Dreaming of being a doctor is good, but Brazil does not give an opportunity, says Milton Ribeiro

The Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro, once again defended technical education in Brazil, justifying that “graduates do not have a field of work”. The head of the portfolio provides explanations in the morning to the Education Committee, in the Senate, after saying that the university “should be for few” is that students with disabilities “hinder” learning of others.

He explained that he did not mean that “the porter’s son cannot have access to university”, but that the country should advance in technical and professional courses.

The dream of becoming a doctor is very good, but in a country that has no opportunity, the technical course is the great tool
Milton Ribeiro, Minister of Education

Ribeiro also used his story in public school and his family. “I couldn’t be what I am. My father didn’t complete the 2nd year of elementary school, so it’s not fair to say I’m being elitist,” he said.

According to data from the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), in 2019, 21.3% of Brazilians aged 25 to 34 had completed higher education. The average for countries that are part of the OECD is 45%.

It’s no use, I repeat, just having a bachelor’s degree on the wall and being unemployed. Today the market is a buyer for professional technical education, that’s what the Fiesp presidents say.”
Milton Ribeiro, Minister of Education

In addition to technical education, the minister used Fies (Student Financing) default to justify his speech considered elitist. “What bothers me is that the young man graduates, some with the illusion that the fact that he has a diploma is enough to get a job. He has a diploma, but he has a debt in a bank. I’m not saying that Fies is bad, but we need to look.”

We threw R$ 300 million in the trash, says minister on defaulters in Enem 2020

Ribeiro also commented on the reopening of Enem registrations. The MEC notice provided that those who had the fee exemption in 2020, but missed the exam days, would only have the benefit again this year if they could justify the absence. The rule changed after a decision by the STF at the beginning of the month.

“We open the opportunity [em 2020] for many to take the test for free, they enrolled and simply did not attend the test,” said the minister. Many participants, however, missed the exam for fear of contamination of the covid-19.

Ribeiro explained that the abstention, which was a record since 2009, of 2.8 million students resulted in a loss of R$ 300 million. “With R$ 300 million it was possible to build a school, a hospital, I had to have this responsibility,” he said.

The minister also said that he even spoke with minister Dias Toffoli, rapporteur of the action at the STF, that the ministry would comply with the decision. “We have close to 40, 45 thousand applications, but my objective was never to hold back, I’m wanting to give some discipline”, he justified.

Minister apologizes again for talking about inclusive education

“I didn’t mean to hurt, but we often use terms and gestures that hurt,” Ribeiro told senators today as he explained his statement that students with disabilities “hinder” the learning of others.

The minister also admitted that the topic “requires knowledge” and that he recognized the error in his speeches, despite this, he continued to defend the PNEE (National Policy for Special Education).

“[A política é para] those students, please, who demand multiple, continuous and permanent care, and it was about those that I had referred to in the wrong way and I was misunderstood,” he explained.

The PNEE is under analysis of the STF (Federal Court of Justice). In October 2020, the president Jair Bolsonaro (no party) had published a decree for the federal government, states and municipalities to offer “educational institutions designed to provide educational services to special education students who do not benefit from their development when included in regular inclusive schools and who have a demand for multiple and continuous support”.

In practice, the text intended to remove children with disabilities from regular classes so that they could be part of classes exclusively for them.

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