Adrián Parziale lives in Villa Diamante, Lanús. In the house where he spent his childhood and adolescence there were no books, much less a library: in fact, he does not remember reading. There was also no internet or computer. Her father Marino, who worked as a serene in a factory, went to school until 3rd. grade. Her mother, Silvia, a housewife, has only completed primary school.
At age 16, Adrian (who repeated 5th and 6th grade) dropped out of high school in 1st. year. “I did not want to continue studying, I did not see the point. I went to work with my grandfather, who cut tin plates,” recalls the young man, who is now 27 and works in a cooperative of street sweepers.
Much is said about the number of boys and girls who fail to finish high school in Argentina. However, little is investigated about the path of violations that these children and adolescents go through until they have an educational deficit, that is, dropping out of school or studying excessively.
This complex reality is the one that seeks to reflect the study “The education of Argentines in terms of resources and opportunity structures”, prepared by the Argentine Social Debt Observatory (ODSA) of the UCA, to which LA NACION agreed exclusively and which will be presented tomorrow, at 6 pm, in the Monsignor Derisi Auditorium of the Santo Tomás Moro Building.
“We know that the lower-income sectors have more difficulties completing school, doing well in primary school, or having early childhood education.
What is not so well known is the role played by certain sociodemographic characteristics, cultural capital resources and other behavioral aspects
“details Santiago Poy, sociologist and co-author of the report, together with Ianina Tuñon, researcher of the Barometer of the Social Debt of Children. At that point, he refers” to the strategies that households deploy to, even in adverse socioeconomic conditions, try to improve their children’s educational outcomes. ”
The study indicates that every child is born potentially educable and that it is the social context and material living conditions that operate as obstacles or facilitators of this development at all stages: in early childhood, in primary, secondary and secondary education. educational continuity in youth.
Tuñón highlights how in the last three decades we have witnessed a process of increasing infantilization of poverty, listing some of the figures that put on the table the structural inequalities that affect thousands of children and adolescents:
It is estimated that one in ten boys suffers from food risk, two out of ten live in houses with overcrowding or serious sanitation problems, a prevalence that is also registered in deprivation of clothing and footwear.
The ODSA report states that
almost 30% of youth ages 20-29 residing in urban areas did not complete high school.
But if the focus is on socioeconomic inequality, while almost five out of 10 (47.4%) of young people living in households with lower per capita incomes have an educational deficit, just one in 10 of those who belonged to the most privileged sectors are in this situation.
Emilio Tenti Fanfani, sociologist, researcher and professor at the National Pedagogical University (Unipe), reflects that school is always thought of as a factor of social equalization: with more education there will be more development, more social equality, better distribution of income . ”
But we never think about it backwards. That is, how much social equality is needed for educational equality. This without detracting from the weight of school factors. But this study has a precise objective: to measure how certain socio-economic characteristics of households determine school failure.
“says the specialist.
According to Tenti Fanfani, in order to aim for equality of results, and taking into account that “there are boys who come to school and who never picked up a pencil or saw a book,” the State has to deploy, on the one hand, a strong social policy to guarantee learning conditions; and, on the other, a differentiated educational policy that takes into account the particular social and cultural characteristics of the children with the most difficulties.
It is essential to develop a rational pedagogy, which is one that modulates its forms of intervention according to the social and cultural characteristics of children.
Emilio Tenti Fanfani
It is what the Unipe sociologist calls “a rational pedagogy”, which is one that “modulates its forms of intervention according to the social and cultural characteristics of the boys”.
Beyond the fact that the report shows that the educational deficit is strongly conditioned by socioeconomic stratification, it explores
other multiple aspects that can facilitate or hinder school performance: from whether it is a single parent family to whether there is a library or computer in the house or whether children live in overcrowded conditions.
Everything influences when studying. This is what happened to Adrián: as much as his parents tried, they both found it very difficult to help their youngest son to do the homework. “I always had a hard time studying. Today I realize that it was a mistake to quit,” he says.
I always had a hard time studying. Today I realize that it was a mistake to leave
Last Monday, he decided to take the step that he had been putting off for 11 years. He approached the school where he attended primary school and met his principal, José García. “I told him that I wanted to study because in all the jobs I was looking for, the doors were closed to me because I did not have a complete high school,” says Adrián.
Right there, the teacher gave him his primary degree, which the young man had never gone looking for. The emotion was enormous.
The characteristics of the home
There are many characteristics of the environment that affect abandonment.
Belonging to single-parent families, for example, constitutes a disadvantage in terms of the processes of accompanying educational paths
: 40% of adolescents living in these homes did not finish high school or are out of date in age.
On the other hand,
The level of education attained by the parents of the young people, the presence of books at home and their reading behavior, make big differences
But another of the aspects that most influence throughout the development of boys and which is often not focused is the so-called cultural capital. According to Poy, the level of education attained by the parents of the young people, the presence of books at home and their reading behavior, as well as sports and artistic activities, make big differences.
Ianina Tuñon explains that in the report “it is easy to see that income is a very relevant resource for households in relation to the educational achievements of their members.” However, “it shows that
the characteristics of the home, the cultural, human resources, and even the social capital, are determining aspects ”
Another of the data measured by the ODSA that attracts attention is that,
if a young person lives in a home with a member with a disability, the chances of having an educational deficit are tripled
l. In this sense, Mariana Altamirano, a graduate in psychopedagogy and a professor at the UCA, explains that it is not that “the member with a disability generates difficulties or interferences, but rather the conditions that lead to family members often having to dedicate themselves to care ”
Poy explains that when addressing diverse ages, the report shows how many of the factors are having a cumulative effect. “What in elementary school manifests as lag, repetition or low grades, in adolescence can translate, if the system does not retain, in an educational abandonment by adolescents,” he points out.
No educational reform will be sufficient without greater equity in access to well-being
In this line, Tuñón details: “It seems correct to argue that the structures of educational opportunities require multiple resources within homes and families, and many other rich structures of opportunities. No educational reform will be sufficient without greater equity in access to well-being. ”
In search of possible solutions, Tenti Fanfani stresses the need for establishments “richer in every way, in infrastructure and human resources, which are suitable for the popular sectors.” And it exemplifies: “We do not only need teachers, we need nutrition specialists, cultural animators, psychologists, social workers; all those professional agents who create the conditions for the teacher to carry out his specific teaching task.” In this sense, he emphasizes that “we cannot ask schools, with the resources they have today, to serve these populations with a lot of violations.”
We need schools that are richer in every way, in infrastructure and human resources, that are suitable for the popular sectors
Emilio Tenti Fanfani
For his part, Gabriel Lerner, National Secretary for Childhood, Adolescence and Family, considers it a priority
“To continue working to make the legal imperative of ‘all adolescents in school’ a reality, because today that aspiration does not correspond to a school model with strong expulsion tendencies.”
In addition, it considers it important to deepen the articulation of secondary education with the field of health, work and culture, to enable and guarantee comprehensive learning processes.
When Adrián learned last week that he could join the Final Plan to finish high school, he did not hesitate. “I felt like I had a very good opportunity,” he says. It starts at the end of the month. Since he works in the morning, he will study at night. “I am nervous, afraid of what may happen, I do not remember many things,” she says. Two years of study lie ahead.
“When I finish, I think about the possibility of continuing studying or getting a good job in white, with my social work, which I never had. That is my dream. Today I think a lot about the future, about getting ahead,” says the young man.
For Tenti Fanfani, a change of view is necessary that leads to overthrow prejudices. “In our society, a meritocratic ideology that says that individuals have what they achieved through their effort is hegemonic: if you are poor or you did not learn, it is because you are lazy or you are not interested, that is, it is your fault.” He considers that it is no coincidence that cultural capital and overcrowding, among other variables, are associated with school failure. “They are objective factors that go beyond the will and have their weight in school success or failure. This is important to spread to break with this interested representation, which is not naive, of the ideology of merit,” he concludes.
How to collaborate
Adrián’s dream is to be able to get, for the first time in his life, a blank job that allows him to continue projecting his future. Those who wish to contact him can write to