One of the strategies for implementing policies and creating consensus is the appropriation of language resources that build narratives that do not correspond to reality. Contradictory terms are used in the same text, either to falsify its meaning or to generate reinterpretation and interpretation problems.
The objective is to produce consensus from confusion and misunderstanding, in order to ensure adherence to a favorable view of a particular group or class. This movement has been used by the Ministry of Education (MEC) to rescue an old measure, presented at the end of the Michel Temer government, which had as its objective an alleged expansion of the Federal Network of Professional and Technological Education (EPT).
Called to the MEC to discuss an apparent expansion proposal, ten deans of federal institutes in the country were faced with something similar to a Trojan Horse. Instead of seeing investments for the expansion of campuses, construction of new institutes and an increase in the number of students met, the federal government’s proposal is the fragmentation of existing units.
::Parliamentarians, professors and graduate students point out the ideological character of MEC performance::
In reality, the MEC only proposes the creation of ten new rectors to have the prerogative of appointing ten new rectors. The justification for the proposal – which, by changing the organization of the EPT in the country, opens up possibilities for changes that could generate consequences for the entire Federal Network – is the use of geographic criteria to facilitate the proximity of management to the campuses.
It is a fact that the proximity of the rectory to the units facilitates the participation and understanding of specific problems, as well as the construction of the institute’s local identity with its community.
However, the arrival of ten new rectors to the National Council of Institutions that make up the Federal Network (Conif) changes the relationship of political forces and makes room for the government, by appointing rectors “terribly” aligned with its policy, to interfere and open up possibilities for even bigger changes.
Thus, it is evident that the proposal diminishes the collegiate strength of Conif, which was also not formally consulted at the beginning of the debates, since only the rectors of the units that will be fractioned were called to the ministry to debate the matter.
In addition to creating the narrative that the government created ten new federal institutes (without building a classroom, laboratory or library, without increasing the number of places) one year before the presidential elections, the proposal also creates bureaucratic expenses for maintenance and funding of new rectors and pro-rectors.
In a context of tightening and cuts in public education funding, what is expected is that, if implemented, the government proposal will produce even more cuts in the other units of the federal network, since, in order to respect the spending ceiling, the budget should be split between all old and newly created units.
The measure needs to be aligned with other initiatives that are already underway and that aim to change specific parts of the law creating Federal Institutes (Law 11,892/2008). Among them, it should be noted the increase to 75% of enrollments in technical courses and the abandonment of the priority offer of integrated secondary education, which indicates that the institutes would now offer, for the most part, concomitant or subsequent courses.
In addition to attacking integrated secondary education, which has been achieving positive results in several aspects, the proposal represents a setback in the creation of IFs, since integrated and omnilateral vocational training will give way to training courses that will tend to be more superficial, partial and lightened.
With the current financial cuts and the addition of bureaucratic expenses by more than ten rectors, the forced exclusion of those who entered the IFs through inclusion policies is decreed: quilombolas, indigenous people, daughters and sons of small farmers, riverside dwellers and students from public schools.
Ultimately, it is an attempt to reinforce the Brazilian educational duality, within which poor students learn technical and low-paid professions and upper-class students access higher education
This is in line with recent statements by the Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro, – when he stated that the University cannot be for everyone and that now it was the turn of the Federal Institutes of Education, Science and Technology – signals for the interest in implementing counter-reforms that will distance the IFs from your original proposal. It seems that with the approval of the current package of measures, the Federal Institutes may only have the name.
::Article | University for a few: the minister of education and class prejudice::
In addition, the requirement of 75% of the offer of enrollments in technical courses generates a decrease in the offer of higher education courses (technological degrees, licensure, among others). The same situation tends to happen with the offer of postgraduate courses.
Although the offer of higher education courses and postgraduate courses is not the primary reason for the existence of Federal Institutes, it cannot be denied that, given the interiorized condition of the campuses, in many regions of the country, the interior population only has access to it. level of education due to the free offer that is assumed by the Federal Network.
Thus, there is a demand for higher education professionals that is also assumed by the Federal Institutes and that, with the new government proposals, will be abandoned.
From all that has been exposed, what can be seen is a reconfiguration of the social function of the Federal Institutes, which, from being granaries of scientific and technological training, from protagonists of regional development, should only occupy themselves with lightened, quick and focused training. for the poorest class.
In addition to reinforcing exclusion and inequality, the measure will also impact the regions served by the Federal Network, since the setbacks will be for everyone. It is a measure that, in addition to being controversial, is electoral, since it aims to build a narrative of the creation of 10 new Institutes, which in fact boils down to the appointment of 10 rectors and commissioned positions for its staff.
It should not be forgotten that the proposal was presented by the same government that has already tried to place interventors in some rectory. This measure, it should be noted, will take place primarily in the Northeast, a region where government approval is low. In this sense, the possibility that the divide-and-conquer strategy is one of the mottos of the proposal is not excluded, especially in the context of the Northeast.
As already stated, there is, here, a “Greek’s gift”, that is, an attempt to create a “Trojan Horse”, from which not only 10 new politically appointed rectors will emerge, but also new measures that will be crucial. for the continuity or discontinuity of the successful project of the Federal Institutes.
It is a way of changing, in the short or long term, the social function of the Federal Network, prioritizing the technicist and dualist model to the detriment of the offer of a polytechnic, omnilateral and emancipatory formation.
* Tiago Fávero de Oliveira is a philosopher, doctoral candidate at the Public Policy and Human Education Program (UERJ). Professor at IF Sudeste MG – Santos Dumont Campus.
** Gaudêncio Frigotto is a philosopher and pedagogue, master and doctor in Education. Retired full professor at the Fluminense Federal University (UFF) and currently an associate professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).
*** This is an opinion piece. The author’s vision does not necessarily express the editorial line of the Brazil in fact.
Edition: Vinícius Segalla