ESSAY ON THE ITALIAN SCHOLAR SYSTEM
The basic principles relating to education, laid down in the Italian Constitution, include: freedom of education; the State’s duty to provide a network of education establishments of every type and level, open to everyone without distinction; the right of private individuals to set up schools at no cost to the State; and the duty of parents to educate their children for at least eight years (corresponding to primary and lower secondary education, which is free of charge in state schools).
The overall responsibility for education is in the hands of two ministries: the Ministry for Public Education (MPI) which covers all pre-school, primary and secondary education; and the Ministry for Universities and Scientific Research, to which powers over all higher education were transferred from the MPI in 1989.
The MPI is represented at local level by regional and provincial education offices which implement centrally-defined political and administrative directives and establish contact with local authorities in order to harmonize activities and services. In each of the 20 regions, there is a Regional Education Superintendence managed by a superintendent; and in the provinces there is a Provincial Directorate of Education managed by a Provincial Director of Education.
Pre-school education (Scuola dell’infanzia)
The aims of pre-school education are to strengthen children’s physical, intellectual and psycho-dynamic characteristics, to gradually help them to achieve independence and to develop their sensorial, perceptive, motor, linguistic and intellectual abilities.
Schools are coeducational and structured into groups or sections. Typically, a school has three sections comprising children of the same age (3,4 and 4 years), but sections may also be composed of mixed age groups. School activities normally last a minimum of 7 hours a day, four hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. The school year starts in September, on...