30% cap on immigrant children in Italy’s schools

Citing lack of integration and social cohesion, Italian Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini proposes a quota for the maximum number of immigrant children in Italian classrooms.

The minister highlighted a case in Rome where parents refused to send their children to school because of what they perceived was an unreasonable foreign pupil ratio. Only 15 children of 180 were Italian.

Minister Gelmini said: “This is a situation which calls for reflection but at the same time we must also educate foreign children in Italian and teach them our constitution. Experience shows that it’s not enough just to insert immigrant children in classes.

‘We need to balance and weigh out their presence. There have been cases in which entire classes are made up of immigrant students, which is not ideal for true integration”. 

Two related news stories:

Mail Online: Italy wants 30% cap on number of immigrants per class to help with integration. March 27, 2009.

Telegraph UK: Italy’s centre-right government wants 30 per cent cap on immigrants in classrooms. March 24, 2009.