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Douglas C. (Douglas Crawford) McMurtrie.

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like on the Hoeftman arm above. 29

** Bollettlno della Federazione Nazionale del Comitatl di Assistenza ai Soldati Cieehl,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, H, 107.

" Bollettlno della Federazione Nazionale del Comitatl dl Assistenza al Soldati Cieehl,
Mutilati, Storpi. Kome, 1917, 11, 262-263.

" Bollettlno della Federazione Nazionale del Comitatl di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 13-15.

" Bollettlno della Federazione Nazionale del Comitatl dl Assistenza al Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 283.

" Bollettlno della Federazione Nazionale del Comitatl di Assistenza al Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 295-296.

M Bollettlno della Federazione Nazionale del Comitatl dl Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, 11, 2-3.

» Bollettlno della Federazione Nazionale del Comitatl di Assistenea al Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, 11, 291-293.



120 EVOLUTION OF SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL REEDUCATION.

Paolo Bottari, of the Turin Agricultural School, recommends that
men should use the stump in every way possible. His method for
arm amputation cases is to teach the remaining hand to do the skilled
work and supplement it by long-handled tools attached to a ring at
the waist or shoulder instead of the other arm. He also feels that
each cripple can best invent his own prosthesis. 80

Very little has been done in the matter of appliances tb help the
work of cripples. Several inventions are suggested to hold a shoe
for shoemakers who can not use the knee, 81 and a little has been
done toward altering simple farm tools. 82

An exhibition of artificial limbs was held at Bologna in March,
1917, under the auspices of the ministers, the federation, and the Red
Cross, at which prizes were awarded for the most useful ones. 83

The Comitato Eegionale di Mobilitazione Industriale per la Lorn-
bardia (Local Committee on Industrial Mobilization for Lombardy)
has arranged a contest to be held at Milan under the patronage of
the ministry of munitions for the exhibition of mechanical aids to
(pork for cripples. The object is to facilitate the work of men with
arm amputations at mechanical employment. 84

REEDUCATION.

Reeducation constitutes a special problem in Italy, because such
a large proportion (80 per cent) of the men to be reeducated are
peasants with no background of experience in any trade and very
often illiterate. The result is that the reeducation schools must in-
clude a much longer elementary school course than is necessary in
other countries and that the trades taught can not be so advanced
and specialized. The general plan of the schools has much more in
common with that of a regular public school for children than is the
case in Germany, for instance, where discipline is not military and
the trades taught are suited to mature and experienced men.

The whole character of an Italian school is formal and institu-
tional, as it must be in order to impress the primitive mind with
which it has to deal. The schools are institutional in appearance,
since there is generally a convent, a palace, or some impressive public
building which can be donated to the committee for the purpose.
Most of the men reside in the school under military discipline, though

"Bollettlno della Federaaione Nazionale del Comltatl dl Assistenza ai Soldatl Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpl. Rome, 1917, li, 318-320.

"Bollettlno della Federazlone Nazionale del Comitatl dl Assistenza al Soldatl Clechl,
Mutilati, Storpi Rome, 1917, 11, 32-34.

a BoUettlno della Federazlone Nazionale del Comltatl dl Assistenza al Soldatl Clechl,
Mutilati, Storpl. Eome, 1917, 11, 32-34.

" Bollettlno della Federazlone Nazionale del Comltatl di Assistenza al Soldatl Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Eome, 1917, 98.

"•Bollettlno della Federazlone Nazionale del Comltatl dl Assistenza al Soldatl Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Borne, 1917, 185.



EVOLUTION OP SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL REEDUCATION. 121

day pupils are taken if they reside in the town and wish to return to
their homes at night. The hours of work, recreation, and leave off
bounds are all carefully regulated and stated by the school in its re-
port to the minister of war, as is also the number of meals furnished
to the men and the kind of food. The plan of work is thoroughly
formal. Almost all the men are required to take an intermediate
and sometimes an elementary school course before beginning a trade.
At the conclusion of each course they are graduated with proper cere-
monies and given a diploma before being promoted to the next. On
being graduated from the school they receive a certificate stating
their fitness to follow a trade and support themselves and generally
prizes from the committee and the chief citizens of the town. It is
found that this sort of ceremony is a decided help in keeping up the
men's interest and pride in their work.

This chance at an all-round education, even though compressed
into a six-month period, is a real opportunity for the illiterate agri-
cultural laborers of southern Italy. It means an amount of mental
discipline and a general background of information which is un-
known in the small hamlets from which they come. Many of these
hamlets are so remote and primitive that the feeling of national unity
has not really penetrated to them and the promoters of the schools
feel that aside from special help to cripples they are of real use in
national development.

Local Committees.

Each school is under the direction of a volunteer local committee
called a Comitato di Assistenza, which must work in close touch
with the national board. The work of this committee includes found-
ing the school and arousing public interest in it, attending to the
practical direction with help in discipline from the war department,
raising funds to aid in its support, since the 3.50 lire a day paid for
each man by the Government does not cover expenses, and placing the
men when they leave. This means that a great deal is still expected
of private initiative. The national board is, of course, expected to
be of great support to the committees and to stimulate their forma-
tion in the still large areas where none exist.

To November, 1917, there were 24 committees — at Alessandria,
Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Lecce, Leghorn, Milan,
Modena, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Parma, Pavia, Pescia, Pisa,
Eavenna, Bome, Spezia, Turin, Venice, Verona, Voghera. 85 Distrib-
uted by provinces, this makes: Piedmont, two; Lombardy, three;
Venetia, three ; Liguria, two ; Emilia, three ; Tuscany, four ; Marches,
one; Kome, two; Umbria, one; Abruzzi, none; Campanic, one; Basili-

"Bollettlno della Federazlonc Nazlonale del Comitatl dl Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechl,
Mutllati, Storpi. Borne, 1917, II, 297.



122 EVOLUTION OF SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL REEDUCATION.

cata, none; Apulia, two; Calabria, none; Sicily, one. It will be seen
that the committees become much fewer as we go toward the south,
which begins with the province of Abruzzi. Three of the southern
provinces have no committees at all. The organization of the whole
country is still in process. The national board expects greatly to
stimulate the formation of committees in localities where public
opinion is slow. It is empowered to call on the mayors of towns or
to send out its own representatives where no one else takes the
initiative.

Not all the committees reported above have schools in operation,
though that is the ultimate object of all of them. At the interallied
conference, May 8, 1917, the schools reported by Italy were 21,
including two Red Cross schools and a national farm institute at
Perugia, the latter not under a committee. The schools are at 'Rome
(two), Perugia, Naples, Palermo, Florence, Leghorn, Pisa, Pescia,
Spezia, Bologna, Genoa, Parma, Turin, Milan, Venice, Vincenza,
Treviso, Udine, Padua (the last four allied with Venice). 36

The schools are not all of equal importance, some of them being
very new and incompletely equipped. The four mentioned by Prof.
Levi in the Bolletino as being the largest are those at Milan, Bologna,
Florence, and Palermo. 37 All these four institutions include an
orthopedic hospital under the same direction as the reeducation
school and men proceed in a regular course from one to the other* .
The hospital on the Quirinal at Rome, under the personal patronage
of Queen Elena, the Red Cross institution, Instituto Romiti at Spezia,
and the Turin school under the Piedmontese committee all have the
same arrangement. Some of the smaller schools have no orthopedic
department but merely take men for reeducation after their treat-
ment at the orthopedic hospital has been completed. The Milan
school is the most extensive as well as the oldest. It is the type
toward which all the others are developing and may be described
here as a model.

Milan School.

The institution accommodates altogether 1,210. It is divided into
four sections— a distribution station, accommodating 400; an ortho-
pedic hospital, for 60; an elementary and. business school, 150, and a
trade school, 500. The first three are in the city of Milan, the trade
school is in the suburb of Gorla.

Men are received from the field hospitals at the distribution sta-
tion, which ranks as part of the orthopedic military reserve hospital.

""Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comltatl di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechl,
Mutllati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, 11, 131-133.

"Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comltatl dl Assistenza al Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, 11, 112.



EVOLUTION OF SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL REEDUCATION. 123

Here they have the necessary surgical treatment and are sorted out,
those belonging to other districts being sent to their own army corps,
those who need intensive orthopedic treatment to the orthopedic
section and those ready for reeducation to one or other of the school
sections. Men are supplied here with temporary prostheses and
return for their permanent ones. The orthopedic hospital is housed
in a section of the Instituto dei Eachitici (Institute for Rachitics).
It is furnished with elaborate modern devices for mecano-therapy
and with Amar's apparatus for measuring muscular efficiency. The
men are kept here for medicomechanical treatment and for func-
tional reeducation.

The elementary and business schools are housed in the Marcelline
convent, next door to the Institute for Rachitics, the Marcelline
sisters giving their services for the care of the house and food. All
men who wish to take training are sent first to the elementary school
unless they can prove that they have a satisfactory elementary edu-
cation. The elementary school comprises four courses, of two months
each, corresponding to the first four grades in night school. Each
course, taking a man's full time, is expected to cover as much ground
as a year's course in night school. On entering the elementary school
men are carefully examined by the teacher and assigned to the course
which they are fitted to take. They are then promoted in regular
order until they have finished the fourth grade and are ready for
trade or business training. Reeducation in this school is not strictly
subsequent to orthopedic treatment, since most men get through with
the first two courses while they are waiting at the distribution station
for their prostheses. 38 After a man has finished the elementary
courses it is decided whether he is fitted for a trade or for the busi-
ness course, and he is sent accordingly to the trade school at Gorla
or to the business school in the same building. The business school,
for purposes of convenience, is held in the same building as the ele-
mentary school. It consists of four courses. The first is a general
cultural course, including Italian, arithmetic, writing, geography,
and French. From it men are graduated to the business course
proper, which carries the cultural course further and takes up book-
keeping and stenography. Men unfitted for further education are
sent from it to such simple business positions as concierge, store
clerk, etc. Men capable of going further are promoted to the com-
mercial course, which teaches bookkeeping, stenography, business
letter writing, geography, and Italian. There is also a course for
postal and telegraph employees, these functions being both under
the Government in Italy. Men supplement their work in this course
by practice in the Government school of telegraphy in Milan.

3s Comltato Lombardo per i Soldati Mutllati In Guerra. Milano e la Lombardia per 1
BOldatl mutilatl In guerra. Relazione. . . Milan, March, 1917, 35.



124 EVOLUTION OP SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL BEEDtTCATION.

The trade school is situated in the suburbs of Milan. It has be-
come so popular that it has had to be twice enlarged and now accom-
modates 500. It is equipped with Amar testing machines to help
in deciding a man's capacity for a trade and with 10 workshops.
These teach carpentry, tailoring, shoemaking, basketry, leather work,
wood inlay and wood carving, the making of wooden shoes, saddlery,
broom and brush making, mechanics. Diplomas in these subjects are
given to pupils after an examination by experts. 39

The Officina Nazionale di Protesi (National Workshop for Pros-
theses), mentioned above, is attached to this school, though it fur-
nisheb the prostheses not only for the school but for other Italian
institutions.

The trade courses taught at Milan are in general those of the
other institutions. Italy is particularly fortunate in having a great
many famous handicrafts which still fetch high pay and are well
adapted to cripples. Many schools, for instance, have a course in
bookbinding, which has reached great artistic perfection in Italy.
Florence is famed for its manufacture of toys, and Venice teaches
the old Venetian arts of wrought iron and stamped leather. 40 For
men with some education the most popular course is telegraphy.
The minister of post and telegraph is particularly interested in re-
education and has promised to do everything possible toward plac-
ing cripples. Most of the reports of school graduations mention
four telegraphers to one manual worker. School directors have had
to warn strenuously against too much enthusiasm in this particular
line for which many men are not fitted and where they can not all
be accommodated.

Agriculture.

The subject which in Italy requires the most earnest attention, and
which is only beginning t« be considered, is agriculture. Eighty per
cent of the whole population — 90 per cent in Sicily — comes from
agricultural occupations. Critics of the reeducational work have
pointed out that the system of trade education which was started by
Milan, an industrial center, is of no value or of positive harm to the
southern districts, where there is only the most primitive form of
industry. The trades of tailoring or shoemaking can be used to a
certain extent, but even these are not greatly in demand in simple
villages where the population goes barefoot and rarely affords new
clothes. On the other hand, there is the most crying need for better
agricultural methods and wider education among the peasants. The

39 Comltato Lombardo per 1 Soldati Mutilatl in Gueraa. Milano e la Lombardia per 1
soldati mutilati in guerra. Relazione. . . Milan, March, 1917, 20.

» Scarpellon, Giuseppe. Per l'assistenza ai mutilati in guerra. L'Opera del Comltato
Provinciale dl Venezice, p. 3.



EVOLUTION OF SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL REEDUCATION. 125

present is a real opportunity for breaking down some of that ancient
peasant conservatism which has kept the farming methods of much
of the country in a medieval condition and prevented it from reach-
ing its highest productiveness.

This is beginning to be realized by a few of the schools, and there
is an ardent propaganda to spread the idea further. At present
there are agricultural courses in only five schools — Perugia, Palermo,
Spezia, Turin, and Padua. Spezia is a garden course run in connec-
tion with the regular trade courses. Perugia and Padua are small
schools particularly for farm work. At Turin and Palermo there is
a special section of the school in a separate building devoted to a scien-
tific agricultural course. 41 Palermo was the pioneer in this line and
is the school which has excited the most notice and commendation.

Palermo School.

The Palermo school has a hospital section in the city of Palermo
for orthopedic treatment and reeducation and a trade school in the
suburbs with 12 shops, accommodating 250. At this trade school
there was a small amount of garden land, and a farm course was
started. The course grew, until now 8 additional hectares have been
purchased. The school teaches gardening, farming, beekeeping,
poultry raising, and basketry, the last to furnish a little additional
income for peasant farmers during their idle months. The main
value of this course has been in introducing modern agricultural
methods, the use of machinery, the prevention of pests, the knowl-
edge of new crops, among very conservative and ignorant peasants.
The school garden, where many new vegetables unknown to the
island are grown, is an exhibition place visited by the farmers for
miles around. The school tomatoes were kept free from Phythop-
thora infestans in a year, when all the others in the district suffered.
This makes excellent propaganda for the school and means a great
educational advantage to Sicily. 42

On account of its good work the Palermo school has been voted a
subsidy of 50,000 lire by the Federation and later a second one of
750. The Camera Agrumeria, Chamber of Agriculture of Messina,
has also voted it a subsidy. 43

The federation was so impressed with the demonstration made by
Palermo of the usefulness of agricultural instruction for cripples
that it voted a subsidy of 50,000 lire to any other school which would

•» Bollettino della Federazlone Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai SoldatI Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Kome, 1917, ii, 335.

42 Bollettino della Federazlone Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciecbl,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 332.

o Bollettino della Federazlone Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciecbl,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 334.



126 EVOLUTION OF SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL REEDUCATION.

establish an adequate agricultural course. 44 The Turin school is also
doing excellent work through the Institute Bonaf ous, an agricultural
school outside Turin, where farm pupils are sent at the school's
expense. The subject is arousing more and more enthusiasm, and it
is hoped that the trend of reeducation will now set away from the
ill-advised teaching of trades and include more and more farm
courses.

PLACEMENT.

The question of securing positions for crippled soldiers is one
which is only beginning to be systematized. The early reports of the
committees of assistance always mentioned placement as one of the
functions of the committee, but there were no actual arrangements
for carrying it out. When the schools were first established the only
trades taught were the simple ones of tailor, shoemaker, etc., which
a peasant could carry on in his own house at home. Men were sent
back to their home villages, sometimes supplied with tools by the
committee and expected to set up in business for themselves. With
the duration of the war there has been more discussion on this subject
and it is realized that the problem of maintaining the stability of
industry is a very serious one and one which the schools should study
scientifically.

There is no set rule, as there is in Germany, that a man should be
reeducated to his old trade or an allied one. If this were actually
carried out, almost all the cripples would be educated as farmers.
The statement made in the law creating the national board, a state-
ment expressive of theory rather than practice is :

Men should be educated preferably to their old occupation, agricultural or
industrial, or to a new one suited to their tastes and to their social and eco-
nomic condition and to the labor conditions of the locality where they reside. 4 *

Italian critics of the work have pointed out that this ideal has so
far not been carried out and that schools have taught the two or three
trades easiest to install without regard to the demand for them or
their suitability to the cripple's tastes. 4 *

National Federation.

The national federation had almost from the first an employment
office, whose function was to assist the committees in placing their
discharged pupils. This office made inquiry among large firms in the

" Bollettino della Federazlone Nazlonale del Comitati di Assistenza al Soldatl Clechi,
Mutllatl, Stoipl. Kome, 1917, 11, 131-133.

« Bollettino della Federazlone Nazlonale del Comitati dl Assistenza al Soldatl Clechi,
Mutllatl, Storpl. Rome, 1917, 11, 165-175.

*• Bollettino della Federazlone Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza al Soldatl Clechi,
Mutllatl, Storpi. Rome, 1917, 11, 242.



EVOLUTION OF SYSTEMS OF VOCATIONAL REEDUCATION. 127

country as to their willingness and ability to employ cripples and
was able to publish in its monthly magazine the names of several,
notably the Associazione Elettrotecnica (Electro-Technical Asso-
ciation), with the positions which they can offer to cripples and the
injuries compatible with them. 47

Others taking cripples at the request of the national federation
are the Societa Italiana per la Fabricazione di Prodotti Azotati di
Piano d'Orte (Italian Society for the Manufacture of Nitrogen
Products at Piano D'Orte) , the firm of Solvay & Co., at Eosignano, 48
and the Stabilimento Aeronautico di Roma (Aeronautical Factory
at Rome). 49

The employment office of the national federation keeps up a
continual campaign of publicity to interest public officers and private
employers in the subject of employment of cripples.

Local Committees.

In addition to this almost all the local committees have developed
employment bureaus. Those at Florence and Turin are particularly
active. The employment committee at Florence, composed of doctors
and employment experts interviews all men before they leave the
hospital and makes out a card containing the necessary social infor-
mation, after which it makes an effort to get them really appropriate
work. 60 The Turin school has within the building an employment
office for crippled soldiers in charge of an expert and also uses a
carefully worked-out blank in taking applications. 61

There have also been organized in many of the Italian provinces
volunteer Comitati di Mobilitazione Industriale (Committees for
Industrial Mobilization) under a central national committee. This
committee makes it their particular business to look up the firms
which will employ cripples and publish the results. 62 The local com-
mittee for Lombardy publishes a tabularized statement every month
in the monthly magazine of the federation, 63 and the national com-
mittee also has a report. 64

" Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 187.

48 Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, 11, 67.

" Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 225.

M Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi,
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 246

H Comitato delle Provincie Piemontese per I' Assistenza ai Tavcratori Mutilati in
guerra. Torino. Relazione. ... P. 12 and blank Collocamento Mutilati.

"Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 39.

" Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 163.

« Bollettino della Federazione Nazionale del Comitati di Assistenza ai Soldati Ciechi
Mutilati, Storpi. Rome, 1917, ii, 14<i-145.



128 evolution or SYSTEMS of vocational reeducation.
Government Measures.

The agency to which all the others look for help in the matter of
placement is, of course, the State. As stated above, the law creating
the Federal board requires all public offices and private firms to
reinstate their former employees who have become war cripples and
makes certain provisions for facilitating civil service to war cripples.
This is, of course, a recent enactment which had not properly been
put into effect, but even before it Government bodies were very active
in procuring employment for war cripples.



Online LibraryDouglas C. (Douglas Crawford) McMurtrieThe evolution of national systems of vocational reeducation for disabled soldiers and sailors → online text (page 14 of 38)