Italian students occupy school - and who can blame them?

18:30, Dec 10 2012
italian students occupation
ON STRIKE: Students occupy the Italian school where Mackenzie College students Abby Anderson is on exchange.

One thing that has occurred recently and is strange for me is school students on strike.

I have currently been off school for over a week because of "l'occupazzione", or the occupation.

This is where the students call a strike and basically occupy the school. They eat and sleep at school, spending the whole time there, while teachers are not allowed to enter.

You are welcome to come and go from school at any time and you can spend your time doing as you please - play a game of soccer in the courtyard, volleyball in the gym or poker in a classroom.

This is all between any speeches that are made by the leaders of the occupation.

I don't fully understand why they called an occupation, as it was explained to me in Italian, and once again after the second or third time of someone explaining something to me, I just pretended I understood everything.

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School in Italy is really a whole experience in itself. I didn't realise how lucky I had it in New Zealand or how easy it truly is.

At my school in my square brick classroom we have lessons for nearly six hours straight. We then stand when the teachers enter or leave the classroom and, once we are seated, we start the lesson which, in my opinion, is either the teacher talking and writing straight for an hour and a half or getting a student to come to the chalkboard and do the work for the class.

It is the one teaching style, there is nothing separate for those who don't understand and, if you fall behind, it is your fault and nothing to do with the teacher.

Then after a hard six hours at school, most of my friends and my sisters all go home to study, usually for about two hours.

I can't blame the students for wanting to strike!

The Timaru Herald