The middle school from the Casati law to 1923 did not undergo any substantial changes: the classical school constituted by the gymnasium and the high school ; one of 5 and the other of 3 years; the technical institute originally of 3, then of 4 years, divided into sections (physical-mathematics, commerce and accounting, surveying, agronomy, industrial), the technical school , of three years, with its dual purpose as a school in its own right and of preparatory school yes to the technical institute as to the normal school (this last also of three years, for the training of elementary teachers), remained, except for minor details, in their original appearance, or almost, until the advent of the fascist government. Only two other schools were added to those: the modern section of the high school, wanted by the proponents of a middle school for young people wishing to pursue higher scientific studies, at which he studied it seemed that the physical-mathematical section of the technical institutes provided inadequate preparation; and the master’s course, annexed to the isolated gymnasiums, which allowed the pupils of the gymnasium to obtain the diploma of primary school teacher. The subject of examinations and classifications was always tormented, because they wanted – and this contradiction has never ceased – extensive programs, serious studies, conscientious examiners and a low percentage of retries. The professors, then, first left for a long time at the mercy of the central administration, were then (1906 and 1914) endowed with a juridical status inspired by suspicion and distrust of the authorities, that is, with guarantees such and many that, wanting to respect them all , the principal on the site and the ministry from above had to give up the government of the school. And since the school population grew in relation not so much to the increase in the population of the kingdom as to the increasing ease of studies and for reasons of economy it was not possible to create an adequate number of new institutions, the existing ones were allowed to overcrowd and to this New classes were formed annually, as needed, and not entire courses, which, due to their instability and the fact that the teaching obligation of a professor is not normally restricted to one class only, could not be held by full professors. These were the so-called which, owing to their instability and to the fact that the teaching obligation of a professor is not normally restricted to one class only, could not be taught by tenured professors. These were the so-called which, owing to their instability and to the fact that the teaching obligation of a professor is not normally restricted to one class only, could not be taught by tenured professors. These were the so-called additional classes assigned fragmentarily to teachers holding other classes and sometimes other subjects both of the same or of another local institution, so that the pupils of these classes were left without a guide and their teachers did not feel subject to the head of that institution where only for a few hours a week they went to exercise their ministry. The middle school was thus mechanizing and lowering.
It was therefore urgent to reform the middle school and the reform had to operate on the quantity as well as on the quality of the institutes. And this he did. In fact: 1. it eliminated the additional classes by making each school capable of a determined insuperable number of students (system of parallel courses); 2. suppressed the modern sections of the secondary schools; 3. reduced the number of isolated gymnasiums to 95; 4. abolished the master’s courses (44) and reduced the normal schools from 153 to 87, which were transformed into the new teaching institutes; 5. in the technical institutes it suppressed both the agronomy sections (duplicates of the middle agricultural schools) and the physical-mathematical sections and reunited the industrial institutes, ie purely professional schools, with the industrial sections; 6. created a separate institute, the scientific high school , 4 years old, 7. gave a special four-year lower course to the technical institute as well as to the teaching institute; 8. created the women’s high school which, however, after a difficult life ceased everywhere at the end of 1927-28; 9. transformed the technical school into a complementary school with a genuine popular character, easing the pupil’s timetable, giving this unity of guidance and unity of direction in the school. But this school, as has been said, was changed (1928 and 1929) into a secondary vocational school.
To improve, then, the internal constitution and functioning of the school, Minister Gentile used these means: 1. improvement of the class of teachers, prescribing the competition for exams for the appointment as holder, raising their economic conditions, creating, best, the role of honor; 2. the reform of programs (1923) aimed at restoring to teachers individually and collectively all the responsibility for teaching methods, to give a serious content to culture, to draw attention from form to substance, from grammar and rhetoric on art, on thought and on real, human and profound interests of the spirit. These programs were modified in 1924, 1925, 1927, 1929 and 1930; 3. the concentration of teaching, entrusting related subjects to the same professor; 4.
What has been said explains the present system of secondary education, which is summarized in this way. The following schools are placed under the authority of the royal education supervisor who is assisted by a council for secondary education:
- Lyceum and gymnasium , naturally joined institutions (the regi are 180). However, there is an r. isolated high school and 111 isolated royal gymnasiums. The high school is five years old, the high school is three years old. Latin and Greek, philosophy and history are prominent among the various teaching subjects. The 1st secondary school is accessed by the child, who is in the 10th year of age, through an admission exam (which is valid for the 1st lower class of any other middle school); to the 1st high school, even by means of an admission exam by those who have been admitted to a lower middle school 5 years before. At the end of the 3rd high school, classical maturity exam, which is the right to enroll in every university faculty and higher institute.
- Scientific high school, four years. There are 52 regi. In the absence of this school of its own lower course, those who, 4 years earlier, have been admitted to a lower middle school are enrolled in it by means of an admission exam. The teaching of Greek is not taught there; a modern language and drawing are taught there, and the curriculum of sciences, especially mathematics, is more intense than in the classical high school. At the end of the 4th class, scientific maturity exam that entitles you to enroll in all higher institutes and all university faculties except those of law and philosophy and literature.
- Technical institute: lower and upper courses, both four-year courses and up to the end of 1930-31 necessarily joint. I am 103 (regi); there are also 30 isolated lower royal courses. There is the teaching of Latin only in the lower four years. The upper one, which can be accessed by those who have obtained admission to a 1st grade middle school 4 years before, is divided into the accounting and trade section and the land surveying section; from the one through the qualification exam one comes out with the diploma of accountant, from this one with the diploma of surveyor.
- Teaching Institute; four-year lower course, three-year higher course, necessarily joint. There is Latin teaching throughout the institute. At the end, a master’s qualification exam, i.e. a qualification for elementary teaching. There are 106 royal teaching institutes.
In addition to the royal schools, of which it has been said, the task of middle education is fulfilled by equal and private schools . The first perfectly modeled, by law, on the type of middle school are held by municipalities, provinces and other moral entities, the second instead are, in almost all, of religious orders and congregations. It was thought that as a result of the state exam, since the private school pupil was faced with the examiners in the same conditions as that of the public school, private schools would develop or grow in number and reinvigorate themselves. But the prediction scarcely came true.
Finally, it remains to say of the government educators , conservatories (of Tuscany), colleges of Muria (of Sicily) and of other female institutions with or without boarding school, aimed at the education of young girls. But the education that is given there today, in addition to the elementary one, is pure magisterial education because a school of a different type, i.e. of pure culture, which does not lead, therefore, to a professional title, is not desired for the same reasons which had no luck at the girls’ high school created in 1923. For the national boarding schools, see. college.