Last Thursday (19th), the Rio de Janeiro Public Defender’s Office for Children and Youth went to court again with a request for the arrest of amounts related to the school food card provided to students in the municipal network of Rio de Janeiro, which is in arrears since the beginning of August.
On the 11th, based on a request filed by the Public Defender’s Office, the Court gave 48 hours for the City Hall to respond on the regularization of the recharge, with the credit of the amounts. In response on Wednesday (18), the City Hall argued that it suspended the recharge due to the opening of most schools and also stated that the agreement would only be valid for the year 2020.
The Defender’s Office alleges that students continue to take turns between in-person and virtual classes, making it necessary to continue the benefit to guarantee food security for students when they are not attending school in person. The agency states that the City Hall’s response violates clause five of the agreement signed in August 2020, which expressly states that the term “will be valid from the date of its signature and will last until the full return of in-person classes in the municipal public education system , suspended as a result of the covid-19 pandemic”.
“The right to food must be practical and effective. Opening the school cafeterias will not have good adhesion from the students, who have activities at home, serving as teaching hours and therefore need this card’s help to eat. We hope that the municipality will sympathize with this situation and understand that these families cannot be without the benefit”, explains the Coordinator of Childhood and Youth of the Defender’s Office, Rodrigo Azambuja.
What does City Hall say?
O Brazil in fact it sought out the Municipal Education Department for a position regarding the food card situation. In a statement, the press office informed that “Rio City Hall was surprised to receive yet another request from the Public Defender’s Office related to the food card, since the complete return to classroom classes has already occurred in 99.9% of municipal school units, which has been offering food to students”. According to the municipality, only those who are unable to go to school due to comorbidities continue to receive the food card.
Read more: RJ City Hall to cut food cards for students in the municipal network
The City Hall defends the return of classes and questions the Public Defender’s Office. “The Department of Education understands that the return of students to the classroom is urgent and that actions of this type do not contribute to the school life of students in municipal schools”, highlights the note.
understand the agreement
The agreement between the Municipality of Rio and the Public Defender’s Office was signed on August 12, 2020 with the objective of guaranteeing food for students who were left without lunch after the suspension of classes due to the social isolation measures resulting from the covid-19 . The recharge must be done, according to the terms of the agreement, always on the 10th of each month.
The amount of R$ 54.25 was established based on a study by the Annes Dias Nutrition Institute and corresponds to the amount needed to purchase foodstuffs that students consumed at school.
Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro
Edition: Jaqueline Deister