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07 July 2020During the coronavirus emergency, says Agcom, "12.7% of Italian students have not used distance learning, unacceptable data for an advanced democracy". According to a survey carried out by the Authority on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, reported in an annex to the 2020 Annual Report, it appears that 25 out of 100 children had connection speed problems, 19 out of 100 reported that not all the class had attended remote lessons, almost 10 out of 100 complained about the lack of suitable devices. 

Among the critical issues detected by the Authority, socio-economic conditions and the presence of inadequate technological endowments that have significantly affected the educational growth of children at a time when e-learning has become the instrument of in-depth study.

Schools are also in great difficulty because not all of them are reached by fiber cables for high-speed connections. The criticality regards in particular the southern regions. 

According to the Agcom report, the period of the coronavirus emergency was a stress test for the digital and communications system which "on the whole showed that they were able to react to the exceptional situation", but also a formidable catalyst of already existing deficits and inequalities which risk "exacerbating themselves in the near future", from the crisis of the media to the digital divide which has also strongly influenced school and distance learning.

Differences also in the same class
"If, on the one hand, the slowness of home connections reveals the aspect most indicated by the students and family members interviewed (25%) - writes the Authority in the report - the other problems that are not insignificant are emerged in this new phase. not only crop diversity among different school contexts, but even within a single class, as can be seen by 19% of students showed that not all the comrades were able to participate in distance education.

the difficulties in the use of the software necessary for distance education and the need to share spaces with other family members represent a critical factor for 14% of Italian students. Finally, the deficit in the availability of appliances and the shortage of the educational offer by schools, both with about 10%, represent two further factors capable of generating a strong school system heterogeneous te - concludes Agcom - which risks fueling inequalities from the first years of an individual's life ".

Consumers: "Recovery courses are needed"
"According to Agcom, 12.7% of students did not take advantage of distance learning, unacceptable data for an advanced democracy. Summer recovery courses organized by schools are needed to recover this shameful gap" . Massimiliano Dona, president of the National Consumer Union, commented on the Agcom report.

"If 20% of the students were able to attend the courses only on an occasional basis, without being able to regularly take lessons for the current school year, it is clear that this deficit must be filled before September and before the school starts again," he says . "We had said it since the beginning of the Covid emergency, citing Istat data, that distance education would be a problem, especially in the South and that the 70 million at the time allocated by the Government for the purchase of tablets and computers were completely inadequate. Now the confirmation comes from the Agcom data ".