Boy with learning issue rejected by Turin school

An eight-year-old boy was rejected by a church-run summer school in Rivoli, a town in the province of Turin, because workers there “are not equipped” to handle his developmental disability.

Boy with learning issue rejected by Turin school
Summer school photo: Shutterstock

The boy has now been forced to spend the summer in a school out of town after the Don Bosco di Rivoli centre, which is run by the Roman Catholic Salesian Congregation of Saint John Bosco, refused to accept him.

"Frankly, I expected a completely different attitude from an organization that has ‘education is a matter of the heart’ as its motto,” his mother, Tiziana, was quoted in La Stampa as saying.

She told the newspaper that a call to the school to check for available places went well until she revealed her son suffered from a mild learning disability that “makes him more childish than his eight years”.

The school was recommended to the 42-year-old, herself a teacher, due to the array of activities provided for the children.

She also wanted to place her son in the same school as his friends.

“Until I mentioned the issue, everything was good,” she said.

Roberto Romano, who manages the summer school in the Rivoli hamlet of Cascine Vica, told La Stampa that although the centre has facilities for disabilities, “our staff are not qualified to deal with disabled children”.

He added that the woman also needs to apply for a place through the council of Rivoli.

“At that point, there would be no problem.”

This is the second instance of a child with disabilities being rejected from a summer school in Italy in recent weeks after a boy from Rome with down’s syndrome was refused a place at a centre due to being “too difficult to manage”. 

READ MORE HERE: Down’s child rejected from summer school

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Italian schoolkids make friends easily but suffer high anxiety

Italy's schoolchildren get top marks for socializing but suffer from high levels of anxiety, according to an OECD survey investigating student wellbeing in the developed world.

Italian schoolkids make friends easily but suffer high anxiety
File photo: Pexels

The most recent Pisa education rankings, released by the OECD on Wednesday, looked at issues such as students' wellbeing, their sense of belonging, and anxiety levels.

And the results suggest the Italian school system is one of the world's most stressful.

More than half of Italian pupils said they felt nervous when studying, compared to an OECD average of 37 percent. A vast majority (77 percent) felt nervous when unable to complete a task, compared to an average of 62 percent.

And 70 percent felt anxious about tests, even when they had prepared – a figure which was just 56 percent on average across all the countries included – while 86 percent worried about getting poor grades. 

“Schoolwork-related anxiety is one of the main predictors of low life satisfaction among students, and, in Italy, anxiety is more frequent in schools where students study more than 50 hours a week,” noted the study authors.

In fact, Italians spend significantly more time studying than their peers in other countries.

More than one in five dedicated over 60 hours per week (in and out of school) to their schoolwork, compared to just 13 percent on average across OECD countries.

READ ALSO: 'Bring your own loo roll', broke Italian school tells kids

But it wasn't all bad news for students' wellbeing.

The vast majority of Italian youngsters said they made friends easily at school: 83 percent compared to an average of 78 percent.

Italians were less likely than other nationalities to describe themselves as lonely, an outsider, or awkward at school – despite the fact that they were less likely than average to feel liked by other students. Across all countries surveyed, 82 percent of students agreed with the statement 'Other students seem to like me', but this figure was five percentage points lower in Italy.

All in all, Italians were slightly less satisfied with their lives than the average, with 65 percent describing themselves as such, compared to an OECD average of 71 percent.

Boys were slightly more likely to be satisfied than girls, and boys also reported lower levels of school-related anxiety.

The study also quizzed students on their use of free time, and Italians came out as one of the most tech-obsessed nationalities. Almost one in four schoolchildren admitted to using the Internet for over six hours per day outside school.

These students fitted into the category of 'extreme Internet users' and, in common with other countries, in Italy they were more likely to skip or be late to school, receive lower grades, and less likely to complete university.

READ ALSO: Italian children study more than their peers but do worse at school

Italians study more than their peers but do worse at school: OECD