Obsession with equity in education - 01/13/2022 - Claudia Costin

The year 2022 begins with great challenges for Brazilian education. There were almost two entire academic years with remote learning, in a context of reduced connectivity, lack of equipment and even books, especially in the homes of students in situations of vulnerability. As a result, in basic education, significant learning losses and a serious worsening of previously existing educational inequalities occurred.

Private schools spent less time without classes or in a student rotation system. According to IBGE data, its students had adequate connectivity and equipment to learn at a distance. After all, 98.9% of them had access to the internet and 91% to computers in 2019. The scenario in public schools, where about 81.4% of basic education students study, was quite different.

Despite the vaccination of teachers, with two doses, which could allow a timely and safe reopening of schools, many mayors, in the absence of national coordination, did not make the necessary investments in the infrastructure of the buildings or in the hiring of teachers, which delayed even more back to face-to-face.

Certainly, public network managers who offered chips and equipment to their students or sent activity notebooks to homes were right, were able to prepare for reopening schools and created vacation courses to start recovering lost learning. Those who have advanced the agenda of introducing full-time schools have also adopted a correct approach, which will greatly help in restoring students’ skills.

Even so, the losses were large and unequal, as attested by the diagnostic evaluations already applied.

Thus, in 2022 we will have to make equity an obsession, creating a networked system of educational remediation while we advance in the implementation of the National Common Curriculum Base, which, even provided for in the Constitution, Brazil took so long to develop and translate into state and national curricula. municipal. National and subnational curricula are key instruments for building equity.

There is still a lot to be done, and it is not the best strategy to sweep the problems under the rug on the grounds that we cannot stigmatize the “Covid generation” by referring to the educational damage they have suffered. What we do need is to put education at the top of the agenda and, with courage, invest in a much higher quality education for everyone, not just for those lucky enough to be born into more affluent families. And this is very urgent!

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