Education Mussolini by lanyuehua


“Fascist education is moral, physical, social, and military: it aims to create a complete and harmoniously
developed human, a fascist one according to our views.” (Mussolini)
“The whole school must educate youth to understand Fascism” (Mussolini)

Curriculum changes

    -    Religion
              o Compulsory RE in elementary schools in 1922 in secondary schools 1929
    -    Cult of Mussolini
              o Portrait in all classrooms
              o textbooks rewritten and greatly patriotic. One said “You must obey because you must”
              o Mussolini claimed to be sent by God to restore Italian greatness patriotism
              o Notebook with Mussolini on front cover
              o Life of Mussolini by pini
              o Tricolour flag, bi-daily prayers, songs about the leader
    -    Government intervention
              o .1926 101 of 317 history texts banned
              o School system centralised
              o 1928 single government textbook was introduced, the libro unico
              o Official course plans introduced
              o All dialects banned
              o Military education – tactics etc
              o 1936 lessons in fascist culture
              o Mixed schools banned
              o 1938 anti Semitism

    -    1925 public employees with views “incompatible with the general political aims of the government”
         could be dismissed
    -    1929 teachers took oath of loyalty
    -    1931 all teachers associations merged into a fascist association membership made compulsory in
         1937 it organised indoctrination courses teachers had to take this in order to achieve promotion
    -    1931-2 professors told to take loyalty oath
             o 11 of 1250 refused it. “others took oath with fingers crossed”
    -    1933 all new teachers and professors had to be party members
    -    1934 teachers to wear fascist uniforms for official occasions.
    -    1938 racial laws lead to dismissal of jewish teachers + students

    -    Generally left alone as long as they did not become involved in hostile political activity

Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB or Balilla) groups - Run by the party till 1929 then by education ministry.
Membership compulsory in 1935 though it became a meaningless gesture; up to 40% of youths never joined
the Balilla and many joined because of the benefits, not through political conviction. By 1930s indoctrination of
youth was necessary to ensure firm foundations for the regime, to produce loyal, unquestioning citizens – the
perfect new Italian men and women.
The ONB consisted of the following activities

    -    Sports + military drill
    -    Propaganda lectures
    -    Parades
    -    Rallies
    -    Competitions
    -    Summer camps

    -    Children of the she-wolf
              o 6-8 boys and girls
    -    Balila
              o 8-14 year old boys
    -    Avangaurdisti
              o 14-18 year old boys
    -    Piccole italiane
              o 8 – 12 year old girls
    -    Giovani italianen
              o 13-18 year old girls
              o Films, music, sewing, singing, hygiene, handicrafts

Fascio Giovanile fel Littorio 1930

    -    18-21 youths not at university

GUF (Gruppi Univerisutaru Fascisti)

    -    18 – 21 university students
    -    Run by party

GIL (Geoventu Italiana del Littorio) 1937

    -    All youth

    -    More people joined in north than south
    -    Catholic schools did not aid in groups
               o Catholic youth organisations still exist
    -    1920s saw little change to education, school attendance actually dropped, 30% of children were
    -    Illiteracy fell (down to 17% - still quite high), government expenditure on education rose
    -    Limited success  Facsism died with Mussolini
    -    “Pupils were not hostile to the Fascist ideas, indeed they accepted them as normal; but they were not
         committed enthusiasts either” (Clark)
    -     Overall illiteracy fell from 27% in 1921 to 17% in 1936 however, within first 4 years, attendance
         dropped by 100,000

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