In a climate of protest against the Bolsonaro government, entities that bring together categories related to education went to Brasília airport this Monday (4) to welcome and pressure deputies and senators who arrive in the capital to participate in the legislative agenda of the National Congress.
The action integrates a week of mobilizations and aims to sensitize parliamentarians to a series of agendas, including: combating budget cuts on education; salary recomposition according to inflation for the segment, which has not been corrected since the beginning of the Bolsonaro administration; revocation of the Spending Ceiling; and filing of the administrative reform, materialized in the Constitutional Amendment Proposal (PEC) 32.
The mobilization is organized by the National Union of Teachers of Higher Education Institutions (Andes-SN) and by the National Union of Federal Servants of Basic, Professional and Technological Education (Sinasefe).
At the airport protest, the group especially highlighted the concern about the budgetary situation of education. The president of the Andes, Rivânia Moura de Assis, says that not only the successive cuts in resources in the area worry professionals, but also the contingency that the government has been making of previously approved funds.
The contingency takes place in a scenario of sharp and progressive reduction of funding for federal universities. Between 2015 and 2021, there was a 60% drop in these values, according to the National Association of Directors of Federal Education Institutions (Andifes).
At the end of May, the government announced a cut of around R$ 3.2 billion in funds from the Ministry of Education (MEC). The amount implies about 14.5% of the discretionary funds of the ministry and federal institutions, which took in more than R$ 22 billion. Management has put the issue at an impasse: at the beginning of June, it unlocked 7% of the value, but soon after, on June 9, it transferred 3% of the resources to other areas of management.
“This now brings a major concern: the 2022 budget, which is already reduced compared to 2021, which, in turn, is reduced compared to 2020, is a reduced budget to the point that several deans and deans announced the possibility of non-operation of universities and institutes until the end of 2022”, warns Rivânia de Assis.
Corruption in the Ministry of Education (MEC) is also a point of concern in the segment. Because of this, the installation of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) of the MEC appears on the list of demands. The idea of the collegiate is to investigate the scandal of the pastors involved in bribes and release of funds from the portfolio, one of the largest in the Bolsonaro government so far.
The request for the creation of the CPI was presented by more than 30 parliamentarians to the Senate last Tuesday (28), but awaits an official dispatch from the president of the House, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), for the commission to be installed.
The Andes leader recalls that the Bolsonaro government has neglected the area of education since the beginning of the administration, marked by a sequence of budget cuts in the sector, attacks on the autonomy of universities and dehydration of policies to encourage science, for example. These and other measures made the segment rise up against management at different times in the last three and a half years.
“Bolsonaro has been treating education since the 2018 campaign. It is a government that, among other things, plays against public education because it certainly understands the power that education has to make people think, the power of criticism, of questioning, of understanding and seek to transform society. This puts fear into a denialist government”, says Rivânia, mentioning the importance of popular protests against the administration.
Following the mobilization agenda, this Tuesday (5th) in the morning the entities will again go to Brasília airport to welcome and pressure the parliamentarians. They still foresee a concentration at 2 pm, in front of the Chamber of Deputies, to carry out the same agenda of demands.
The agendas in question also move other agendas projected by the group for this week: on Wednesday (6) in the morning, they meet with parliamentarians to discuss the budget for the sector; at 2 pm on the same date there will be a vigil in front of the Chamber and visits to deputies’ offices; finally, on Thursday (7), at 10 am, the segment will make a demonstration in Brasília for the immediate opening of the CPI of the MEC.
Editing: Thalita Pires