Italian Schoolgirl Launches Movement to Reopen Schools

Italian schoolgirl launches movement to reopen schools, as a rise in cases causes many to return online.

An Italian schoolgirl has started a movement to get the country’s kids back into the classroom as schools closes just weeks after reopening due to rising Covid cases.

Anita Iacovelli has been sitting outside her school in the northern city of Turin since the 6th of November to protest the region’s decision to stop classroom learning again. The Piedmont region shut down schools just weeks after ending a six-month closure of them. The 12-year-old student, who enjoys maths, has been doing her studies on a tablet laptop outside her school even as temperatures steadily drop.

Bearing a sign reading ‘Learning at school is our right’, Anita began her protest alone before being joined by classmates and sparking similar movements across Italy. She said that at first she and her friends had been happy to see the closures return, as they were facing big tests, but says the prolonged closures are ‘extremely heavy’. She highlighted the difficulties of online learning, like having weak internet, and the pain of not being able to see her school friends regularly.

Anita’s protest has been picked up by the ‘Priorita al Scuola’ movement, a collective of Italian teachers and students who want kids back in classrooms after months of studying alone at home. The country’s Education Minister, Lucia Azzolina, called Anita to congratulate her on her activism and promised to reopen schools as soon as the government deemed it safe to do so.

She has been compared in the media to Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, but the Italian schoolgirl asserts that ‘I’m Anita, not Greta’.

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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...


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