The school year in Italy has just begun, but there is a mathematical problem which even the teachers cannot solve.
GV PAN School
CU Posters on wall (2 shots)
SV Interior School girls entering class
SV PAN and CU School girls in classroom (3 shots)
GV Exterior another school
SCU Schoolchildren coming out of school
SV Young children coming out of nursery (3 shots)
GV More children coming out of nursery and parents waiting for children
Initials ET/1916 ET/1928
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Background: The school year in Italy has just begun, but there is a mathematical problem which even the teachers cannot solve. How do you cram 11 million children into schools build for half that number?
Throughout Italy, the immediate answer is to send the children to school in relays - working a system of two and in some cases three shifts a day.
It means that, for some children, school sessions have been reduced to only four hours a day.
The root of the problem is money. Italian education authorities do not have the funds to build new schools or to change an educational system which still clings to the ideas laid down in Mussolini's days.
And the Italians have yet another problem -- in their nursery schools. This year more than 100,000 children of pre-school age have been forced to stay at home because the nurseries do not have space for them. Italy now lags behind the rest of Europe in nursery education - a concept it once pioneered.
Now, parents are protesting about the whole school, problem - and about the cost of sending their children to state schools, where they have to pay for the books their children use.
But there is little improvement in sight. The authorities say the short sessions in school are giving pupils more time for their home work.