Teachersolidarity has received the following report from the Province of Parana in Brazil about the occupations by school students in the country. The writers want to draw the attention of teachers around the world to this struggle which has been largely ignored by main stream media.
The Real Face of Occupation at Public Schools in Brazil: One Model of Citizenship
Students in Brazil have been occupying public schools to protest against PEC 241, a proposal for a constitutional amendment which aims at freezing government funding for a 20-year period in fundamental areas, such as: health and education. It means that Brazil would spend the same amount of money in health and education every year; the government would not consider an increase in taxes nor the effects of inflation. Furthermore, a new model for the high school released by the federal government recently has been the motivation for both students and teachers’ protest around the whole country.
Besides agreeing with the national protest in Brazil, most of the teachers from Paraná state public universities are on strike. Teachers and other categories of civil servants have faced the failure of the governor to negotiate workers’ rights. So, adding this fact to the occupation of elementary and high schools - in the state of Paraná alone there are almost one thousand schools occupied - it is possible to see that most of the education systems from the Paraná state are against both the regional and the federal governments.
Considering the social, political and educational contexts which Brazilian people are facing, specifically the students, two undergraduate students from the State University of Londrina, Paraná, Brazil, proposed a workshop. It aimed to discuss the dilemmas that the educational community is facing nowadays and, based on that, to produce posters to ancourage people to join the movement.
This workshop was justified by the fact that we couldn’t find news in English about the occupation of schools in Paraná at that time. It means that neither the local nor the international media was showing what is happening. Students are fighting for their rights pacifically and taking care of their schools, cleaning them, painting them, rebuilding some destroyed parts and trying to have a better education system.