Covid-19 in Italy: 7 out of 10 parents worried about return to school

Survey by Save the Children finds parents in Italy worried about return to school.

The reopening of Italy's schools and the return of students after a six-month school closure due to the covid-19 pandemic is causing worry for 7 out of 10 parents, according to a survey published by NGO Save the Children.

The main causes for concern include uncertainty and financial insecurity according to the survey which was conducted by research institute Ipsos between 4 and 18 August, based on a sample of 2,370 people.

The principal anxiety among parents relates to uncertainty surrounding the reopening of schools (60 per cent), followed by the risks associated with a lack of physical distance (51 per cent), reports Italian news agency ANSA.

At the time of the survey, two thirds of parents were aware of the reopening date of their childrens' schools, but almost 7 out of 10 had not received any communication on their schools' reopening plan.

Also of concern were that possible variations in the time of entry / exit from school may not be compatible with the work commitments of parents (37 per cent), especially for parents of 4-6 year olds (45 per cent).

Grandparents once again become the pillar of family life for 22 per cent of the parents interviewed, reports TgCom24.

Giving up work or reducing working hours was another option being considered by families, in particular those with younger children. However this choice, reflecting a gender gap in Italy, would fall mainly on mothers (14 per cent) more than fathers (2 per cent).

The survey also found that 1 in 10 parents believe they will not be able to afford to buy books, while 2 out of 10 fear they can no longer afford the cost of the school canteen, reports ANSA.

Italy's schools reopened on 1 September for catch-up lessons, with the 2020-21 academic year beginning officially in Italy on 14 September.