President Jair Bolsonaro is taking his anti-leftist ideological war to Brazil’s classrooms and universities, causing angst among teachers and education officials who say the government wants to fight an enemy that doesn’t exist.
Bolsonaro and top officials have announced plans to revise textbooks to excise references to feminism, homosexuality and violence against women, say the military will take over some public schools and frequently bash Paulo Freire, one of Brazil’s most famous educators, whose ideas had worldwide influence.
“One of the goals to get Brazil out of the worst positions in international education rankings is to combat the Marxist rubbish that has spread in educational institutions,” Bolsonaro tweeted on the eve of his inauguration.
While students may not yet find many differences as they return to school this month, changes are afoot.
“We are still waiting to see how, in practice, all this is going to turn out,” said Nilton Brandao, president of one of Brazil’s largest teachers’ unions, PROIFES Federacao. “Right now, it does not make any sense.”
For the government, the ideological battle begins with the removal of Freire’s legacy in schools, which Bolsonaro and other conservatives say turns students into “political militants.” Read more via AP