‘Mum cooks, Dad works’: Italian school textbook triggers outrage

Mum cooks and irons while dad works or reads, according to a textbook being used in Italian schools.

'Mum cooks, Dad works': Italian school textbook triggers outrage
Photo: Facebook

The textbook, given to second grade children in Italian elementary schools, has caused uproar on social media after one Facebook user shared a photo of an Italian language grammar exercise in her friend's daughter's schoolbook.

“I don't beieve this. Second grade textbook,” wrote Facebook user Stefania Bariatti, who shared the image.

“Delete the verb that doesn't fit.” the exercise instructs, before giving the following options:

“La mamma cucina/stira/tramonta” (Mum cooks/irons/sets)

“Il papa lavora/legge/gracida” (Dad works/reads/croaks)

The grammatically correct sentences were far from politically correct, as angry Italian Facebook users quickly pointed out after the photo was shared widely online.

Comments described the text as “surreal” and “like something from the middle ages.” 

READ ALSO: Italy's gender gap is getting a whole lot worse

Recently another Italian schoolbook was criticised for including a childrens' song with the lyrics: “Mother washes, irons and cooks while humming a little tune. Father instead plays football and smokes a pipe with grandfather Gastone.”

Sexist stereotyping is “rife” in school textbooks around the world, according to a report from Unesco.

The 2016 report on how negative stereotyping undermines the education of girls said too often female figures are represented in textbooks as “nurturing drudges” in domestic roles.

This is a “hidden obstacle” to gender equality, Unesco said.

READ ALSO: 'What does sexist mean?': What Italy Googled most in 2018 

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‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

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“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.