Students in Brazil are furious. They find the level of education disastrous. To make their point, they have occupied 1355 educational institutions.
The conservative president Michel Temer is not opening his wallet, writes NOS. Schools get less money. According to the students, their lessons and colleges are getting worse then they were. They occupied 1177 secondary schools, 82 technical schools and 96 universities.
The 16-year old student Ana Júlia Ribeiro leads the protests. Last month, she held a speech. She did that in the parliament of the southern state Paraná, where the protests are the most extreme. Her speech went viral throughout the whole country.
Ana Júlia has tried to explain the problems student have, and inform the country on the reason behind the protests. She says that the school is of the students, not of politicians who want to decide about it. The students wants better education, that’s why they have the right to occupy the schools. To make a statement.
The quality of the education is the biggest problem in Brazil. The schools are payable, but students do not learn enough. They can read and write, but do not understand the meaning of the words. “Functional Illiteracy,” according to the Latin-America correspondent Marc Bessems. “The problem is not the money, but the organization and structure. That’s why the education in Brazil is so poor.”
The government also wants to form a law that bans politics from education. Political preferences could then not be discussed in class. A lot of students are angry about that, including Ana Júlia, of course. They find it patronizing and belittling. Júlia says that political perspectives should be discussed on schools, otherwise they will create an army of students who cannot think for themselves.
Students can read and write, but do not understand the meaning of words
The government sees it differently. The parliament is right-minded. They are afraid that schools will indoctrinate their students with left-wing concepts. They want to stop that.
Last week the 16-year old student Lucas Mota was killed in one of the occupied schools. The protests were getting heavier afterwards, says Bessems. “Ana Júlia has appealed the politicians personally, and blamed them for not being at the funeral. From her point of view, the state is responsible for children, definitely when they are at school. Therefore, the state was held responsible for Lucas’s dead.”
Meanwhile, dozens of schools are cleared by the ME. Yet there are hundreds of schools that are still occupied. A lot of students are discussing whether or not to continue the protests. Eventually, they will have to get back to the classrooms to get class.
The question is: will the protests lead to big changes? The law to cut the expenditure towards the schools is practically accepted. Nevertheless, the protests are providing attention for the distressed situation in Brazil.
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