Education in Italy From nursery school to….. University and more. Organisation Italy has both public and private education systems and education is compulsory from 6 to 16 years of age. 94,5% of Italian students attend state schools. There are more than half a million foreign students, that is the 6,4% Every year there are almost 70,000 new students coming from foreign countries ( Morocco, India, Pakistan, Romania, Albania, Russia, Ghana and so on) Stages kindergarten (scuola dell'infanzia), primary school (scuola primaria), lower secondary school (scuola secondaria di primo grado), upper secondary school (scuola secondaria di secondo grado) and university (università). Primary school The scuola primaria (primary school), also known as scuola elementare, is commonly preceded by three years of noncompulsory nursery school (or kindergarten). It lasts five years and the educational curriculum is the same for all pupils. It was totally reformed some years ago (Riforma Moratti and Riforma Gelmini) and now children leave the school without taking any exam. Lessons are held from Monday to Saturday (sometimes to Friday) for 24 to 30 hours a week, depending on the local organisation and needs) Past and present Subjects History, geography and science Italian, Mathematics, Natural sciences, Technology and ICT Religion Physical education Visual and musical arts. Lower secondary school It lasts three years ( from 11 to 13), and provides further education on the subjects studied at the scuola primaria, with the addition of Technology and a language other than English (usually French, Spanish or German). The curriculum is the same for all schools. Italian, History, geography Maths, Science, biology English,(first foreign language) French or German (second) Music Technology Physical Education Religion (IRC) (only for Catholic students) At the end of the third year students sit an exam, with written and oral tests, which enables them to continue their education. Until the Moratti reform(2003) it was called "Scuola media di primo grado“ or “Scuola media inferiore". Timetable The weekly timetable, organized by discipline, is of 30 hours. Depending on the availability it can be extended up to 36/40 hours per week of educational activities and lessons with the obligation of two to three afternoons. The scuola secondaria di secondo grado Upper secondary school The Scuola secondaria di secondo grado lasts five years; some Vocational schools (Istituti professionali) before the recent reform called Riforma Gelmini prepared for a professional certificate only after three years. Tipes of secondary school The secondary school situation varies, since there are several types of schools differentiated by subjects and activities. The main division ( after the Reform Gelmini in 2010) is between the Liceo, Classico high school specializing in classical studies linguistico specializing in modern languages delle scienze umane specializing in human sciences liceo scientifico specializing in scientific studies liceo artistico specializing in Art liceo musicale e coreutico specializing in music and dance the Istituto Tecnico or Technical Institute the Istituto Professionale or Vocational school Any kind of secondary school that lasts 5 years, gives access to the final exam, called Esame di Stato or Esame di Maturità. This exam takes place every year between June and July and grants access to University. The Technical Institute The Istituto Tecnico (Technical Institute) is divided into ITT (istituto tecnico tecnologico, Technical/Technological Institute) ITE (istituto tecnico economico, Technical/Economic Institute), that is more oriented toward practical subjects, such as jurisdiction, accountancy, tourism, metalworking, electronics, chemical industry, biotechnology, visual communication, fashion and food industry, construction management and geotechnics. The Istituto professionale The vocational school The Istituto Professionale offers a form of secondary education oriented towards practical subjects and enables the students to start looking for a job as soon as they have completed their studies even more specific in terms of vocational course offerings than the Istituto Tecnico. The new vocational school Up to the introduction of this reform, vocational schools were divided into five areas with 27 types of orientation, while the recent reform divided them into two macro-sectors with 6 types of orientation. Compared to the technical institutes vocational schools can have more autonomy, however, from 25% of the teaching time in the first year up to 40% in the fifth. Periods are reduced to 32 per week Types of vocational school Settore dei servizi: Servizi per l’agricoltura e lo sviluppo rurale; professional services for Agriculture and Rural Development Servizi socio-sanitari; professional services for Social healthcare. Servizi per l’enogastronomia e l’ospitalità alberghiera; professional services for Food, wine and hotel hospitality Servizi commerciali; Professional Business Services for Trade Settore industria e artigianato: Produzioni industriali e artigianali; industry and handicraft sector Manutenzione e assistenza tecnica; Maintenance and Technical Support Tertiary education or university The “3+2” university reform (1999) has changed the traditional framework of Italian university qualifications prospective Students with a secondary school diploma are asked to pass an entry test which is mandatory in most faculties. They can get different titles: Higher education or Laurea (Bachelor's degree) Diploma accademico di primo livello (a 3 year course) For "Scienze della formazione primaria" (Sciences of the primary education), necessary for teaching in nursery or primary schools (a 4 year course) Laurea magistrale (Master's degree) Diploma accademico di secondo livello 2 years Laurea magistrale a ciclo unico (Bachelor's + Master's degree) For some faculties only. For example: Medicine and surgery, architectural engineering, pharmacy, architecture, law The role of English Many universities offer a wide range of courses held entirely in English, (Engineering, science, economics and political sciences etc) which are aimed at those students who wish to improve their language skills or those participating in Erasmus and other exchange programmes. Happy new school year!