PEDIBUS
Comune di Palermo assessorato scuola

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The initiative PEDIBUS addressed to schools situated in areas which show signs of economical and financial difficulty, of a low cultural level, of ethnic discrimination and illiteracy. More than 50% of the students attending these schools are of foreign origins and about 30% are new immigrants in the city. One of the major problems of these schools is the inadequate attendance of pupils, school drop outs, difficulties in the management of family organization due also to parents negligence and lack of physical movement on behalf of students. The social groups addressed were: the poor, the illiterate, unemployed mothers and immigrants.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The initiative PEDIBUS aims to create a pedestrian transport service for pupils of compulsory schools in town, abandoning any use of motor vehicle, through the creation of walking trails, school / house and home / school, previously identified by criteria of environmental and cultural interest. The target involved were parents (more mothers) and grandparents, students, The Municipal Police Force, public transport service (AMAT), the school Town Hall Office. The main objectives of the Pedibus initiative were to make sure that: the number of students of irregular attendance is reduced; increase of the relationships between the parents that collaborated to the organization of supervision of the initiative; increase in knowledge on behalf of pupils in the area where they live; increase in the ability of orientation and knowledge of the Highway Code; increase in students in the ability of moving independently during the journey to school and in their area; reduction of environmental pollution; increase in physical daily activities; increase of social relationships among peers; a small financial support to the unemployed "volunteers".

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The initiative proved to be unique because it showed great interest on behalf of the volunteering parents and of the children involved. This initiative proved to create great interest also among the citizens of the area in which the schools are located. The volunteering parents and students made a sort of human caravan and picked up reluctant pupils on their way to school every morning. They followed a predetermined path to get to school and local police made sure that everything went smoothly. The approaches used were: advertising of the initiative through a broadcast on behalf of the Town Hall to the schools involved; notification to the families; distribution of t-shirts and cups with the PEDIBUS logo to the children; street signs and the Pedibus logo realized by the children; reinforce the sense of belonging of the children to their school;

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The initiative was promoted by The School Town Hall Office informing the schools with high rate of school drop outs. The Town Hall during the month of September 2013 proposed to all the school in the city this initiative. The school who took part to project informed the children and their families. Many unemployed mothers volunteered with their children to accompany the students with irregular attendance to school. The initiative lasted the school year ending on june 2014 and it is currently undergoing the new planning organization for the current school year.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative was promoted by The School Town Hall Office creating a partnership between The Town hall School Office, three schools, The Municipal Police Force and the local transport service AMAT. The Town hall School Office provided the funds for the initiative (€ 8.000), the schools provided the students with irregular attendance and the volunteering mothers, the Municipal Police Force guaranteed security alond the chosen paths from the homes of the children to their schools and the transport agency positioned the road signs designed for the initiative PEDIBUS.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The initiative was funded with the tax refund of the year 2011 since that a 5/1000 could be promoted for public services which amounted to €8.000. This sum was used for paying the little support for the unemployed mothers, for creating the road signs and their location and the required materials to produce the road signs.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Improvement on the attendance on behalf of the students; Independence on behalf the students in moving freely around their area; Respect of rules of the highway code and road signs; increase of social relationships among peers; more self discipline and self control on behalf of the students.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The initiative was monitored and evaluated through an accurate and daily control of the students attendance and their school profits. Improved participation on behalf of the parents of children with a high rate of irregular attendance and school drop outs. A test was given to children at the beginning of the project and at the end on the highway code.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
No relevant problems were experienced during all the stages of the initiative.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Pedibus showed great interest among the citizens in the area. The drivers of the area involved showed great patience and improved their driving habits when they saw the human caravan. The impact was measured through the great number of students who took part to the initiative. During the month of July a television broadcast was held to spread the high success of the initiative.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative is being replicated since that the it showed great interest on behalf of all the target audience and also of the citizens of the area infact this year the schools who will take part will be higher.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
This proved to be a great experience for all the school because it involved everybody in the classes: teachers, students and mothers creating a great atmosphere based on fun. It was a new educational approach respect to the more conventional methods used at school. It has spread the knowledge among students and it has also improved the approach between the school and families. This initiative has shown a great light on the the Town Hall because has given attention to those families who need more economical, financial and above all social help which in recent years have been neglected.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Comune di Palermo assessorato scuola
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   LICIA ROMANO
Title:   MRS  
Telephone/ Fax:   0039091343912
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   l.romano@comune.palermo.it  
Address:   VIA NOTARBARTOLO 21/A
Postal Code:   90141
City:   PALERMO
State/Province:   SICILY
Country:  

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