In keeping with the Education Sector’s "training and social inclusion" objectives, the CDP Foundation is launching, in collaboration with the social enterprise Con i Bambini, a call for proposals under the "Tools to Grow" initiative, with the purpose of identifying and supporting projects aimed at developing the science and technology skills of students in the South.
Framework and partnership
Social class, family background and the area in which you live still have a tremendous impact on the level of education and skills that children are able to achieve in Italy. Inadequate skills gained tend to drag on over time, with negative effects on learning, and affect choices relating to further education.
Failure to develop adequate skills can limit, or even bring to an end, the education that boys and girls receive, highlighting the imbalance in terms of social exclusion between regions in northern, central and southern Italy, particularly in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) disciplines. Improving proficiency in STEAM disciplines is a priority to ensure that children are able to gain an adequate understanding of reality through the command of technology, and to bolster the skills required by today’s labour market. Primarily, this means adopting new ways of teaching that, through a collaborative and hands-on approach, are able to integrate the contribution of scientific disciplines with that of other subjects.
The development of these skills in schools appears to support the development of the country-wide system, as highlighted by Istat which argues that we need to invest, now more than ever, in human resources with advanced specialist training and knowledge.
Con i Bambini, the social enterprise established on 20 June 2016 and owned, in its entirety, by the CON IL SUD Foundation, was selected by Acri (Association of Foundations and Savings Banks Spa), through the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Acri and the government, as the implementing body of the three-year "Fund for the fight against child educational poverty" ("Fund")1 (L. 208/2015, Art. 1, paragraph 392). The same Memorandum of Understanding stipulates that the guidelines and directions regarding the use of the Fund shall be entrusted to a "Strategic Planning Committee." The establishment of this Fund represents a significant step towards implementing a comprehensive national strategy, fuelled and informed by the best practices of various regions, to combat child educational poverty in the long term.
Through the “Tools to Grow” call for proposals, the Con i Bambini social enterprise and CDP Foundation are inviting all third-sector organisations to submit proposals for projects aimed at improving the basic skills of children through STEAM disciplines in the regions of southern Italy.
Call for proposals
The call is for projects dedicated to students aged between 11 and 17, which will be carried out in towns and districts in the regions of southern Italy (Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily) which are not regional capitals, with a greater focus on the most economically, socially and culturally vulnerable areas of society.
The initiatives envisaged by the call for proposals should aim to develop young people's digital skills and proficiency in STEAM disciplines, and should trial innovative educational and teaching models that stimulate creativity and pass on skills useful in the world of work. Furthermore, activities aimed at raising young people's awareness of the values of legality, sustainability and active citizenship may also be proposed.
Projects must be submitted by partnerships consisting of a minimum of three entities, including at least two third-sector organisations and one school, as well as universities and private and public institutions. Each initiative will have a budget of between €200,000 and 500,000, and will last between 36 and 48 months.
The projects, complete with all the required accompanying documentation, must be drawn up and submitted online via the Chàiros platform, accessible through the www.conibambini.org website, by 1:00 p.m. on 1 July 2022.
The full text detailing the call for proposals is available below and on the Con i Bambini website.