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(en) Brazil, OASL: For the overthrow of the new High School, now! (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 21 Mar 2023 08:33:52 +0200

Soon after the 2016 legal-parliamentary coup, President Michel Temer proceeded with the so-called High School Reform. This project, which was a major attack on public education, was articulated by foundations, liberal institutes and organizations linked to big business and, many of these, economically associated with the US imperialists. ---- In response, in the same year, students resorted to direct action and occupied schools across the country to resist these changes. State governments responded with intense police repression, and right-wing organizations such as Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL) carried out attacks to forcibly vacate schools. Unfortunately, the reaction movement was stronger and the Reform was approved with Law 13.415/2017.

In this year of 2023, the New Secondary School was implemented across the country. As an impact, we observed a reduction in public schools of all components such as Portuguese, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Physical Education, History, Geography, Philosophy, Sociology and Arts. In its place, "training itineraries" and "elective subjects" were inserted, such as "Brigadeiro Caseiro", "Mundo Pets SA", "Arte de Morar", "Projeto de Vida" etc.

The immediate results of the reform can already be felt in the daily lives of public school educators and students. The reform disorganized the school, intensified the fragmentation of teaching work and substantially worsened the quality of public education. At the same time, it deepened the already existing social inequalities, since in the most expensive private schools, "complete" secondary education will be available to students from families that can pay high tuition fees. The reform also opened the door to more privatization and normalized the precarious "Distance Learning", which is already being offered in some public schools in the country (and advanced during the Covid-19 pandemic), through recorded classes and provided by private universities.

The objectives of the "New Secondary School" are very clear. Big capital and its defenders in the country - with the false discourse of "modernization" of education - are imposing an even more precarious model of education for the poorest, which aims to evade what was most critical in the curriculum and empty training required for access to higher education or specialized technical careers.

In addition, the reform has material interests, by strengthening through education a neoliberal subjectivity, of a student with fragmented ideas, from shallow disciplines, without the basic components of understanding reality and with precarious formations, which are in accordance with the process of precariousness and uberization offered by the big capitalists. In São Paulo, the material used as curriculum guidance for teachers is sponsored by iFood; in Mato Grosso, the development of the New Secondary School has been carried out, in a way, by the management of the S System (mainly by Sesi and Senai), in addition to having as a mandatory use the Plurall application, from Somos Educação, a giant in the sector that brings together several publishers and private schools.

As an argument, the big capitalists and their allies promise that this reform gives "freedom of choice" to the student and provides professional and entrepreneurial qualification to the student. But the reality is the imposition of training that is increasingly adequate to a world of precarious, outsourced work without rights.

Break with illusions: the reform must be revoked by popular struggle

The moderate and reformist left hopes that some action will be taken by President Lula, but let's be realistic: a large part of the members of the new government are in favor of the Reform, starting with vice-president Geraldo Alckmin himself. In addition, the Ministry of Education is fully equipped by the same entities that prepared this project, especially the Todos Pela Educação group - which has Ifood, Gol, Volkswagen and Bradesco and Itaú banks among its supporters. From the government transition team, we could observe the presence of big names in neoliberal education guiding the educational policy of the current Lula government. Despite the increase in the education category wage floor by the federal government, state governments simply do not meet the floor. In some states, such as Rio de Janeiro, it has been more than 8 years without a salary increase for state network professionals. In popular movements and unions (mainly those in education) we need to point to an immediate repeal of the New Secondary School and not accept any position that proposes to "soften" its impacts.

We understand that only the direct struggle in the streets will be able to build the necessary force for the repeal of the new Secondary School. It is through strikes, occupations and demonstrations that we can exert the necessary pressure to overthrow this Reform and advance towards a truly popular education. This struggle must go hand in hand with mobilization to ensure compliance with the national wage floor in education, wage readjustment for the category and an end to precarious forms of outsourcing in schools.

In our revolutionary horizon, we understand that this education must contemplate not only better conditions of work and study in the immediate plan, but in the profound change of social relations, placing the school under the control of its workers, discussing the role of education in a new society and pointing out towards a horizon where there is no longer any form of exploitation or oppression of any kind.

Coletivo Mineiro Popular Anarchista (COMPA)
Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FARJ)
Libertarian Socialist Anarchist Organization (OASL)
Libertarian Swoop (RL)

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