Italian children don’t read much and lack basic numeracy skills

Save the Children reveals alarming data: “Too many teenagers lack competences to fight their way in life”. But there’s a solution.

Save the Children has released alarming data, through the report  “Illuminiamo il Futuro 2030 – Obiettivi per liberare i bambini dalla Povertà Educativa”, part of the campaign to raise institution’s awareness and curb the phenomenon.


Immagini Punto Luce Save the Children


In Lombardy alone, region in Northern Italy, 1 out of 5 teenagers doesn’t reach the minimum threshold of mathematical skills, whilst 1 out of 10 in literature. It is a problem mainly due to families’ poor economic conditions. But there’s more: it seems to be also linked to a lack of educational services and opportunities both curricular and extracurricular. “Data emerging from our studies reveal an alarming phenomenon: in Italy, too many teenagers lack the competences needed to grow up and fight their way in life,” said Valerio Neri, general manager at Save the Children.


According to the report, “In Lombardy, only 17% of children aged 0 to 2 have the possibility to go to nursery schools or benefit from other services; half of the school classes do not offer full-time education; and 54% of minors do not have access to recreational, sports, educational, and cultural activities”.




“Education scarcity is more accentuated in needy segments of population – in Lombardy 1 out of 10 minors live in extreme poverty conditions – and, as a vicious circle, exacerbates the existing unfavourable family conditions,” said Neri.


Therefore, the association launches 3 goals aimed to end education scarcity by 2030 in Italy. “All minors must have the possibility to learn, experiment, develop skills, talents, and ambitions; all minors must have access to quality education; and end child poverty in order to favour an educational growth”.


RS1999_IMG_4761_Paolo Patruno-scr


“Education scarcity cannot be an unavoidable destiny, and it is not acceptable that children’s future is determined by social and geographical origin, or by gender,” underlines Raffaella Milano, Save the Children. The fight against poverty, free services and food, accessible extracurricular activities are fundamental for the educational process of children and teenagers.


For this reason, Save the Children opened 13 educational spaces in 8 Italian regions, called Punti Luce. They are located in disadvantaged areas of cities and assist children aged 6 to 16 through free activities, such as support to studying, art and music laboratories, physical activities, reading promotion, access to new technologies, and educational, paediatric, and legal advice. “Data show that services for primary education, equipped schools, and recreational and cultural activities can end the intergenerational poverty”.


Cover photo by Paolo Paturno/Save the Children
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