About the suspension of payment of PIBID and RP grants



The approval of PLN nº 17 depends on supplementary credit for programs aimed at the qualified training of students who will work in basic education

Much has been debated about the important issue of the CNPq budget cut, which reached more than 90% of its resources, and the need to urgently submit a project to the CMO (Mixed Budget Committee) to recompose around Rs. $600 million from the Ministry of Science and Technology to guarantee the minimum survival of science in Brazil.

I would like to bring to light another issue, no less important, which is also being processed by the same Commission: PLN nº 17, of 2021. This project depends on the approval of supplementary credit destined, among other bodies, to the Ministry of Education. Since May of this year, the ministry has been informing that the blockade of funds carried out in April by the presidency put essential programs for the development and strengthening of Brazilian education at risk.[I]. Among these programs are the PIBID (Institutional Scholarship Program for Teaching Initiation) and the RP (Pedagogical Residency), linked to CAPES and aimed at the qualified training of students who will work in basic education.

In the middle of the first semester, the Ministry of Education announced the lack of resources to pay scholarships as of November. That interruption came early. Already in this month of October, the PIBID and RP scholarships referring to September were not paid. They are intended for university and basic education teachers who work in the programs, as well as undergraduate students who undergo a rigorous selection process and who develop research projects and teaching practice in public schools for R$ 400,00 per month. The program has around 60 scholarship holders across the country and needs R$124 million to honor its commitments by the end of this year. Of this amount, the Presidency of the Republic has so far requested the CMO to authorize a supplementary amount of only BRL 43 million, sufficient only to pay the scholarships in arrears.[ii]. Undoubtedly, undergraduate students are the most affected by non-payment.

The need for budget supplementation is a direct consequence of Constitutional Amendment No. 95, of December 15, 2016, which implemented a spending ceiling for a period of 20 years. It has its roots in the so-called PEC of death (PEC 241/2016). Important programs for the training of human resources in the country are already feeling the effect of this strangulation with all its force. As we said, PIBID and RP are responsible for the excellent work of future basic education teachers, but not only that. They also guarantee the material survival and permanence in the Universities of these future professionals. These BRL 400,00 are used to pay for basic needs such as rent, water, electricity, food and internet (without which there is no access to activities at the University and schools). The sudden cut in scholarships has a direct impact on access to education and training for those people who have chosen to pursue a career as low-prestige and low-paid as teaching. The cut is even more brutal when carried out in the midst of a health and economic crisis, which throws these students into a miserable situation.

The threat to fundamental projects for the improvement of our society imposed by the Ministry of Economy and the president, without considering the dignity of the people involved in them, brings to mind the words of a former presidency guru, who clearly announced the spirit that would govern our country. In October 2018, he published on his social networks that with Bolsonaro’s victory thousands of careers and biographies of his opponents (politicians, intellectuals, artists) would have their political, social, economic and physical survival threatened, which would be “their total destruction as groups, as organizations and even as individuals”.

In an article that repudiated this demonstration, Caetano Veloso predicted: “This is an announcement of killer authoritarianism”[iii]. The guru may no longer advise the president, but the announced intentions are in full realization. His message anticipated the escalation of lack of commitment to the fundamental rights of citizens, of violence, misery, inequality, destruction and death promoted by the highest leader of our nation. Science, technology and education are heading towards a horizon of disappearance, as they are seen as opponents to be slaughtered. Not only in their existence as a group or organization, but also in the tangible subsistence of the individuals who dedicate themselves to them. If today this situation affects PIBID and RP scholarship holders, tomorrow it could affect many researchers.

That this situation be reversed urgently, or the costs of ignorance resulting from this disappearance will be, as the president of SBPC, Renato Janine Ribeiro, warned us, much greater than the investments required for the production of knowledge.[iv]

* Ana Carolina Soliva Soria Professor at the Department of Philosophy at the Federal University of São Carlos and coordinator of PIBID Philosophy at UFSCar.







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