4 June 2020

Digital dropouts

According to UNESCO, by the end of March 2020, nearly 1.5 billion children around the world were at home due to the COVID-19 crisis. Italian schools were the first to close in Europe, and by March 5th, 9 million students had switched to remote learning. Politicians and media were quick to announce the success of remote schooling. However, the sustainability of remote learning is based on the assumption that all children have similar access to technology and an equal level of family support. In reality, the National Statistical Institute (ISTAT) indicates that in 2019, 33,8% of families did not own a computer. In addition, according to some scholars, remote education is beneficial only when parents can provide constant support and encouragement to children, which is not always possible due to varying circumstances.

This project focusses on students who do not possess the economic means to optimally follow remote classes, or who lack adequate family support. I interviewed children from Naples, where poverty, criminality and immigration create an unfavourable environment and where school drop out rates are dauntingly high compared to the national average.

All expressed their difficulties in following online classes, with the untold fear that they could be part of a new wave of dropouts.

Photos have been taken in remote with the author's directions.