Brazil: Union mobilises to prevent shutdown of public education
The Brazilian National Confederation of Education Workers (CNTE) is mobilizing to prevent the shutdown of public basic education in January 2021 due to lack of funding. This Thursday, CNTE is calling its affiliates and educators from around the globe to put pressure on the country’s congress to vote for the renewal of the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Valorization of Education Professionals (FUNDEB).
Created in 2007 to safeguard funding for public education, the fund expires in the coming month of December and if it is now renewed, some 40 million students may be out of school in 2021. Given the inaction of the federal government on this matter and President’s Bolsonaro repeated cuts to public education budget, CNTE demands that congress representatives take immediate action and vote to make the FUNDEB permanent, ensuring access to free public education for all and decent working condition for educators.
According to the president of the confederation, Heleno Araújo Filho, Bolsonaro has showed no commitment to public education and there is a growing sense of urgency, given the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. For Heleno, “the ongoing sanitary crisis and ensuing social and economic crisis make the renewal of the fund an absolute emergency”, as it is estimated public schools will be forced to close in over 1,000 cities. For CNTE’s General Secretary, Fatima da Silva, “given the pandemic, we must mobilize online to ensure the right to education is enforced”.
To support CNTE, demand that the president of the national congress, submit the renewal of FUNDEB to a vote by tweeting with the hashtag #VotaFundeb at @RodrigoMaia and @CNTE_Oficial. You can find some of the images CNTE produces with their key messages here.