For a different school, for a different world

In every society divided into classes, as is the present society, the ruling class has always restricted the dominated and exploited the right to education and study. What they give is only provided because it corresponds to ruling class interests.

Only in the second half of the sixties, when the growth of big business and mass consumption became necessary, access to education was facilitated and the public school opened to children of workers (comprehensive schools, liberalization of access to university, grants, low fees etc.. etc.).

Of course, the capitalist system has adopted such policies in response to struggles fought by the working class and large sections of the rebellious petty bourgeoisie. They still go on, - sometimes with difficulty - from various trade unions and leftist forces within the limits of compatibility with capital. Such social agitation has led to social modernization, so to speak, of the bourgeois state administrative machinery.

Subsequently, the introduction of microelectronics production process has meant that complex tasks originally requiring expertise could be carried out by anyone who had just a little 'schooling. As a result, for the bourgeoisie, mass education has become outdated, unnecessarily expensive: hence its gradual decline.

The "reforms" of Berlinguer, Moratti and Fioroni were the main stages of this process, carried out to compliment or uphold the Gelmini reform. In short, by "maintenance" Berlusconi means that a school with poor facilities and few badly paid staff (teaching and non-teaching) is more than enough to teach some 'English, mathematics and Italian: this is not dictated by expert educationalists but by Tremonti. Forced by the economic crisis to cut "unproductive expenditure", Education has lost 8 billion Euros. Such resources are required for banks, companies (including private schools) and to reduce schooling even more to a mere appendage of the business system (Foundations ...).

The uniform, the single teacher, the abnormal increase in the number of pupils per class, the change - for the worse, of course - of the school system, cutting about 200,000 jobs in a few years, all aim to make of what remains of school a means to prepare young people to be proletarians in a world of work of overexploitation, insecurity, low wages and the total subordination of men to machines. At the same time, staff are forced into an ever more business like mould.

A school made to meet the needs of capitalism in a deep crisis for survival needs above all a non-qualified workforce at low cost. Not even a crumb of the wealth produced can be spared for what are now unnecessary expenses such as mass education.

To fight against this reform, for a school that aims to provide equal educational opportunities to all, is a duty of all students and young working class as well as teachers and all workers who, under the same logic that is dismantling the schools, are subjected to a fierce attack on their living conditions: mass dismissals, the reduction of wages and salaries.

The mobilizations from below of teachers, non -teaching workers, parents, students, beginning outside the trade unions which have collaborated in the process in progress - or self-designated "base" organisations, are an important signal, a first step in the right direction. If we are to succeed in countering the attack, these forms of struggle must be developed, the only ones with serious perspective.

We struggle for another school and another world. Against capitalist barbarism, for a society without classes or borders!