An environmental preservation and recovery project that has been carried out for around 5 years in the Campanha region, in the south of RS, was once again highlighted last week. This is an action called “Protecting the Waters of Pampa”, carried out by the Instituto Cultural Padre Josimo (ICPJ) in partnership with Usina Pampa Sul and the cooperative of agrarian reform settlers Cooptil.
Through the project’s actions, more than 200 water sources and springs located in the municipalities of Hulha Negra, Aceguá and Candiota received interventions for their protection or recovery. The person who once again put this activity in the spotlight was the Chico Mendes State School, which has a fountain on its land protected by the project that has been transformed into a living classroom for students, teachers and school staff whose school community is essentially made up of settled families. from the base of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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Located in the Santa Elmira settlement, the Chico Mendes State School has a strong involvement in environmental preservation issues, having already planted an agroforest, installed a medicinal plant garden, an agroecological vegetable garden and a cistern for water collection. and use of rainwater.
“All spaces are used as living laboratories where our students have the opportunity to participate, interact, take home knowledge and reflections that could make a difference in their daily lives”, explains professor Cenira Hahn. She followed the project that was selected by the 13th Regional Education Coordination (Bage region) and presented during the last 4 days of the 46th ExpoInter, in Esteio, in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre.
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“What we learn from the projects, we take into our lives. In this case, regarding the protection of sources, only those who go through the situation of running out of water on their lot know the difference it makes when they have a preserved source to guarantee water for people and animals”, says Marcelo Pereira Ferreira, 13 years old, seventh year student. The student was responsible for presenting the project to fair visitors. Marcelo and his family are agrarian reform settlers and live in the Banhado Grande settlement, where they have already experienced severe difficulties in recent periods of prolonged drought that have hit the region repeatedly in the last 4 years.
In the two interactive models produced by the students, Marcelo demonstrates what happens to an area where the source is not preserved and suffers from inappropriate human intervention, animal trampling, contamination by agricultural poisons or even the expansion of the crop area. And it brings the counterpoint to the space where the fountain is preserved by the project’s actions, receiving planned interventions so that the water can continue to be used rationally and safely, surrounded so that it is not trampled on by animals and vegetation so that it is free from any type of contamination.
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Another point highlighted by the student is the quality of the water, which is monitored in the sources protected by the project through a laboratory linked to the Federal University of Pampa (Unipampa). In the analysis documents presented by the student it is possible to see the change in water quality through the first analyzes (where it was unfit for human consumption) until the current period (when a level of purity has been reached that indicates the possibility of human consumption with peace of mind and security).
Student and teacher point out that in addition to the work developed directly in the protected source space and other projects implemented around the school, a series of other derived activities take place, such as texts, games, conversation circles, lectures, technical visits, among others.
“This contributes to the formation of critical and conscious citizens who are capable of acting in the protection and preservation of the environment” points out Marcelo. “When we participate in a space like this, we first have an opportunity to show the importance of the work of rural schools”, believes Cenira, adding that it also represents “an alternative not only in our region, but an experience that can be reproduced in other regions ”.
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On Saturday (2) teacher Cenira and student Marcelo were surprised by special visits. Three technicians who work on fountain preservation actions went to Esteio to see the presentation at ExpoInter. Equally committed to agrarian reform, the workers demonstrated happiness and emotion in seeing that the project’s actions are having repercussions in areas far from the territory where they take place, setting a good example of what has been practiced in the campaign region so that it can encourage other similar actions in other countries. corners of the state or even the country.
“It is a great satisfaction to be able to see that the actions we carry out to preserve the environment serve the learning of our children at school and that they can be demonstrated to other people here at Expointer”, stated Valmir do Amaral. In the same sense, Nei Augusto Pereira said, “it is always good to feel that with our work we are doing our part to preserve nature, helping to avoid situations such as drought and warming with the care we can take when taking care of water , trees and people”.
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“They are also students and teachers”, points out the director of the ICPJ, Frei Sérgio Görgen, speaking of the workers dedicated to the fountain preservation project. They had to learn from what had already been researched and developed, but they also had to research alternatives for situations that were not known to have happened before, exactly as students and researchers do in schools and universities,” he pointed out. “Then they started teaching us, sharing and multiplying their learning with us, with the families where the sources are located and even in these spaces of interaction with students and teachers in schools, like Chico Mendes, who receive actions from ICPJ projects and their partners,” he stated.
Recognition of the 13th CRE
From a total of 140 registrants, 15 projects from rural schools were selected from all regional Education Coordinators in the state to be presented at Expointer. The experiments presented by students, always supervised by teachers, demonstrated a mosaic of potentials from different territories and realities. In the fair space, the activities were closely monitored by managers linked to the coordinators and the State Department of Education itself.
The 29 de Outubro State Elementary School, in the 16 de Março settlement, in Pontão, also participated in Expointer for three days. Professor Munir Lauer accompanied the students, who brought products made with herbs from the school garden. According to him, the 29 de Outubro School, for more than two decades, has adopted among its pedagogical actions, the Research Centers, which over the last few years, have acquired materiality alongside the Research Project discipline, which is triggered, as their culmination, in a Seminar in November.
Professor Eliza Portela Silva, advisor to rural schools in the 13th Education Coordination, pointed out the importance of work like the one being presented by the Chico Mendes school expanding into the community and even reaching spaces beyond the region itself. “Especially when it comes to such an important topic as this school is bringing here, which is the preservation of the environment, an action that relates to the student’s reality, but which is a challenge for all of us as a society”, he stated. she.
For the advisor of the 13th CRE, who has followed difficult times that the school has been subjected to in the past, it is a great satisfaction to see the positive results that have been achieved and praises the active way in which management and teachers seek partnerships within the school community, becoming a reference for Rural Education. “We feel challenged and motivated to continue defending the maintenance of rural schools, maintaining the quality work that is carried out in these spaces, because the student has the right to learn, to have access to quality education, whether in the countryside or in city.”
“It’s very sad when a school closes”
Ana Paula Fialho, professor responsible for Rural Education within the structure of the State Department of Education, explained that the state government has “this expectation that schools can develop projects aimed at their communities, at their realities, mainly from the perspective of solve any problem that may exist in that territory”. The manager congratulated the way in which the Chico Mendes school works on such an important topic for the reality of the region where it is located, which is the issue of water, with the project “Protecting the Waters of Pampa”, which focuses on a topic of interest of that community, a real problem that people have in their daily lives”.
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“It is a great satisfaction when we see the result of this work through our students who are making these projects happen, being protagonists of what they are learning at school”, points out Ana Paula. For the manager, it is important that actions such as those presented by the schools that developed projects over the last year strengthen the defense and maintenance initiatives of rural schools.
“It is very sad when a school closes, all our efforts are in exactly the opposite direction, so that this does not happen again, our vision and our conception of rural education is that these students need to be served there, close to their communities, that they do not lose this bond”, he added.
“We want young people to remain in the countryside, but for them to have quality of life, alternatives, so that the school encourages sustainable rural development”, explained Ana Paula. For her, the student who is inserted in the reality of the rural school has access to a different structure, which in many ways is even expanded, because in addition to the formal structures of a laboratory within four walls, “the main laboratory of a rural school needs Being the living laboratory that is available around the school itself, this laboratory needs to be used, teachers and students need to learn to use all the potential of this laboratory and students to take advantage of all the diversity of possibilities that exist there”.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Katia Marko