Coronavirus school desks: principals’ doubts about Azzolina’s proposal


Ergonomic, colorful, small and adaptable: i desks presented by Minister Lucia Azzolina during the press conference with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last Friday seem the benches of the future. But will they really be? “They cost the wrath of God,” he simplifies Angelo Canio D’Alessio, school manager of the institute including Ronchi di Cellamare (Bari). «A complete workstation, complete with a chair, comes to 400 euros: to buy 200, should I spend 80 thousand euros? I have 4 plexuses, 1200 pupils … we are talking about unacceptable figures. I launched crow funding on the ministry platform to raise € 8,000 to change the kindergarten sessions! Then, I’m sure it’s something to aim for, a goal to be achieved: I have drawn up a document together with other teachers to rethink learning environments. But it’s not our priority now: I have traditional single banks and I keep those. I personally went to the classrooms to take the measurements, I identified additional spaces that I could use, I asked for their use because they are sold to associations. I don’t know if I will need 4/5 more rooms to compensate for space problems, although I will try to take advantage of the good weather in the South to use the open spaces as well: but then I will definitely need more teachers: I have someone, from the upgrade, but I don’t know if they are enough “. Shouldn’t the resources given to schools be enough to do everything? “I do not believe. First of all with that money I will have to pay the work to adapt the premises, then buy masks, gels, and everything you need. I had also thought of having the walls whitewashed with special anti-gas paints, but let’s see if I can … ».


School 2020, the guidelines for September: we return on the 14th (but with a cold you will have to stay at home)
School, the guidelines: there is no room for 1.2 million students
«We need more teachers, at least 30%»

Of the same opinion Daniela Crimi, principal of the Ninni Cassarà high school of linguistics Palermo: «Between the theory of guidelines and practice there is a lot to do– laughs- These equipments are fantastic, if you have large classrooms …. I have classrooms of twenty square meters, I have on average five more students per class, what do I do with them? I have two architects as collaborators, together with them I am making the classroom employability plan but the space is not enough. I have 63 classes, I will use theater, workshops, gym, but it will still not be enough. So I’m thinking of a plan to always guarantee the presence in the classroom at the first and fifth stages, which are the most delicate classes, without doubling them. But for the others? I need more teachers, at least 30%. Another possibility is to do lessons half in presence and half in absence, but always at school: that is, equipping the classroom so that some pupils follow from another environment, but they come to school and are in contact with their classmates. However there would be “good” and “bad”, I know … but it is not simple, and meanwhile the municipality of Palermo did not even carry out inspections to equip and adapt the spaces. The desks? I’m buying them partly myself, partly the Province, but they are not ergonomic ones: simple wooden ones are fine, for now: 37 euros plus VAT and go. I have 1400 pupils! ».

«I have to rearrange the timetables, we have many commuters»

There are those who have already bought them, in part, the super modern benches, what he calls «2.0 benches», but have more than a few doubts: «These benches were designed to make constellations, they are like stars, or flowers , which fit together – he says Andrea Di Mario, principal of Carducci of Milan– And therefore made to keep the kids closer, not to drive them away, it’s a paradox!». He bought around 150 in the past two years, at a lower price than the market price, which seems to be around 200 euros: “Without chairs, I paid 70 euros, but someone broke down,” he explains. “More expensive than the normal ones, which I pay 35 euros plus VAT, but I did it in a logic of didactic evolution. Now honestly I don’t really think about changing the banks: I have 47 classes, I have to think about protective devices, staff and student training, tablets for those who still need them. IS times are very tight: there will be a race on August 31st, also finding the lowest price and being able to order something to arrive in time is a big job ». The priorities for Di Mario are quite different: «We are a school very well reached by commuters, I have to understand how to rearrange the timetables, I can’t let everyone in together: can you imagine all these guys on the subway going down to Loreto at 8 in the morning ?. The point is: we can’t think of going on the highway if we haven’t built the ring roads. ”

June 30, 2020 (change June 30, 2020 | 12:56)


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