“We will be better”. “The pandemic is an opportunity to restart”. “We will never be the same again”. “We will learn something”. “Work will change”. “We will not waste this crisis”. I could go on with the list of commitments and announcements made at the time of lockdown by an innumerable group of people: psychologists, journalists, intellectuals, teachers, principals, rectors, politicians and so on and so forth.
I fear it will not. The world of school, once the pandemic is over, risks going back to the past in a hurry, making little use of the experience of working online.
Premise: I don’t think the lecture in person is the same to the remote one, even if I am convinced that a good teacher knows how to do it well both in class and online. That said, the Italian education system, thanks to Covid, has finally innovated. After more than 50 years, teachers have realized that meetings they can be done remotely with more than positive results: less chatter, more efficiency, more order; greater chance of being multitasking; improvement of work-family reconciliation times, especially in a context like that of the school where most of the teachers are women.
The risk I see now is that the steps forward in September will be deleted in the name of tradition, rituals, fanaticism to see each other face to face just to be together for a while. The danger is that the teaching colleges will go back to being those sultry assemblies in too narrow lobbies, in basements transformed into gymnasiums, in uncomfortable oratories and theaters, where the executive tries to say something while most of them chat to their husband, lover, wife, girlfriend or chat with the neighbor or the neighbor of the last university milestone reached by his son. All with a microphone gracchiante, pc that doesn’t work; children to leave to the mother-in-law; impatient husbands at home sautéing; miles and miles to do in the fog for those poor precarious teachers who don’t always live where the school is.
The risk is that after a year that the parents have finally done without leaving the office or asking for a work permit to interview the teachers, they will go back to the past.
If now a click was enough to see the teachers, next year, apparently, mothers and fathers will have to again, among a thousand blasphemies, run from side to side of Milan or the province for five minutes of meeting with the teachers or professors.
And so it will be for the report cards, because teachers like to give them by hand, to have the pleasure of delivering them as the old teacher did in the seventies when they were children. Even theUniversity risks taking steps backwards. In this year the students have saved the rent of the apartments; miles of commuting, managing to take exams and lessons from home. Now the rectors want a return in attendance.
If we go in this direction we will have wasted a great opportunity. The pandemic will have been totally useless. The country will have no hope even now. And the scoundrels will continue to win.