09/09/2019 - News
"We must take care of Italy and its culture"
Cultura Italiae has written an open letter to the President of the Italian Republic and the Italian President of the Council to give new impetus to the cultural environment of our country. More than 500 personalities have already published the document we publish.
To sign the appeal: https://www.culturaitaliae.it/
"Within the word Culture there is another one that represents one of its most important functions, the word Cure.
It is really necessary to take care of Italy, and to do so it is necessary to put education and culture at the centre of government action, not only as a synthesis of ancient values and traditional significance, but as an investment for the future of Italy, a true economic driving force and creator of wealth and work.
That's why it's necessary to start from here.
And we don't need special effects, superstar ministers, unrealizable Marshall plans. It is enough to get involved, starting from Palazzo Chigi, and support the good work of the Ministries of recent years, with more resources and more attention. It is enough to put school, education and culture at the top of the priorities of this executive, to mark the novelty.
1. We are last in Europe - last, we repeat - for the percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 with a tertiary education, that is to say at least a degree. The only country in which graduates account for less than 20% of the population.
2. We are the only country among the great countries in Europe to have seen a decrease in the number of people employed in highly specialised positions over the last ten years. One of those in which the professions with medium-high qualifications do not even manage to cover 40% of the available places.
3. We are third last in Europe, ahead only of Romania and Slovakia, for human resources employed in science and technology.
4. Although it is by far the European country with the most UNESCO sites (and the first in the world ex aequo with China), only one Italian in five visits a cultural site at least once a year. Among the great European countries, no one does worse than us.
5. Italy is among the ten worst European countries for percentage of citizens who read at least one book a year. Only four out of ten Italians read a book in a year for non-school or professional reasons, and Italy is the only one of the large European countries in which the per capita turnover of book publishing is lower than the European average.
The source of all data is the Istat Knowledge Report 2018. We could continue up to five hundred, but we stop here. This is what we have become, we who should be - who we tell ourselves to be - the cradle and beacon of European culture.
Beacon, yes, but the taillight.
But we are also a country that has become the fourth largest European economy thanks to its people, its individual and collective intelligence. And, without too much false modesty, we have become one of the largest countries in the world thanks to our ability to transform culture into economic and social value.
Therefore, we would like to:
- that full-time schools can be a common reality throughout the country and not one of the main lines of division between North and South;
- that public expenditure on education should exceed 5% of GDP, or at least approaching the threshold of the European average (4.7%), instead of falling from 4% in 2014 to 3.9% in 2016 (source: European Commission, Education and Training Monitor - Italy 2018), confirming once again that we are at the bottom of the list of major European countries in terms of new humanism;
- that increases, and a lot, the investment in basic and applied research of Italian universities, for which we spend less today than we spent twenty years ago, at the beginning of the new millennium;
- that strong support be given to the creative and cultural enterprise made up of museums, theatres, audiovisual and musical chains, which attracts tourists from all over the world and which, in addition to generating economic value, offers a very important contribution in mending the social fabric of our cities;
- that tourism is not a sector to be talked about in conferences only as an opportunity, or a problem, or to decide in which ministry to place its offices;
- that sport is considered an integral part of our economy, and not an impassable watertight compartment that does not make a system with the other resources of growth of the country;
- that the world of agriculture and food is truly considered an essential heritage of our culture, to be protected and valued in the world;
- that cities are at the centre of the innovative and pulsating action of a new model of sustainable and virtuous development;
- that the internal areas of our country are able to reconstruct their social and economic fabric starting from culture as a fundamental resource for quality of life, entrepreneurial development and the construction of a future project in which to identify.
(Translation by Scuola di Robotica)