• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

School row as parents 'flee' over foreign pupils

The Local · 11 Sep 2013, 13:09

Published: 11 Sep 2013 13:09 GMT+02:00

“It’s absolutely not true,” local mayor Marisa Albertini told The Local, after reports circulated that Italians had abandoned the elementary school in Landiona, in Piedmont, because of the ratio of Italian to foreign children.

“There are about 25 foreign children registered at the school, but only around six attending at the moment,” she said. They were joined this week by just one Italian child, although Albertini denied the community has a problem with foreigners. “It’s an open school and community,” she said.

With just 600 residents in Landiona, the local school caters for a handful of children and as a result risked closure a decade ago, Novaro Today reported. When contacted by The Local, the school’s headteacher was unavailable for comment.

The debate over balancing the number of foreign and Italian students has also struck in Costa Volpino, an area in the northern Lombardy region with 9,000 residents.

At the start of the academic year the school there were just 14 students at the Istituto Comprensivo di Costa Volpino, as the seven registered Italian students had been transferred to other schools in the area. The Italian children were withdrawn from the school because there were “too many foreigners”, Brescia Today said.

Discussing the issue, Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said that the debate over foreign children in schools missed a key point about the rules governing Italian nationality.

“There are a number of children of immigrants, who were born in Italy and have grown up here,” she told La Repubblica.

Under the country’s immigration law, a child born in Italy to foreign parents cannot gain Italian citizenship until they are 18 and so are registered under their parents’ nationality. “We must understand that the children defined as foreigners in reality aren’t foreign,” Kyenge told the newspaper.

Story continues below…

As a result she said it was difficult to adhere to the recommended quota of restricting the ratio of foreign children to 30 percent of each class.

In the 2011-2012 school year there were 755,939 children registered who did not hold Italian citizenship, according to a government report. The percentage was higher in the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna, whereas in Campania, Sardinia and Sicily 40 to 46 percent of schools had no foreign students.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italy snares mafia matriarch's clan in Camorra double blow
Photo: Raffaele Esposito

Italy snares mafia matriarch's clan in Camorra double blow
6 hours ago

The so-called "Black Widow" took over the clan after the killing of her husband.

Italians are about to have their say on crisis-hit EU
Italians will be asked their views on the EU. Photo: David Baxindale

Italians are about to have their say on crisis-hit EU
7 hours ago

The survey on the EU will open on Friday.

Italian bank UniCredit reports stronger results than expected
Italian bank UniCredit reported a €1.7 billion profit last year. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Italian bank UniCredit reports stronger results than expected
9 hours ago

Good news for Italy's biggest bank.

Sofia Coppola to direct first opera in Rome
Sofia Coppola will direct her first opera in Rome. Photo: Jemal Countess/AFP

Sofia Coppola to direct first opera in Rome
10 hours ago

She will direct a production of Verdi's 'La Traviata' which will run from May.

Video
Landing aborted as Alitalia jet bounces off gale-hit runway
The Alitalia flight as it tries to land at London's City Airport. Screengrab: CCTV Live Views

Landing aborted as Alitalia jet bounces off gale-hit runway
10 hours ago

The hair-raising moment was captured at London's City airport.

Italian war prisoner's letter delivered after 72 years
The letter, sent 72 years ago, was finally delivered. Photo: La Nuova di Venezia

Italian war prisoner's letter delivered after 72 years
11 hours ago

The letter was sent from a German prisoner of war camp in late 1943.

Pilgrims loot Rome homes 'to pay for Padre Pio trip'
A monk prays in front of the exhumed body of mystic saint Padre Pio. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Pilgrims loot Rome homes 'to pay for Padre Pio trip'
12 hours ago

Thou shall steal.

Allegri urged to fill Mourinho's Chelsea shoes
Massimiliano Allegri has been urged to take on the role of managing the British premier league giants, Chelsea. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Allegri urged to fill Mourinho's Chelsea shoes
15 hours ago

But will he "walk to Chelsea"?

Egypt rejects police role in brutal death of Italian student
Egypt Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar at a press conference on Monday. Photo: Mostafa Abulez/AFP

Egypt rejects police role in brutal death of Italian student
15 hours ago

Rights activists say Giulio Regeni was arrested by police and tortured.

Mosques tackle home-grown terror with Italian sermons
Sermons at Friday prayers will now be delivered in Italian in Florence mosques. Photo: Santiago Almada

Mosques tackle home-grown terror with Italian sermons
1 day ago

Florence is the first city to roll the initiative out as part of plans to integrate Muslims into Italian society.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Raffaele Sollecito creates a social network for the dead
Seventy hurt by flying oranges in Italy's crazy fruit fight
How Under the Tuscan Sun changed a small Italian town
National
Ten things to do in Italy in February
Ten fantastic holidays for Italy-loving foodies
5,000 migrant kids vanished in Italy: but where are they?
National
What you need to know about Italy's new smoking laws
Politics
Why Italy's scrapping to be let into Europe's big boys' club
International
US museum gives Italy back looted head of Greek statue
National
Why Italy has no choice but to pass gay civil unions bill
National
Rome's nude statues covered to spare Rouhani's blushes
National
Thousands march in Italy for gay rights
National
Meet Dante Alighieri's stargazing Italian descendant
National
Why are tourists turning away from Rome?
Culture
Ten wonderfully quirky Italian animal-related idioms
Society
Italy chills out over medical cannabis cultivators
National
Italy gay unions face defeat as left-wing Catholics rebel
National
Bronze Age village found near ancient Roman city
Health
Probe sheds light on Italy childbirth deaths
International
Europe's open border policy not working: Italy
Culture
Italians petition God to 'bring back David Bowie'
Sport
Italian female footballers defy mafia-style threats
3,239
jobs available