UNIVERSITY ACCESS: A VIOLENT SISTEM
<<Exams are close…and you’re too far from my room>> sang Antonello Venditti in 1984 in Night before examsone of the most beautiful songs ever dedicated to the narration of that wonderful and “dramatic” period that all the boys live close to the final exam. Every now and then I happen to listen to it again, with a pinch of nostalgia, while I observe the students of the fifth grade of my school who, every year, discover it and fall in love with it.
In them I tenderly see the same emotions, the small-big fears, the tremors of the heart experienced in an all-encompassing way that crossed my days and my nights but I inevitably also observe that they are not allowed to freely enjoy this time, they are not they can afford it, because in the obsessive search for the construction of performing individuals who are perfectly integrated into structured paths, the system of access to the university faculties of our country is robbing theman occasion fundamental in that stage of life: the ability to choose. Closing a five-year course of study is a lot of stuff, it’s an important separation from deep experiences, from spaces, affections, parts of oneself which, in order to become a beautiful realization, require dedicated, free time, free from other conditioning… but no.
I see my students breathless, chasing orientation courses to try to understand something in the vast sea of university offerings, trying to study very different subjects at the same time in order to pass as many entrance tests as possible, because the problem is just this: you don’t enter the university you choose, but the one where you manage to pass the test. And then you see them registering for tests in engineering, but also in medicine, pharmacy, languages, psychology, jurisprudence, letters in a schizophrenic vortex in the hope (if it goes well with them) of being able to pass more than one test….in the end the luckiest ones may be able to choose but most will end up entering the course of study to which they had access and not the one they would have chosen…with all due respect to the right to study and the guarantee of educational success! If we calculate that each test costs an average of 30 euros and that for the most sought-after faculties the preparation courses for university tests can cost up to 4,000.00 euros, it is evident that an enormous business has been built on the skin of the younger generations, which increases social inequalities and above all steals their future. How many of these kids will truly be able to fulfill themselves in a course of study that they have not consciously chosen? What adults will they become? How will they be able to fall in love with their future or with a life project they ended up in as a fallback?
The violence of this system makes me deeply indignant, the idea that one can evaluate a person’s reality or preparation through the crosses of a test makes me indignant, the lying proposal of “merit” that rewards performance and doesn’t care of individuals, I am outraged by the horrendous race to conquer a place even before the school year is over or even in the vicinity of the state exam.
How much short-sightedness there is in all this….<<Exams are close.. and you’re too far from my room>> Antonello Venditti sang in 1984, we all sang this song, my fifth year students still sing it today, despite everything, hugging each other in the corridors, on the end-of-year trip bus, at the mak p 100 … and who knows, maybe they’ll hold on to this one anyway”night before exams”, full of dreams, hopes, tears and loves…