school) and the Artistical education divided in Liceo artistico (artistical high school), Istituto díArte (school of art), Conservatorio di Musica (conservatory of music), Accademia di Danza(academy of dance), Accademia Nazionale díArte Drammatica(national academy of dramatic art).

The Italian model is the only one in Europe which has not adapted to the industrial development; the vocational training is still considered beyond cultural training. In Italy the moment of vocational training is constantly put of, a part of the qualified and graduated young people donít have any experience of vocational training and/or probation.

Italy is the only country in the world with the University as the only possibility for superior education. The University is almost the exclusive and only channel after the secondary education.

The Italian University model is still characterized by the transmission of a know-how almost only acadamic, that means only cognitive knowledge with little attention to work-tools, methods, and other techniques.

Access to the University is possible with a diploma of the secondary high school and only in some cases like the Liceo Artistico and líIstituto Magistrale there is the need for one year course of integration before going to the University.

With the diploma of the Liceo Artistico there is the possibility to attend the Accademia di Belle Arti. In Italy the only modern experience of superior education, besides the University, is represented by the Accademia di Belle Arti and by the Istituti Superiori per líIndustria Artistica.

It is very important to activate other ways of education besides the University because only then it will be possible to handle with the problems of the University. Actually there are too many inscriptions and too many failures at the Italian Universities and that can only be resolved creating other opportunities.

The educational and vocational system in vigour in Italy has been without radical changes from 1923 and it seems that now the moment has come to reform the whole system.

The proposal of reform indicates a cycle of infancy from 3 until 6 years of age, the primary school from 6 until12 years. The primary cycle is followed up by a secondary cycle for childern between the age of 12 and18. The latter cycle is divided into a two years course of preparation (general culture) and superior school . The last year of the superior school has to offer a year of orientation in which you finaly choose between the University, post-secondary education and superior technical training. That is a short outline of the reform of the educational system which is still only a proposal and has to be converted into law.

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