Italy’s education minister wants to ban phones in classroom

Valditara wants to remove welfare benefit from young people who have not completed schooling.

Italy’s new right-wing government is set to ban phones in class during lessons to prevent students from getting distracted, education minister Giuseppe Valditara told state broadcaster RAI on Thursday.

Valditara told newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “I say that you must not enter the classroom with your cell phone. You can leave it at the entrance or in any case outside the lesson: you go to school to study, not to chat”.

The minister, 61, also reiterated his controversial proposal to remove the reddito di cittadinanza welfare benefit from young people who have not completed their schooling.

“These kids prefer to receive the citizen’s income rather than study and train to build their own dignified life plan”, the minister said at a meeting with the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) on Wednesday.

  • Italy to scrap citizen’s income benefit for those fit to work

Valditara said it is “morally unacceptable” to give the welfare payment to those who “have not completed compulsory schooling or to those who, despite having a high school diploma, do not work and are not engaged in training activities”, adding: “It would mean legitimising and even rewarding a violation of law”.

Introduced in 2019, the citizen’s income benefit is a monthly allowance for the unemployed and those with low income, designed to help them pay for basic expenses such as food, bills and rent.

Under budget plans announced on Tuesday, the government said it intends to toughen the terms for the welfare benefit next year before scrapping it entirely for those deemed fit to work.