With the PNE on the agenda, the opposition will have a crucial 2024 against ideologized teaching

The document that will serve as the basis for discussions at the National Education Conference (Conae), on January 28, 29 and 30, 2024, in Brasilia, presents a strong ideological load, as has already been demonstrated People’s Gazette. Given this, experts consider that the opposition has a crucial mission in the coming months: to reduce as much as possible its influence on the National Education Plan 2024-2034, which will be voted on in Congress this year.

Among other things, the NGOs and associations that participated in the writing of the text were involved in the promotion of gender ideology, the restriction of educational freedom and home education and even opposition to agribusiness in the classroom. Amid these ideas, the document also places strong emphasis on the centralization of decisions about education in Brazil in the hands of certain organizations and social movements (read more below on the topic).

The Conae was the first step towards the development of the National Education Plan (PNE), which will guide public policies in the educational area during the next decade. The reference document will serve to support an Executive project that will be sent to Congress at the beginning of the year.

Congressmen have the power to change this project, but the experts consulted by the People’s Gazette They have shown concern about the level of knowledge of opposition parliamentarians about radicalism and the risks of the proposals.

To issue this warning, the association De Olho no Material Escolar published, on December 13, a public note highlighting that the document is “contrary to the best practices adopted by reference countries in the educational sector.”

Among other things, the entity points out the “absence of a technical-scientific basis in addressing the contents”; the refractory stance towards private initiative; the attack on home education and family freedom; the long-winded and vague speech, without technical rigor, which makes debate difficult; the absence of a student literacy proposal; and the lack of plurality in the election of the groups that prepared the document.

In excerpts from the Conae text, explicit mention is made of the fight against specific political groups. The text speaks, for example, of opposing “ultraconservative policies and proposals”, of guaranteeing the “demilitarization of schools” and of stopping the “interventions of the Escola Sem Partido movement and the various groups that wish to promote agribusiness through The education”. .

It is no coincidence that four entities linked to agribusiness decided to sign the public note prepared by De Olho no Material Escolar: the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (ABAG), the National Association of Distributors of Agricultural and Veterinary Inputs (ANDAV), the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA) and the Brazilian Rural Society (SRB).

The president of De Olho no Material Escolar, Letícia Jacintho, administrator, rural producer and educational sector analyst, says that the entity is “closely following the document presented.” “Our technical team is focused on every detail and, based on what we study and evaluate, this document cannot, in any way, be the bill that will guide the country’s education in the next ten years. Brazilian students need urgently improve their results,” he says.

For her, the Conae reference text does not address some “very serious problems”, such as the low ability to read texts and understand Portuguese, the lack of knowledge about operations in mathematics and learning goals and subgoals.

According to Letícia, the association “is mobilizing public, private, parliamentary entities, academia, leaders, associations and civil society to find a path in which the Conae document is widely known and discussed, and not just an opinionated outline of what It should be education.” in Brazil”.

One of the problems, in his opinion, is that many parliamentarians do not focus on education and it is necessary to change this reality. “We are working actively and voluntarily in several municipalities, providing technical and scientific capacity so that parliamentarians can defend a quality educational model, with effectiveness and strategy to put the country where it deserves to be,” he says.

The main mission is to provide an argumentative basis to opposition parliamentarians, says expert

For the educational consultant Andréia Medrado Serrano, in the work to block the ideological proposals of the Conae, the essential challenge at this moment is to avoid the implementation of the National Educational System (SNE), which could represent a path of no return in the centralization of control of Brazilian education. education in the hands of movements and groups with ideological bias. The most worrying point of the Conae document, in her opinion, is this.

“Although we have seen an extremely ideological text, this text is only the tip of the iceberg, because, in truth, behind this text there is an entire movement of centralization and rigidity of national education,” he warns.

Therefore, according to Serrano, the main focus of those concerned about ideological bias in education should be to convince Congress to prevent the development of the SNE from moving forward as it is. He highlights the importance of dialogue with opposition and centrist parliamentarians, explaining the negative aspects of Conae and working on alternative legislation proposals.

“Our power of action is in fact in parliament. We need to act by speaking and explaining to parliamentarians what this Conae text is about, what the intention of this conference is…”, he says. “The narrative that comes with the proposal for the National Education System is basically the following: the parliamentarian who votes against is not concerned about education in Brazil. It must be said that it is exactly the opposite.”

The expert highlights the need to create a solid movement to help parliamentarians understand the problems. He considers it essential to explain to congressmen the need to vote against the current SNE proposal, showing how it limits the freedom of federal entities and families in education.

“The idea is that we can understand the structure of the educational system that Conae has defended, explain it to parliamentarians and then begin to work with them on a possible replacement that can overlap with the project that will come out of the Executive,” he says.

The Conae proposal of National educative systemwith a single curriculum and a unified pedagogy, it threatens educational freedom and the plurality of ideas, contradicting the Brazilian Constitution, he affirms.

“The proposal of the National Educational System is to convert the National Education Forum and the National Education Council into deliberative, regulatory bodies that do not need or depend on the Federal Executive to make educational decisions. As we know, who makes up this National Education Forum. These are entities that often have nothing to do with education and are much more concerned with advancing a political-ideological agenda,” he explains.

If groups opposed to ideological bias in education manage to displace the SNE, there will be the possibility of a less unbalanced struggle in future discussions carried out by grassroots educational movements, especially at the municipal and state level.

“The big problem is that, by approving a National Education System along these lines, as proposed by Conae, we will have less power of articulation. We need, in this first moment, to fight so that this system is not approved. Once we have achieved this objective, then we need to strengthen the grassroots movements, so that they work in the education councils.

For Serrano, movements against the ideologization of education still face difficulties in the municipal, interregional and state settings of Conae due to the lack of sufficient delegates with voting power. This is reflected on the national stage, where representation remains low.

To solve this problem, it is considered essential to have a stronger presence of institutions and movements that serve as a counterpoint to the ideologization of education councils, as a long-term strategy to influence educational policies.

“We know that there is resistance on their part (from the ideological movements), but it turns out that they did not expect the our endurance. That is why we must continue. We really need to act within the social structure,” he says.

Serrano recognizes that groups concerned about the ideologization of education began to organize late compared to other social movements, but believes that the work of recovering losses, despite being arduous, can bear fruit.

“It is important that we understand the mechanism of how the councils operate, that we are able to place our own people. We are going to encounter a lot of resistance, as we saw with the guardianship councilors and with the challenges of numerous candidates,” he says. “It is worth continuing this fight, remembering that, first, we must make sure that this system (the SNE) is not approved. Once approved, we will no longer have much room to wage this fight.”