Even though there is no regulation on home education in the country, the CCJ (Committee on Constitution and Justice) of the Chamber approved this Thursday (10) a bill that amends the Penal Code to exclude from the crime of intellectual abandonment families that adopt the modality.
The project was a ploy by deputies from the pockets to try to open the way for teaching outside the school without necessarily respecting the rules and obligations on the modality — the details of which are under discussion in another bill under way in the Chamber. The advance with the change in the Penal Code was criticized by the opposition, mainly because this regulation does not yet exist.
The initiative to amend the Penal Code was led by deputy Bia Kicis (PSL-DF), president of the CCJ. The text is authored by her alongside the members of parliament of the same party Chris Tonietto (RJ) and Caroline de Toni (SC).
Now, the text goes to the plenary of the Chamber. This should not happen, however, before the regulation of home education is definitively appreciated by the deputies. Both texts need to pass through the Senate before starting to take effect.
The forecast is that the project that defines rules and obligations for home education, reported by Congresswoman Luísa Canziani (PTB-PR), will be placed on an urgent basis on Monday (14) and will go directly to the plenary the following day.
The report finalized this week by Canziani, to which the leaf had access, maintains provisions for controls such as the obligation to follow the national curriculum, higher education for parents, annual assessments and the possibility of loss of rights in case of failure.
This new version allows for a two-year transition period for higher education for parents. The text maintains the mandatory link with the school, with no possibility of formal action by entities that work with the theme — this was a demand from associations that defend the modality.
According to parliamentarians heard by the report, the Jair Bolsonaro government supports the report by Deputy Canziani.
Home education is the government’s only legislative priority in the area of education this year, within the so-called government customs guidelines. This has been criticized by specialists because of the lack of relationship with the great challenges of Brazilian education.
It is a historical agenda of religious groups. Therefore, the government wants, with approval, to give a nod to its support base guided by Christian and ideological principles.
Critics point out that the model is harmful to children and young people as it impedes interaction and the provision of a comprehensive education that the school allows. It would still make room for a sectarian education.
Defenders argue that the sport is a right of families and that thousands of supporters live in legal uncertainty. Estimates of interested families are uncertain: in 2019, the government announced that the measure would affect 31,000 families; previous note spoke at about 5,000.
Brazil has more than 47.3 million students in basic education, of which 81% are in the public network.
Currently, home education has no legal support, as enrollment from 4 to 17 years old is mandatory. The STF (Supreme Federal Court) has already considered that the modality is not unconstitutional, as long as it is regulated by the Legislative — hence the movement for this regulation.
The project of the parliamentary parliamentary members approved by the CCJ on Thursday changes article 246 of the Penal Code. The text says that anyone who “fails, without just cause, to provide primary education for a child of school age” is guilty of intellectual abandonment. The proposal includes an excerpt that excludes parents who adopt home education from this classification.
Of the 59 deputies who attended the CCJ session, 35 voted in favor and 24 against.
Folha contacted the three deputies who wrote the text, but did not get any feedback.
Contrary to home education, deputy Fernanda Melchionna (PSOL-RS) says that the matter serves the “ideological extreme right that supports the president” and takes instruments of action from the Public Ministry and tutelary councils.
“It decriminalizes a criminal offense that does not yet exist, and opens a gate so that all abandonment can be effectively legalized,” she said.
Deputy Professor Israel Batista (PV-DF) claims that it is a strategy for Congress to approve the regulation of home education in the midst of the pandemic.
“If this project passes, the parent who says he practices home education does not need to present proof. There is a consensus against this modality, especially at this moment, that school life is a child’s right”, he says. “It’s a goat in the room, and it forces us to opt for the least absurd.”
The government’s priority on the topic, he says, is a nod to noisy militancy of a religious, liberal hue and to a repressed, “quickly moving” market demand.
For Congresswoman Tabata Amaral (who left the PDT-SP), the project can cover up violence and abuse, in addition to the government’s priority revealing disregard for the challenges in the area.
“It is absurd that in the midst of a pandemic, with more than 5 million students out of school, an increase in dropout rates, a huge contingent of students who have not studied, the government’s investment is in favor of a project that will affect less than 1 % of students”, he says.