Nation-wide Italian exam includes essay questions on ETs and UFOs

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Posted by: Maurizio Baiata June 28, 2010

 Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister

Left: Mariastella Gelmini, Italian Minister of Education Right: Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister (Credit: Forza Italia)

On June 22nd, 2010, for the first time in the history of the Italian educational system, UFOs and extraterrestrials became the topic of an essay requirement for hundreds of thousands students of Italy, asked to express their thoughts on this controversial subject.

The “Maturity Exam” (also known as “Esame di Stato”, State Exam) is the final goal of every student, who wants to continue to study and enter the university world. The Maturity diploma is equivalent to the ACTs or SATs in the U.S., where the students have to pass written and oral tests. The first written exam (“Italian test”) pertains to humanistic culture and the second pertains to scientific culture. The Italian written test is identical nation-wide, regardless of the type of school the student had attended.

Subject: Are We Alone?

“UFOs: uninvited guests? In the past years, as a result of public pressure, several studies were conducted primarily by the U.S Air Force to establish the nature of the UFO phenomenon… At the present state of our knowledge, the percentage of the alleged sightings found unexplainable is very low, around 1.5 to 2%. This small percentage could be attributed largely to suggestions and visions, which certainly exist… There are numerous hypotheses that may explain the nature of UFOs. For example, one hypothesis suggests that the origin of a number of sightings is in fact little known geophysical phenomena, another suggests secret experimental aircraft, yet the extraterrestrial origin is not completely excluded. The truth is that we cannot explain it with rationality and knowledge… Apparently, logic and scientific method do not seem effective in the study of UFOs for which any explanation is unsatisfactory and/or too risky”.

According to Televideo (RAI News on-line service) an unexpected 19%, almost one out of five of this young population, has chosen the UFO topic. What could be more refreshing when you are 20 and full of hope than to have a Maturity test about UFOs and life in the Universe. This is unprecedented for the Italian educational system and probably is still unseen worldwide.