Letter from Porto Alegre in Defense of Education

Letter from Porto Alegre in Defense of Education

In the XXI century education has become an essential condition for societies’ technological and economic development. It is also the way of gaining access to the workforce, forming citizens capable of defining their future and democratically overseen their elected representatives.

 Education, social justice, and democracy are society’s conquered achievements, generating inclusive economic development. In these societies, it is the State responsibility to provide universal access to public education. Despite the conquered achievements of the last decades, there is still a long way to go. It is necessary to maintain the quality of education as the primary way of helping Brazil overcome its economic and political crises and, at the same time, maintain its social policies, democracy, and respect for its public institutions.

It is the Brazilian government responsibility, at the municipal, state and federal level, to create the necessary conditions for universal education and the expansion of higher education. Financial resources must be allocated to the maintenance of public schools’ facilities and the development and improvement of teaching materials, providing excellent services to students and decent salaries to teachers, without delays or installments. Teacher’s organizations and schools communities should actively participate in the definition of political and educational policies, safeguarding freedom of expression, no persecution and political and ideological censorship.

There has been an increase of movements and currents of thought that consider the reduction of public spending in education as a necessary measure for Brazil’s economic, social, political and cultural development. These movements perceive the transfer of various State functions to private sectors as a way of relieving the State of essential public activities and thus depriving access to the majority of the Brazilian population to public and quality services.

In a period of increasing violence, the State’s presence is fundamental for the creation and maintenance of educational, professional, cultural and recreational spaces, as well as the creation of sports facilities, making these spaces accessible for all segments of society.

When the constructive debate of diverging political and ideological views is obstructed, and when the mass media shapes the national perception, schools have an essential role in the promotion of the free debate of diverging ideas, forming critical citizens, capable of analyzing and evaluating the information, often inaccurate, conveyed by the media.

Confronted by these challenges, we urge the people of the state of Rio Grande do Sul to debate and take a stand on the important issue of public education. To that end, we install, today, the Committee for the Defense of Public Education of the State of Rio Grande do Sul.


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