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Enem opens wide inequality in teaching and abandonment of MEC



BrasildeFato – The student Maria Eduarda Martins, 18 years old, lives in Florianópolis (SC) and, like other 5.7 million Brazilians, is in the final stretch of preparation for the National High School Exam (Enem).

The tests, which can guarantee that Maria Eduarda fulfills the dream of studying Psychology, will be applied on January 17th and 24th. The timetable is questioned by student organizations, which have been pressuring the Ministry of Education (MEC) to postpone the exam due to the difficulties imposed by the covid-19.

The account of the student from Santa Catarina makes it clear that the academic year 2020 was different from the previous ones. Classes at the College of Application at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), where she has been studying since the 9th grade, were suspended in March and resumed in the distance learning format in June.

“It is very difficult to focus on such a format, because nobody has ever done it before. We were caught by surprise ”, he laments. The College of Application offered classes from 9 am to 12 pm Monday to Friday during the pandemic, with 20 minutes for each subject.

“To complete the hours of these classes, I would have another 20 minutes of asynchronous activity (without real-time teacher access) ”, Adds the student. “It also got in the way a little bit, and we had to learn alone, practically. Because teachers, in general, used class time not to answer questions, but to pass on new content. It was very busy and very confusing. ”

To complement the learning, since September Maria Eduarda has resorted to classes available free of charge by a private college in Itajaí (SC) on Youtube. “In the morning I attended classes, in the afternoon I did activities, and at night I saw – and still see – the classes in this pre-Enem course.”

Although she studies at a public school, she faces the difficulties of distance learning (DE) and does not pay to attend complementary classes, the student from Florianópolis enjoys a resource that is not guaranteed to all young people in Brazil: the time to dedicate herself exclusively to studies.

This is not the case with Wellington Carlos de Souza Barbosa, 17, a student at Colégio Estadual São João, in Pato Branco (PR). Dismissed as a minor apprentice at Banco do Brasil due to the pandemic, he works with his father from 7 am to 5 pm in construction.

Distance classes are offered in the evening, and the school also offers printed activities. Wellington recognizes the teachers’ efforts in the pandemic, but says he would have to “redo” the third year to be able to get a good grade at Enem and enter the Civil Engineering course. So he didn’t even register for the exam.

“This year was practically lost”, he laments, remembering that many of his colleagues had difficulty accessing the internet and the application used for online classes.

“When we went deeper into the content of the 3rd year, the pandemic started. And as good as I am at school, at home I can’t study much, because my brother is in a wheelchair and my mother has a baby, there’s no time. I do not want to do (the Enem) to be done. I want to go there and pass ”.

Online classes deepened inequality between students from different social classes Photo: Disclosure / MCTI


Rozana Barroso, president of the Brazilian Union of Students
Secundaristas (Ubes), evaluates that the MEC does not offer minimum conditions
to take the exam in January.

“Whoever else works for Enem does not happen is the Ministry itself. They did not disclose the security measures that will be taken, they did not take into account the second wave of the coronavirus, they did not think about the structuring of public schools to receive these students and ways out for the digital exclusion, which makes the majority of Brazilian students have the right to education violated, ”he says.

The student leader, who will also take the exam, defends the postponement of tests. According to Rozana, the first postponement, from 2020 to January 2021, was a victory, but the MEC did not take the opportunity to improve the conditions for applying Enem.

The National Students Union (UNE) agrees that the tests should be postponed again because of the pandemic. “There was a plan to adapt to sanitary conditions for the test, launched in July, but we are experiencing an increase in cases of coronavirus, and there is no plan for this current situation”, warns the president of the institution, Iago Montalvão.

“There is fear among students that, when they go to take the test, they can contribute to an increase in contamination or if they become infected themselves, take the virus to their families”, he adds. “We have students in high-risk groups, with comorbidities, and there is a lack of information on what health security measures will be like on test days.”

UNE and Ubes claim that they made several questions to the MEC
on the topic, but there was no provision on the part of former Minister Abraham
Weintraub and the current head of the portfolio, Milton Ribeiro, to welcome
criticisms or jointly develop alternatives.

“Enem will be extremely difficult this year. Six hours of masking, without being able to eat, without being able to drink water, inside a classroom, ”predicts Maria Eduarda Martins, a student from Florianópolis, recalling the vague guidelines given by the Ministry so far. “The tension, which was already great at the time of the race, will be even greater.”

General coordinator of the National Campaign for the Right to Education, Andressa Pellanda sees two structural problems in the realization of Enem 2020. First, the lack of investment, in a government marked by policies of cuts and austerity, which prevented the guarantee of working conditions for professionals education and study for students.

Second, she points out that policies were designed without democratic construction with the school community, ignoring the realities and needs of students, parents and education workers.

“Performing Enem in this moment of sanitary emergency and ignoring
all the school exclusion of the past year is to reiterate a policy
exclusionary, classist and racist education ”, emphasizes Pellanda.

How will the proof

Created by MEC in 1998, Enem is used to assess students’ knowledge and enable them to enter higher education. The result of the test can be used to apply for vacancies in universities affiliated to the National Institute of Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep) or to private colleges.

On test days, candidates must bring an official identification document.
photo identification, transparent body ballpoint pen and
black paint and covid-19 protection mask.

Inep maintained the structure of the Enem tests. The exam has a total of 180 questions and an essay.

1st day (January 17th), with 5h30 duration

– 45 questions of Languages, Codes and their Technologies (Language
Portuguese, Literature, Physical Education, Arts and Foreign Language)

– 45 questions of Humanities and their Technologies (Philosophy, Geography, History and Sociology)

– Essay

2nd day (January 24th), with 5h duration

– 45 Mathematics and its Technologies questions

– 45 questions about Natural Sciences and its Technologies (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

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