Since 2016, indigenous teachers in Bahia have been demanding advances in the career plan and salaries of the category with the Department of Education, in the face of what they point out as institutional racism. To understand what has happened, it is important to know how the category managed to guarantee the right to indigenous education in the state.
Verônica Pataxó is from the Pataxó people of Coroa Vermelha, a village located in the extreme south of Bahia, in the city of Santa Cruz de Cabrália. A teacher for eight years and currently vice-director of the Coroa Vermelha Indigenous State School, which offers secondary education to young Pataxó in the territory, she explains that indigenous education currently “has the principle of being specific, differentiated, intercultural and multilingual. indigenous school education also to strengthen our languages that had previously been banned in schools.”
In 2011, indigenous peoples had an achievement with the creation of the career of indigenous teachers, by the state of Bahia, based on Law 12,046. However, the contest only actually took place in 2013, after much demand from indigenous leaders. And for this contest to take place, the current law had to be modified, as Verônica explains.
“The first change in the Law took place because, in 2013, there was not a sufficient number of teachers with higher education in the state. Therefore, the competition had to be for admission to High School. in receipt of subsidy.”
Receiving a subsidy means that indigenous teachers receive a fixed salary, without bonuses for exclusive dedication, for example, which makes the salary lower than that practiced for other teachers in the state. According to Verônica, this implies career stagnation, in addition to being discriminatory.
“This is inappropriate. It is discriminatory that the indigenous teacher approved in a public contest has lower remuneration than the others in the state public network. It takes eight years of study and investigation, and only from 2020 to 2021 will we be able to have a legal support”, says the teacher.
The impact of this scenario on education as a whole can be seen in the little interest of young people in working as teachers in the state network, which causes a deficit of qualified professionals to teach in high school. As of 2021, when the updated table of receipts for state teachers was released, the indigenous category once again mobilized and denounced this disparity on social media.
Faced with the demonstrations, the State Department of Education opened a dialogue, however without meeting the demands of indigenous professionals. “We are feeling cheated by the Secretariat, because agreements were made, deadlines were given and nothing was fulfilled”, he vents.
Currently, the demands of indigenous teachers are in the Civil House awaiting the approval of Governor Rui Costa (PT). The deadline given by the government was the month of March this year, but approval has not yet been made.
Despite the slowness on the part of the government, Verônica Pataxó expects that rights will be guaranteed. “There’s a phrase from a song of ours that we sing in festive moments or in fights that says ‘Indian, in the fight, he doesn’t get tired, he lives in the fight full of hope’. I don’t want to say that I don’t have any perspective of improvement I have to have it, because if we don’t, we give up on living, we give up on working. Our struggle has been an arduous one. My expectation is that Governor Rui Costa can understand, read the whole thing”, he concludes.
Source: BdF Bahia
Editing: Jamile Araujo