After days of long and difficult talks, Italy has decided it will reopen its primary and middle schools on Thursday. Secondary schools are also expected to reopen from Monday, but half of these pupils will still have to attend class from home, relying on remote learning.
After two months out of the classroom for Italian students and several regional and national lockdowns throughout the greater part of 2020, many have become sceptical about the efficiency of learning from home.
Research from Save the Children and Ipsos has highlighted the risks of remote learning.
Antonella Inverno, the head of Child Policies for Save the Children says:
"The negative effects of remote schooling are being underestimated. 35% of the students interviewed say they have more subjects to catch up on than they had in the previous year. But what worries us most is the very high risk of early school dropout".
According to their research, 28% of students claim at least one of their classmates stopped attending classes. Save the Children says that there could be 34,000 could follow suit by the end of the year.
Poor internet connections and lack of focus seem are the biggest challenges.
New COVID-19 measures will be applied at schools when they reopen. Regional leaders are also allowed to decide to delay the reopening date for high schools further if they believe it necessary.