Students in dozens of cities across Italy have marched against education policies and reform one year after they were laid out by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Entitled “Good School” the programme overhauling the highly-unionised education system was established by the Italian government in July last year in time for the 2015-16 school year.
The main bugbear concerning the reforms is a rule linking teachers’ wages to merit, rather than seniority and more funding being given to private schools.
Secretary of the Communist Youth Front, Alessio Angelucci, outlined the reason for the protest.
“This demonstration is a message directed to the government and to Europe. Years and years of European politics that are fully sustained by the Renzi government have literally dismantled public education in Italy and have lead to the formation of discriminatory schooling that gives different opportunities to different social classes. Schooling in which not all students have the same opportunities, schooling in which revenue is the decisive factor,” he said.
The shift to a more meritocratic system is dramatic in a labour market that has long been considered nepotistic.
It aims to foster a workforce with higher skills and a better managerial class.