In Italy a state school system or Education System has existed. When the Legge Casati (Casati Act) mandated educational responsibilities for the forthcoming Italian state. The Casati Act made primary education compulsory, and had the goal of increasing literacy.This law gave control of primary education to the single towns, of secondary education to the provinces, and the universities were managed by the State. Even with the Casati Act and compulsory education, in rural (and southern) areas children often were not sent to school (the rate of children enrolled in primary education would reach 90% only after 70 years) and the illiteracy rate (which was nearly 80% in 1861) took more than 50 years.
The Italian education system is divided into five stages:
Kindergarten (scuola dell’infanzia):
The Italian Schooling system begins with kindergarten which is not compulsory and is attended by kids age between 3-6 years.
Primary school (scuola primaria or scuola elementare):
The Primary Education is compulsory for all the children between the ages of 6-16 years. The Primary Education is of five years.
In Primary school, formal education is given to children and they were taught to read and write and study a wide range of subjects which include Mathematics, Geography, Italian, English and Science. Apart from academics subjects the students also have music lessons, computer studies, and social studies. The size of the classes is small with 10 -25 student strengths.
Secondary school (scuola secondaria di primo grado or scuola media inferiore):
At the age of eleven students begins with Secondary education. Students were given a formal lesson and they must attend at least thirty hours of formal lessons per week.
Many schools also provide additional activities in the afternoons such as computer studies, music lessons, and sports activities. The curriculum of formal lessons that are delivered to the students is set by the MPI (Ministry of Public Education).
At the end of Secondary School that is after 3 years, students have to write an exam in the subject like Italian, Mathematics, Science and a Foreign language. There is an oral examination of the other subjects. After clearing the exam students are awarded the Licenza di Scuola Media (Licenza Media). Then only they are ready to move into the Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado (Second Grade Secondary School)
Upper secondary school (scuola secondaria di secondo grado or scuola media superiore) and university (università):
There are two types of Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado(Upper Secondary Education) in Italy:
The first one is the Liceo (like a British grammar school), which focus more on academic studeis.
The second one is an Istituto, which is essentially a vocational school. For the first two years, students are taught the curriculum that is set by the state itself and the curriculum contains Italian language and literature, Science, Mathematics, foreign language, religion, geography, history, social studies, and physical studies.
School Hours in Italy
School hours depend on schools and it may vary from school to school. But in general, it is found that in most of the primary and lower secondary schools, classes begin from 8:00 am and ends at 1:00 pm.
The schools are generally 6 days a week starting from Monday to Saturday. But some schools also run only 5 days a week starting from Monday to Friday, in that case, students would have a one-hour lunch break and the school timings extend to 16:00.