Africa in the Brazilian school

Image: João Nitsche


The proposals of the Guidelines that associate Africa and Brazil reveal a new civilizing proposal

Brazil has abysmal legal debts without regard to the Afro-descendant people, the quilombola communities and the entire mestizo social universe, which have been in the crosshairs – symbolically and literally – of elitism, the capitalist system of production and the perverse game of classes social. But, since rivers of ink, secular speeches, legal ordinances and promises of all kinds meant little in the daily practice of social relations, the hope came at the beginning of this century with educational and cultural guidelines and norms to reverse the atrocious-Brazilian way of being in ethnic-racial relations. Through many consultations, debates, seminars, studies, interviews and reflections, the National Education Council, a Brazilian State body linked to the MEC, gave birth to the National Curriculum Guidelines for the Education of Ethnic-Racial Relations and for the Teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African History and Culture.

The underlying desire could not be any other: in the place where society welcomes children and adolescents, the school, and where a history of rights to access and qualified permanence was created, a symbolic movement of new values ​​could take place, which practices of respect, encounters, self-other relationships, solidarity, knowledge, study and research crossed. In that place, a growing movement of empathy could be born that would galvanize Brazilian social life and, in its praxis, directly question the daily injustice, labor relations, acts of intolerance, prejudice, violence and death of these people who are by no means a minority in statistics, but a strong minority in rights and the exercise of citizenship.

The initial text of Opinion 3, from 2004, of the National Council of Education, CNE, under the rapporteurship of Counselor Petronilha Gonçalves e Silva, could not be better:

This Opinion aims to meet the purposes expressed in Indication CNE/CP 06/2002, as well as regulate the amendment brought to Law 9394/96 of Guidelines and Bases of National Education, by Law 10639/2003, which establishes the obligation of teaching History and Afro-Brazilian and African Culture in Basic Education. In this way, it seeks to comply with the provisions of the Federal Constitution in its Art. 5th, I, Art. 210, Art. 206, I, § 1 of Art. 242, Art. 215 and Art. 216, as well as in Art. 26, 26 A and 79 B in Law 9.394/96 of Guidelines and Bases of National Education, which ensure the right to equal living conditions and citizenship, as well as guarantee equal rights to the histories and cultures that make up the Brazilian nation, in addition to of the right of access to different sources of national culture to all Brazilians.

In obedience to the major laws, the Guidelines are addressed to the educational communities in Brazil, the schools, which are responsible for the pedagogical projects, for the school regulations and, mainly, for the heart of the school work relations, the study curricula. Since they are not enough to serve as curricular grids or matrices, the full curricula of community construction (Common National Base + Diversified Activities and Components) could, along with the regiment and the PPP, subvert the hateful history that was felt and mourned in slavery yesterday and today it is felt and cried in the market, in the sights of the police, in the lying game of stray bullets between the supposed order and the gang of bandits, in salary relations, in opportunities for growth as a person and even in the entire education system. The guidelines could also deny the small talk, bravado and lies common and following crime scenes, i.e., justifications, details to deceive juris, verbal nastiness about "non-intent to kill" and other odious society gems that grew up on the island of vera cruz. In this, by the way, the “true” crosses are carried according to the destiny already traced, the historical mark, the cultural accumulation, the fado and the burdens of skin, family, origin, place of survival and other atrocious marks.

The 69 pages of the Guidelines (DCN plus Resolution Project) present a historical introduction, clarify the meanings of Africa-Brazil relations, raise principles for educational action, focus on the indispensable act of all Brazilian schools – public, private, federal, state and municipal – effectively preparing educators, organizing curriculum materials, designing strategies and carrying out what is regulated in the DCN, aiming at what has already been pointed out. To make it even clearer, cite the set of values ​​understood as principles and objectives:

Paragraph 1 – The purpose of the Education of Ethnic-Racial Relations is to disseminate and produce knowledge, as well as attitudes, postures and values ​​that educate citizens about ethnic-racial plurality, making them capable of interacting and negotiating common goals that guarantee respect for legal rights and appreciation of identity for all, in the search for the consolidation of Brazilian democracy. § 2 The Teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African History and Culture aims at recognizing and valuing the identity, history and culture of Afro-Brazilians, as well as guaranteeing recognition and equal appreciation of the African roots of the Brazilian nation, alongside indigenous, European, Asian. § 3 It will be up to the Education Councils of the States, the Federal District and the Municipalities to develop the National Curriculum Guidelines established by this Resolution, within the collaboration regime and the autonomy of federative entities and their respective systems

Therefore, the meaning of this field of studies and research in the Brazilian educational system is clarified, which aims to recreate the hope of a dignified country, capable of remembering and capable of abandoning its explicit and implicit hatreds derived from the horror of slavery, whether disguised or no:

Art. 3° The Education of Ethnic-Racial Relations and the study of Afro-Brazilian History and Culture, and African History and Culture will be developed through contents, competences, attitudes and values, to be established by the teaching institutions and their teachers, with the support and supervision of education systems, sponsoring entities and pedagogical coordination, complying with the indications, recommendations and guidelines set out in Opinion CNE/CP 003/2004.

Nothing is clearer and, however, nothing is more hidden from thousands and thousands of schools, millions of students, families and school environments, as this norm, in force since 2004, has not galvanized Brazilian social life towards the great and indispensable change. And so it happened because the DCN were little publicized and lived in the Brazilian school, for the same odious reasons already known and a few more linked to conformism and the neglect of educational authorities. There remained a few honorable and beautiful exceptions.

It should be said that educational guidelines would have relative importance in the sea of ​​hateful history in Brazil, since children and adolescents have no power to spread values ​​in the heart of society dominated by adults. Well, that being the case, the school is understood in its reality as a passive place, invaded by imposed curricula, with docile students receptive to the values ​​of traditional power. In other words, the school has no social importance, contrary to what is said in election season. If the school, a place of so-called equals, is not a place capable of bringing about changes in people, groups and, ultimately, in society, then it is a place of false obedience, of authoritarianism without authority, of lists of subjects that do not lead to any meaningful learning for a lifetime. There is a certain homology between the school itself and the Brazilian social process, which chooses, separates, fragments, judges and kills those who are different. In this sense, children and adolescents are of little importance, except that they are trained to work in the current mode of production. Or, perhaps, coherently, not even for that.

Let's go back to the Guidelines, without having left them.

They carry brilliance, because, in their socio-historical analysis, they see the evils arising from discrimination, violence and privileges falling on the whole society and not just on Afro-descendants. The country is losing itself in the simple, the banal, the leniency, the irresponsibility of leaders of the three powers, less here, more there. Hence the lively reaction in the text of the Guidelines, based on which the creation of new governance policies throughout Brazil was expected:

It is important to point out that such policies aim at the right of blacks to recognize themselves in the national culture, express their own worldviews, express their thoughts with autonomy, individually and collectively. It is necessary to underline that such policies also aim at the right of blacks, as well as of all Brazilian citizens, to attend each of the levels of education, in properly installed and equipped schools, guided by teachers qualified to teach different areas of education. knowledge; with training to deal with the tense relationships produced by racism and discrimination, sensitive and capable of conducting the re-education of relationships between different ethnic-racial groups, that is, between African, European, Asian and indigenous peoples. These material conditions of schools and teacher training are essential for quality education for all, as is the recognition and appreciation of the history, culture and identity of African descendants.

The DCN for race relations also had – have – firm and persuasive words in relation to the Brazilian State. Spoken today, in times of absolute mismanagement, they seem too much for a country whose legal, labor, educational, cultural and economic structures are delusional, fragmented, “flexible”, weakened and sometimes as unfair as a game of vale-tudo. But in 2004 the legislator followed the so-called citizen Constitution, followed the LDB-1996, took seriously the ECA, the Child and Adolescent Statute, which constituted more than 50 million boys and girls subjects of their history. Very probably today they are no longer so, as far as the eyes and the feeling observe without to admire and yes to suffer. Now, the Guidelines are in force and depend on the character of the managers, ranging from school principals and directors to all authorities in the Republic, in all instances. Because they are in force (could it be that the federal government forgot them and, therefore, did not revoke them, all of them!) they claim, according to:

Federal Constitution, Art. 205, which indicates the duty of the State to ensure, without distinction, through education, equal rights for the full development of each and every one, as a person, citizen or professional. Without the intervention of the State, those placed on the sidelines, including Afro-Brazilians, will hardly, and statistics show this beyond doubt, break the meritocratic system that aggravates inequalities and generates injustice, when governed by exclusion criteria, founded in prejudices and maintenance of privileges for the always privileged. Reparations policies aimed at the education of blacks must offer guarantees to this population of entry, permanence and success in school education, appreciation of the Afro-Brazilian historical and cultural heritage, acquisition of skills and knowledge considered indispensable for continuity in studies , conditions to meet all the requirements, with a view to completing each of the levels of education, as well as to act as responsible and participating citizens, in addition to performing a profession with qualification.

The guidelines are interpreters of a society determined to share the fruits of goods, work and wealth with everyone. His place of thought and action is the educational community, the school and its surroundings, the city. They are also places of exegesis of the country that continued, in the Republic, to provide selective and low-quality social and educational services. And given that, in their reading, the country in construction of the future depends on the new generations, the DCN put hope in the changes starting from the school, from the communion of managers, educators, students, support people, families and collaborators . And he believed, considering Hannah Arendt, that this is a country that loves its children and adolescents. That is, he loves and proves that he loves in all circumstances, including when all these children bring new learning to the family and their social groups. And these learnings lead to changes, lead to the joy of living together, the pleasure of dialogue, the end of discrimination, the revolution in military training in Brazil, with more dialogue on human rights than shooting training, new legislation on work and, in general, to guarantee the end of the many forms of corruption, since it is this structure of evils that delays society, stifles memory, exalts excessive profit, deepens miseries and institutes a whole range of prejudices.

Finally, to perhaps start something new with new legislators and mayors in the country's 5568 municipalities, the National Guidelines did not forget to be dignified and think about Brazil's social diversity, the starting point for anyone who wants to manage with beauty, with poetic, with dignity and truth his city:

It is important to emphasize that it is not a question of changing an ethnocentric focus that is markedly European by an African one, but of expanding the focus of school curricula to Brazilian cultural, racial, social and economic diversity. In this perspective, it is up to schools to include in the context of studies and activities, which they provide daily, also the historical-cultural contributions of indigenous peoples and Asian descendants, in addition to those of African and European roots.

As we already know that a good curriculum of school studies represents Brazil within the school and wants to study, think and suggest, via curriculum, a much better Brazil than what we have today, the proposals of the Guidelines that associate Africa and Brazil reveal, deep down, a new civilizing proposal.

*Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.


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