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Back to school is not a solution to children’s social vulnerability

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São Paulo – The discussion about back to school has become passionate and has made it difficult to carry out a realistic analysis of the situation in different cities, which are at different stages of the covid-19 pandemic. While education entrepreneurs press for the resumption of activities, teachers and specialists in education and health consider that the time is not yet adequate for this. In São Paulo, which suspended face-to-face classes on March 23, the forecast is to resume face-to-face activities on October 7. And the arguments have been that the most vulnerable children are experiencing psychological distress, domestic violence and starving.

“Children who are most vulnerable now, for
schools, they will also be more vulnerable with a
sloppy reopening. They are going to get sicker, they are going to get sick
take the virus home, they are in a more precarious situation than
private school children ”, evaluated the health specialist journalist Mariana
Varella, editor-in-chief of Portal Drauzio Varella, in a live organized by
National Campaign for the Right to Education to discuss back to school.

Mariana stressed that some of the most important measures before an eventual return to school are almost nonexistent in Brazil: contact tracking and extensive testing. These are recommendations, for example, from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a United States agency equivalent to the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), in Brazil. Allied to a strong reduction in coronavirus transmission, which is not yet the case in the country, these parameters are also recommended by the Osvaldo Cruz Foundation (FioCruz) for a safe return to school.

Food and safety

One way out of the issue of children’s social vulnerability would be to use the structure of education to support social assistance actions. In addition to the development of policies to help children and their families in the midst of the pandemic. Increased food aid, equipment and internet access to accompany classes, active search for cases of domestic and sexual violence would be measures that could improve the situation without necessarily an unsafe return to school.

In the case of food, for example, the Municipal Secretary of Education, Bruno Caetano, reiterated yesterday (23) criticisms of the government of Jair Bolsonaro and the Ministry of Education for not releasing the resources of school meals to increase the value of food aid. The capital of São Paulo alone has approximately R $ 100 million at rest that could be used to support the food of the most vulnerable families. In other words, it would not be necessary for children to go back to school to have access to meals, political will would suffice.

Back to school fallacies

Another fallacious argument about back to school is
that the children’s parents need to go back to work or look for a job. By
proposals presented so far, children would only have face-to-face classes
a day or two a week. Still, at reduced hours. In Sao Paulo,
only 30% of children will be able to be in schools in each room. On the other days,
would be at home, doing online activities, being cared for by parents or
other relatives – which increases the risk of children taking the virus to
contaminate your family.

Another problem, highlighted by data analyst Ananias Oliveira, researcher for the Rede Analysis Covid-19 project, is that many schools do not have the structure to guarantee hygiene measures when they return to school. “There is no way to think about school outside the pandemic. There is no single protocol in an uncontrolled pandemic. Have you opened a bar yet? One error does not eliminate the other. Errors are cumulative. In 16% of schools in Brazil there is no sink, nothing. Another 50% have no sewage. Back is flat, it is dangerous. We need to open schools, but open safely, ”he said, also participating in the live of the National Campaign for the Right to Education.

Documents of the Court of Auditors of the Municipality of São
Paulo show that public schools in the richest city in the country suffer daily
lacking toilet paper, hand washing soap and paper towels. An
research conducted by the Union of Teachers of Official Education of the State
of São Paulo (Apeoesp) shows that the situation is no different in schools in
state network.

Technical indicators

The Osvaldo Cruz Foundation (FioCruz) released, in the beginning of September, a broad technical document with contributions for the return to school in the context of the pandemic. Among other aspects, he highlights that it is necessary that the transmission of the new coronavirus is below one new case per day for every 100 thousand inhabitants. And that the contagion rate is 0.5 or less – which means 50% fewer new cases in a week, compared to the previous week.

In addition, it indicates that the occupancy rate of intensive care units for covid-19 should be up to 25%. Today, in São Paulo, which already has a date for returning to school, none of these conditions are met in any of the 22 regions of the state. FioCruz also suggests extensive testing and tracking of contacts as essential for the safe return of face-to-face activities. As well as ensuring the supply of hygiene materials for students and education workers.

The foundation also stresses that more important than rushing back to school is ensuring public policies to protect students and their families. “In view of the direct and indirect harmful effects on the health of the school population, the Brazilian State must be able to develop specific public policies to address each point of vulnerability and risk suffered by children and adolescents, such as food security, mental health and protection against exposure to violence ”, says FioCruz.

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Economy

11 million Bolivians will have free vaccine against covid

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São Paulo – Former Bolivian President Evo Morales commented, this Wednesday (21st), the importance of youth in the electoral process that led Luis Arce, from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), to victory in the presidential election of October 18 . “Young people saw what it is like to live under the right and the dictatorship. And they reflected on how we were with our revolution and how we were under the coup, ”he said. Evo was overthrown by a coup in November 2019 that brought lawyer and TV presenter Jeanine Áñez to the presidency. With 90% of the official count completed. at 3:40 pm on this Wednesday (21st), Luis Arce approaches 55% of the valid votes. “What was at stake on October 18 was to go back to the past with the privatists or continue to the future with the nationalists,” said Evo Morales in an interview with Breno Altman (watch below).

Asked how the country will recover from the economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, he replied that it will be with the presence of the state. The Bolivian guaranteed that Bolivia will normalize relations with China, Cuba, “some European countries” and Russia. “Those who once asked for market, market, market, now say State, State State, in the face of the pandemic.”

Vaccine against covid-19

“We are going to face the pandemic. When we have the vaccine, we will distribute it to all 11 million Bolivians for free. ” According to him, tackling the pandemic and the crisis will be done through joint work between the federal government, governors and mayors.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro not only boycotts health policies, but goes further. On Wednesday, he forbade the country to buy the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, which would have 46 million doses through negotiations with the state of São Paulo announced the day before by the Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello. “I don’t give up my authority”, justified the Brazilian’s head of state.

South America

About neighbors in South America, Evo Morales highlighted the “profound ideological and programmatic difference” between MAS and the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, from Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the former Argentine president Mauricio Macri. But it was diplomatic. “Whether it is left or right, we must work together respecting our differences. South Americans cannot be isolated, ”he said.

Morales acknowledged that he may have been mistaken as president. “I was wrong, but I am a human being,” he said. “Now we have experience in public management, and we are going to take Bolivia forward, united, organized.” He affirmed that the new government will make “a pact of union between the parties of the right, businessmen and workers, a great national agreement, to raise the economy”, adding: “The moment is to consolidate our process of change, democracy does not end on election day ”.

Evo has been in Argentina since December 2019, where he went into exile after the coup in the country. He said that the return to his country still has no forecast. In an interview with BBC Brazil, the president-elect was not positive about the possible participation of the ex-president in the new government. “If Evo Morales wants to help us, he will be very welcome. But that does not mean that Morales will be in the government. It will be my government, ”he said.

Check out Evo Morales interview with Breno Altman

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