Italy is pushing ahead with the digitization of schools – and the public institute Mazzini-Modugno in the Italian city of Bari is breaking new ground. The institute obliges the students to buy an iPad from Apple. If they do not comply, they have to change schools.
Italian weekly l’Antidiplomatico, reported that the school itself offers the devices for sale, with various options. Prices range from 469 euros to 729 euros.
“This is an unacceptable impertinence that strictly excludes the use of equivalent devices (the much cheaper Android) and forces families to bear very expensive costs […] Children of families who do not comply are obliged to pay to change schools (and classmates).”
According to the publication, this is simply blackmail under the government-approved national plan for the digital school, which will exclusively benefit Apple.
“So much for public and equitable schools, the right to education and the constitution. The basic right of the state is violated again in the name of the market, under the pretext of the ‘digital revolution’.”
Students from low-income families have the option of using the devices free of charge. However, access to social support is precisely calculated in Italy with the ISEE (Indicatore della Situazione Economica Equivalente). The publication therefore wanted to know what the threshold would be for the school.
“What will those who are just a hair over the minimum threshold do? How should couples with several children and where only one person works be able to bear these costs?”
Di Siena noted that this places an additional financial burden on affected parents, alongside the massive increases in energy and food bills.
“This is another act of bullying towards the students (the most vulnerable of course) and the school system as a whole. Students have already been penalized by two years of unwise pandemic management, being forced to completely disrupt their social relationships in the name of distance learning and the continued wearing of masks in class. This while the whole world got rid of the masks.”
This is particularly disturbing given that spending on the Italian education system has been cut for decades. Educating young citizens is now a threat to the status quo. It appears that only consumers are needed. “And those who cannot consume should apparently return to child labor.”