It’s the most bitter aspect of the Good School, an education reform plan in Italy. And it is literally driving a million and a half students and their families crazy. This school year — the first full-time year for those who attended the last three years of high school — they will have to find an “external internship” for those months they will spend out of school: 200 hours for high schools, 400 hours for all other institutes.
The Education Ministry is proud of this school-work scheme: “The extension of alternation activities to high schools is also a European unicum,” its website says. “Even in Germany, with the dual system, work-school experience only applies to technical and professional institutes. Our model exceeds the division between knowledge-based learning paths and others that favor practical experience. Knowledge, practical skills and expertise must go together.”
Too bad the “Italian model” has been reduced to a complete subordination to corporations — defined with the euphemism “hosting environment” — which, in large numbers, take advantage of the labor-market alternation simply to have free workers and save millions in labor costs.