In this period when we started to talk about social reconstruction, since the vaccination of the population against Covid-19, albeit timid, shows results in the reduction of deaths, it is necessary to focus on the resumption of links with universities.
It is urgent to discuss public policies that make it possible to face the impact of the pandemic on higher education, as well as the scrapping of public universities, which has been taking place since 2016.
Changing the message given to poor, peripheral and black youth, who, by entering Brazilian public universities, have been making them more plural. Yes, these youth can reach higher education, but they will not find the islands of excellence that characterized them in federal universities, the space where efforts to expand scientific investment were concentrated.
On the contrary, they will face deteriorating buildings, starving laboratories, due to the lack of state investment. Or worse, with universities stigmatized as a place of riot and drug addicts. Everything points to a political project that aims to return to the recent past, when higher education was something exclusive to the Brazilian “elite”.
In a government that bets on the dismantling of science, culture and critical thinking, the democratization of education is hindered and the bottlenecks that distance the vulnerable population from the desired dignified life, via schooling, become narrower. It is in this scenario that the question arises: “Why go to university?”.
It’s been a little while leaf informed that, according to Inep (National Institute of Educational Studies and Research), in 2021 we had the lowest number of enem enrollments since 2008, when the test was not yet used as a gateway to higher education.
This lack of motivation among our youth is aggravated by the pandemic that affects more the population that had less access to the necessary means to take advantage of distance learning. In 2020, more than 1.8 million students did not have electronic equipment to study, and 6 million did not have internet access, according to IPEA. Another study, by Instituto Unibanco e Porvir, reveals that 40% of young blacks between 15 and 17 years old do not have a computer or internet at home.
It is not by chance that this week’s article in Jornal Nacional, dealing with the reduction in the number of enrollments in Enem, had interviewees all black and black.
Researcher Vinícius de Oliveira, from the Education Observatory, points out that black youth with less access to computers and the Internet to monitor classes may have felt little motivated to take Enem and enter higher education. The study also indicates that 30% of young blacks do not intend to return to school after the pandemic.
The challenge is how to face the “culture of school failure”. A Unicef study pointed out that, in 2019, 2.1 million students failed in Brazil and more than 620,000 dropped out of school.
It is essential that we make a joint effort by the government, society and the school community to know, debate and face the “culture of school failure”. Or the “school failure project.”
It is necessary to review the curricula, the assessment of learning and school routines, creating inclusive spaces, in which everyone has the right to trajectories of school success”, says Ítalo Dutra, head of Education at UNICEF in Brazil.
Rebuilding requires creating the political conditions that make it possible to design and implement projects that move in a more democratic direction. And that certainly depends on the choice we will make in the next election.
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