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Starry think-tank's secondary brief

ITALY: The centre-right government has appointed 250 public figures to form a think-tank to come up with ideas for a new curriculum as part of the on-going reform of secondary education.

Members include car-maker Fiat's boss Umberto Agnelli, opera singer Katia Ricciarelli and former ambassador to the Soviet Union Sergio Romano.

Although not matching the superstar status of a similar body set up by the previous centre-left adminstration five years ago, which included cultural heavyweights such as Umberto Eco and musical director of La Scala Opera House Riccardo Muti, the new group is bigger, with more commercial representatives.

Education minister Letizia Moratti invited her "wise men" to focus on the ideal student profile as they finish school.

"After a period of experimentation", she said, "we need to return to the precious message of our liceo tradition: to teach only a few things, but to teach them well."

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