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Brazil may take three years to recover deficit



São Paulo – The year 2020, marked by the covid-19 pandemic, opened up social inequality in Brazil and brought up another issue: the huge gap in all levels of education. The problem is an old one, but it got worse during the last year, mainly due to school dropout. A survey commissioned by the digital bank C6 Bank, carried out by the Datafolha Institute, points out that about 4 million Brazilian students, aged between 6 and 34 years old, dropped out of school in 2020, which represents an 8.4% dropout rate school.

Also according to the survey, students from lower social classes also led the dropout rates. The rate was 54% higher among students in classes D and E.

In an interview with Current Brazil Radio, the president of the National Confederation of Education Workers (CNTE), Heleno Manoel Gomes Filho, estimates that these figures show, however, “that the inadequate quality of education, which was offered in public schools in the country due to lack of investments” is not enough to justify the high dropout rate. According to the president of CNTE, the current method of remote education and the financial, and even family, difficulties of students, also weigh on the drop in school participation.

School deficit

“The students did not have the appropriate equipment, connection, adequate environment to study, autonomy to develop their studies, nor did they have an adult to help in this interaction of the emergency remote process, which was new for us in 2020. And of course, consequently, many of these students, for lack of conditions and encouragement to continue their work, gave up ”, observes Heleno.

The consequences of school dropout, however, are diverse, as warns the professor at the University of Brasília (UNB) and director of the National Campaign for the Right to Education, Catarina de Almeida Santos.

“I always say that I am afraid of the covid generation, which is not the generation that was excluded during the pandemic, it will be worse because it can continue to be excluded after the 2020 pandemic, even with the decisions of the education system. So we can have a number of people who did not continue their studies and this generates a demand for the education system, which will increase the distortion between age and grade and will make the entire educational process more generally delayed than it already is. ” The expert also estimates that it will take at least three years to recover this deficit in the educational process.

Where’s the Ministry of Education?

Catarina also disputes the automatic approval carried out by institutions in the country last year. Municipal and state schools in São Paulo, for example, chose to pass grade students even though there was no certainty about the assimilation of content. For the UNB teacher, by approving the student without having acquired the knowledge of the school year, schools are ignoring the gap, also increasing the chances of this student leaving school.

For the president of CNTE, school dropout places an urgent need for greater resources on the part of the Ministry of Education. As well as the creation of projects prepared by professionals in the field, parents, students, and municipal, state and federal governments to prevent the continuity of the school gap.

Check out the interview

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Municipal schools in São Paulo record 3 deaths and 386 cases of covid-19 after returning to school




São Paulo – Municipal schools in the city of São Paulo had three deaths from covid-19 and 569 confirmed cases among students and professionals in 256 teaching units, according to a survey by the five unions that organize municipal education workers. Some of the teachers and other education workers are still on strike demanding the suspension of face-to-face classes due to the high risk of contamination by the new coronavirus, in addition to the imminent risk of collapse in health. The Municipal Secretary of Education of the government Bruno Covas (PSDB) does not divulge the cases and says only that 12 schools had to be closed since the beginning of classes.

For workers, there are no safe conditions for resuming face-to-face classes in schools in the city of São Paulo, especially in the midst of the worsening pandemic. Among the main problems, they point to the lack of ventilation in the classrooms, materials for protection and hygiene – such as 70% alcohol gel and masks distributed by the Covas government – of low quality, impossibility to maintain the distance in early childhood education units, lack of teachers, lack of support teams.


The Covas government itself assumed that the preparation of the schools was insufficient when, two days before the return to school, it began to inform families that the resumption would be postponed, because 530 schools were still under renovation or without cleaning staff hired to work in the units.

Workers also point out that there is a lack of clarity in the protocols for cases of covid-19 in schools. In some regions, only the person with symptoms is excluded. In others, everyone who had contact. In still others, the entire school is closed. Workers attribute this situation to the dismantling of the Health Surveillance Coordination (Covisa), last year, the body responsible for defining health rules, but which today is subordinate to the Municipal Secretary of Health. And, therefore, without decision-making power.

According to the Union of Workers in Public Administration and Municipalities in the Municipality of São Paulo (Sindsep), the resumption of classroom activities in schools in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic was not preceded by a technical opinion that estimated the risks, made projections and defined clearly the procedures when cases of covid-19 appeared in schools. Sindsep says that the information was passed on by professionals from the Municipal Health Secretariat, at the Technical Desk of Covid-19, on February 23.

Political and authoritarian

The RBA questioned the Municipal Health Department four times about the technical opinion that supported the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools amid the covid-19 pandemic, but had no answer. Last year, Covisa took a stand against back to school on several occasions. This year, however, the Covas government decided that the resumption could take place even during the red and orange phases of the quarantine, when the risk of contamination by the new coronavirus is substantially greater.

“The decision of Covas and the municipal education secretary, Fernando Padula, in February, was a political decision, without a favorable technical opinion from health experts from the city itself, or from Covisa, an organ that was dismantled by Covas and lost its autonomy . Health was consulted only on the elaboration of protocols for the functioning of schools, but not on the epidemiological risks of reopening at that time. This statement belies the Municipal Department of Education, which has stated that the reopening of schools has been based on the position of the Municipal Department of Health, ”said the president of Sindsep, Sérgio Antiqueira.

Workers are studying to report the situation to the Municipal Health Council and the Public Ministry

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