Inep (National Institute of Educational Studies and Research) is experiencing the greatest crisis in its history, as a result of the resignation of coordinators and managers of key areas of the national assessment system. Thus, the dismantling process of the autarchy, which has been taking place since the beginning of the Bolsonaro government, is aggravated.
The current president, Danilo Dupas Ribeiro, the fourth in the current government, has completely lost the conditions to continue in office, due to his technical unpreparedness, as pointed out by the 35 coordinators and managers who handed over their positions.
Inep’s metastasis takes place 13 days before the Enem, putting at risk the main gateway to higher education for millions of young people across the country.
Not only it, but also the Census of Education, a fundamental measure for the distribution of Fundeb funds, the main source of funding for basic education. The Saeb, proof of the assessment of this level of education to be carried out later this month, could also be compromised. The same can happen with Enade, aimed at evaluating higher education.
In a nutshell, the institutional framework, which has been hard-wired since the 1990s and responsible for the dissemination of the evaluation culture in our country, is being deconstructed.
Since then, Inep has been strategic in defining public policies based on scientific evidence revealed by the evaluation system. Before that, educational policies were blindly constructed, as they lacked scientific instruments for their definitions.
The biggest harmed by the serious crisis installed in the autarchy are our millions of young people. Concern about its negative impacts led the National Council of Education Secretaries (Consed) to release a note in which it states that so far Inep has not presented “studies, determined by law, for decisions on the distribution of resources”, causing damage to municipalities and states.
He also complains about the possible emptying of the Saeb, because in many municipalities the test will be applied after the Enem.
This becomes even more serious because this year’s Saeb is the first to be carried out in the context of the pandemic, which would provide extremely important elements to assess its impact on the educational formation of children and young people. This was a period in which classes took place virtually, only recently returning to a semi-normality. It is certain that this will have a negative impact on the Basic Education Development Index (Ideb) to be released in 2022, based on the 2021 Saeb.
The 35 dismissers are career employees, highly technically qualified and experienced as managers of the evaluation system. Mostly they belong to the strategic Management and Planning Department, which is responsible for the complex logistics and supervision of Enem’s contracts.
Human capital of this magnitude is not replaced overnight and without prejudice to the good performance of the exam.
The trigger for Inep’s biggest crisis was the refusal of its president, Dupas Ribeiro, to be part of the Incident and Response Team, a kind of crisis committee, responsible for solving unforeseen events that may occur during the course of Enem and Enade.
Traditionally, the president of the municipality participates in this group, but Dupas preferred to disrespect it so as not to assume responsibility for any problems that may arise.
Dupas Ribeiro lacks leadership skills, technical knowledge and willingness to dialogue. And there is still omission and arrogance.
The dismissals did not happen for ideological or union reasons, as the resigners insisted in a public note. They happened because Dupas did not recognize the minimum conditions to preside over such a strategic body for education as Inep.
Proof of this is his absolute absence in search of a solution that would pacify the institution and ensure the satisfactory performance of the exams under his responsibility. The president of the National Education Council, Maria Helena Guimarães, who has been trying to forge an understanding to overcome the crisis, is a former executive secretary of the MEC and is deeply knowledgeable about the evaluation system, having participated in its construction, during the administration of Paulo Renato Souza . Astonishingly, Dupas refrained from talking to Maria Helena.
With no minimum attributes for the position, Dupas Ribeiro only remains in the position because he is a friend of minister Milton Ribeiro, who resists firing him. Both come from Mackenzie University and have no experience as public education managers.
They are strangers in the nest, they rose to positions through subservience to an ideological educational policy, responsible for the general crisis of the Ministry of Education itself. In governments minimally committed to public education they would have been fired months ago.
But Inep’s crisis is the legitimate child of the Bolsonaro government’s neglect of education. For this reason, Milton Ribeiro and Danilo Dupas Ribeiro will remain untouchable in their positions.