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5 urgent questions of Brazilian education that the new minister Abraham Weintraub will face

Pasta has change of command after three months of crises and controversies under Ricardo Vélez; fund of education funding, curriculum base and Enem realization are among thorny issues to be solved in the MEC.


By Paula Adamo Idoeta, BBC - 9/04/2019 10h47  Updated há 3 horas

Proof notebooks for the Enem 2018 - Photo: Ana Carolina Moreno / G1
Proof notebooks for the Enem 2018 - Photo: Ana Carolina Moreno / G1

After a series of crises, President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Monday the exoneration of Ricardo Vélez that left the Ministry of Education ( MEC ). He will be replaced at the post by economist Abraham Weintraub.

In three months of management, Vélez left a trail of problems and controversies, exemplified by internal disputes within the MEC - between distinct wings, such as technical, ideological and military - by appointments to key positions that did not materialize and by the convened (quickly repealed) for schools to film students singing the national anthem.

Educational experts and researchers also complained about the paralysis of the pulp, one of the most important of the government and responsible for the educational policy that guides the work of the 184 thousand schools in Brazil and for the application of tests such as the Enem is at risk), among other tasks.

The new Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub - Photo: Casa Civil, PR
The new Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub - Photo: Casa Civil, PR

Weintraub holds a degree in Economics from USP, which was considered close to Minister of Civil Household Onyx Lorenzoni and ideologist Olavo de Carvalho (as well as his predecessor) and was involved in Social Security reform. His name is not unanimous in the industry and is criticized for not having experience in the area of ​​educational management.

Daniel Cara, general coordinator of the National Campaign for the Right to Education, says that Brazil has the tradition of "nominating male academic ministers who do not understand Pedagogy or policies for basic education."

Then he and two other education experts consulted by BBC News Brazil list - and explain - what they consider to be the most urgent issues to be faced by the MEC in the new management:

1. Financing model is about to expire

Most of the money that finances Brazil's public basic education comes from Fundeb, the Fund for Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Valorization of Education Professionals, which provides money for states and municipalities to apply in their school networks.

They are about R $ 150 billion per year, coming from taxes such as ICMS and federal transfers mandated by the Constitution.

The problem is that Fundeb has a deadline to end: 2020. After next year, therefore, the financing model of public education will become a mystery.

"It is the most urgent issue of the MEC, because Fundeb finances about 80% of all 40 million public enrollments (basic education)," says Daniel Cara.

In Congress, says Cara, the possibilities for extending, reforming or even eliminating the Fundeb model are under debate, but the discussion is "still."

Under MEC, "the portfolio must present a proposal for the revision of the Fundeb and say whether it will be in charge or the Ministry of Economy (since the fund is linked to tax collection)," says João Marcelo Borges, director of the All For Education organization.

Ricardo Vélez fell after three months of controversy, internal disputes and comings and goings in the MEC - Photo: Fábio França / G1
Ricardo Vélez fell after three months of controversy, internal disputes and comings and goings in the MEC - Photo: Fábio França / G1

Last year, federal MP Dorinha Seabra Rezende (DEM-TO) said that the end of Fundeb without a clear substitution "would be a mess to public education." In nearly 1.8 thousand poorest municipalities, almost all of the funds invested in education comes from outside, complementing the Fundeb.There are municipalities that (without the fund) will not have the money to pay for personnel or school transportation, "said Agência Brasil.

2. Implement the Curricular Base

In December 2017, the MEC approved the new National Curricular Common Base ( BNCC ), a document that points to the learning considered essential for Brazilian public and private schools, from elementary education to secondary education (secondary education was the subject of separate reform, of the next item).

One of the main objectives is to establish parameters that help bring equity to Brazilian education, regardless of where the student studies. Now, as the base is incorporated into the municipal, state and private networks, "it is the federal government's responsibility to translate (the guidelines) into school curricula and play a coordinating role, to make it happen," he says. Claudia Costin, director of the Center of Excellence and Innovation in Educational Policies (CEIPE) of FGV Rio. "This means training teachers and creating appropriate materials."

For Daniel Cara, however, a major drawback is that the BNCC has little support in the teacher base, as it is seen as something imposed by the government (still under Michel Temer's management) without a channel for dialogue and listening with teachers and their practical reality.

New National Literacy Policy may indicate the "prioritization of literacy in the first year of elementary school" - Photo: Colégio Uirapuru / Divulgação
New National Literacy Policy may indicate the "prioritization of literacy in the first year of elementary school" - Photo: Colégio Uirapuru / Divulgação

New National Literacy Policy may indicate the "prioritization of literacy in the first year of elementary school" - Photo: Colégio Uirapuru / Divulgação

At the same time, Borges, from Todos Pela Educação, recalls that the MEC launched in early April a project to support the implementation of the BNCC, which for this year provides for much of the training of teachers and the revision of pedagogical projects of public schools.

"Now, we need to know if there will be continuity of this program (with the new management of the MEC), to turn this into practice in the classroom," he says.

3. Towards high school reform

Parallel to the BNCC, at the end of 2018, the National Education Council, still under the Temer administration, approved a specific reform for secondary education, which provides that the students of this stage have a greater study load and the possibility of choosing some subjects that they want or not.

The move was expected to bring the changes into effect by 2020. But this reform is moving at a slow pace, according to experts heard by BBC News Brazil.

President of the National Campaign for the Right to Education, points out that the reform - which has also been criticized during its course of action - will require more resources in the States (responsible for most public high schools), something that must be tackled in disputes political-economic.

Enem exam in 2018;  test print runs risk after bankruptcy of graphics - Photo: G1 / G1
Enem exam in 2018; test print runs risk after bankruptcy of graphics - Photo: G1 / G1

The quality of secondary education is especially worrying because it is currently the main bottleneck of Brazilian education - a stage in which few public policies have had effects until now.

According to the most recent data from the Basic Education Development Index (Ideb), no Brazilian state reached its target for high school in 2017, and some states even recorded a decline in student performance.

It is also a stage with a high dropout rate: about 3 million young people drop out of high school each year, on average.

4. Teacher training

Costin, from FGV, recalls that the training of Brazilian teachers is considered too theoretical and distant from the reality that teachers face in the classroom. As a result, it becomes a major obstacle to quality education.

At the end of last year, MEC presented an initial proposal for reform - the Common National Base for the Training of Teachers of Basic Education -, which brings suggestions, such as making Pedagogy courses more focused on the practice and the competences envisaged in the students' BNCC .

Borges and Costin argue, however, that the document has been stuck in the MEC since then, without progress. The ministry's press office told BBC News Brazil that it would consult the area responsible for reporting a timetable for the teaching base. This report will be updated with the answer.

5. Enem, literacy test and other assessments at risk

The announcement of the bankruptcy of the printing press that has printed since 2009 the Enem (National High School Examination) has created tensions about the test, scheduled for November. Because it is an impression with strong security and logistic requirements, it has to occur months in advance.

In a note dated April 2, the MEC states that the timeline for the Enem is maintained, "with all dates running normally and the events scheduled for 3 and 10 November."

"Regarding the bankruptcy of the contracted graphics company for the layout and printing of proof books for this year's Enem edition, the municipality is evaluating safe alternatives," the note continues.

The problem becomes greater with the turbulence in the Inep, organ of the MEC responsible for the Enem and other evaluations of the Brazilian education. The president of the organization, Marcus Vinícius Rodrigues, was fired by Ricardo Vélez two months after taking office, in the midst of a crisis due to another assessment: the child literacy.

Here is the controversy: in March, the MEC announced that it would suspend the evaluation of children in literacy for two years, but, in the face of the negative repercussion of the measure, it has backtracked. Rodrigues lost his job in this episode.

For Borges, of All for Education, the timeline of the Enem is "cause for great concern" and the same is repeated with other evaluations. "Proof Brazil (which evaluates the learning of students in the 5th and 9th years of elementary school) also had its preparations late. Three and a half months (of management of the MEC) were lost."

For Claudia Costin, it is important to ensure that type assessments happen on schedule because "education is an area prone to self-deception."

"Brazil has built a tradition of getting education data, even if it does not use that data well, but this information is a first step in improving education," he said.


WHO and WHAT is behind it all ? : >

The bottom line is for the people to regain their original, moral principles, which have intentionally been watered out over the past generations by our press, TV, and other media owned by the Illuminati/Bilderberger Group, corrupting our morals by making misbehavior acceptable to our society. Only in this way shall we conquer this oncoming wave of evil.



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