“An achievement of Brazilian society”. This is how the educational policy researcher and professor at the Federal University of ABC (UFABC) Fernando Cássio evaluates the National Textbook Program (PNLD), which the São Paulo government, headed by Bolsonarist Tarcísio de Freitas, wanted to abandon. The retreat only came after a court decision.
Tarcísio and the state secretary of Education, Renato Feder, announced on the 1st that the books, offered free of charge by the Ministry of Education (MEC), would be replaced by digital material, and the classes would be held with the support of slides. The change of plans was announced this Wednesday (16).
In an interview with Central do Brasil, a Brasil de Fato program in partnership with TVT, Fernando Cássio said that the PNLD, which has existed for decades, is not perfect and could be the target of criticism. However, it has a fundamental role for education in the country.
“Although we may have our criticisms of the PNLD, from the point of view of the concentration of contracts in the hands of large publishers, it is a program that distributes high-quality textbooks to public schools throughout Brazil, with professional printing. same ones that circulate in private schools, and are evaluated by specialists”, he pointed out.
Cássio also pointed out that the requirements of the PNLD have repercussions even on the private education network, since they induce publishers to make improvements in the materials as a whole. “The very way Brazilian society is portrayed, how diversity in the country is portrayed, this has changed in textbooks because of the PNLD, because of the requirements of public notices”, he summarized.
The expert points out that the measure that was announced (and later taken out of the picture) illustrates the way the São Paulo government acts in its most diverse instances. By making the decision unilaterally, the executive led by Tarcísio violated the principle of democratic school management, provided for in the Constitution.
“The Secretary of Education himself says that they would like to ‘avoid double command’: the book says one thing, the slide says another. any type of intellectual activity. He understands the teacher as a mere slider in the classroom, which shows a profound lack of knowledge about what education is and what is done in a classroom”, he pointed out, noting that Feder is technology entrepreneur.
In a note confirming that it had backtracked, the São Paulo government did not mention the judicial decision, and stated that it acted “from listening and dialogue with society”. According to Tarcísio’s administration, all public school students, in primary and secondary education, will have access to digital and printed material, which includes PNLD books and specific material from the public school system in São Paulo.
Check out the full interview with Fernando Cássio below:
Editing: Thalita Pires