About civic-military schools

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Whichever side is examined on the project — now a law — in São Paulo on civic-military schools is bad

The creation of civic-military schools, a project transformed into Complementary Law 1398 / 2024, approved by the São Paulo Legislative Assembly, received widespread criticism from all sectors involved with education. Opposition to this project achieved almost unanimity among educators, educational policy makers, scientific and trade union entities, entities linked to the public and private sectors, administrators and other professionals from all areas linked to education: everyone criticized it, because from any angle Before the project is analyzed, it has problems.

Even though it has already received a lot of criticism, the project has so many problems that it has not been exhausted. Let's look at some little remembered ones.

The text that forwards the proposal to the Legislative Assembly and justifies it (see PLC 9 / 2024), right after a formal first paragraph, states that the implementation will be carried out “prioritizing those [schools] located in regions with a higher incidence of crime”. This phrase makes it clear that the intention of the project is not the education, teaching, learning or development of children and young people; If this were the case, the first argument in its defense should make reference to the teaching and learning processes.

The problem of crime is outside schools, and affects the lives of the entire population on a daily basis. It is there that the police must act, including preventing such problems from invading schools and affecting their students and workers.

If the objective of the project is to use the working capacity of retired people to promote the “development of an adequate school environment, which promotes advancement in the teaching-learning process”, justification that appears in the third paragraph of the letter that sent it, it should not be through the use of retired military personnel. This objective would be better satisfied if the invited retirees were teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, social workers or other professionals with much greater experience with the problems of schools and their students.

Another possibility would be to invite retired people from health areas, such as nursing, physiotherapy, speech therapy, medicine, dentistry, among many others; This would respond to many of the needs of public school students, contributing to reducing problems that affect the development and learning of children and adolescents. Among scientists and university professors, it would also be easy to find many motivated people willing to collaborate with the advancement of teaching and learning processes in public schools.

In the project forwarding letter, in addition to the few justifications for its implementation, there is no diagnosis of the main problems of the educational system, something that would be essential to support a complementary law to the State Constitution that aims to develop education. In the next paragraph of the letter there is a gross writing error that makes it unintelligible. This, which is not the only Portuguese error, denotes the carelessness of those who wrote it and the disrespect for those people to whom the letter was addressed.

The other paragraphs also do not present valid justifications. The aforementioned alignment of the project with the State Education Plan does not appear to be sustainable. Even the citation of its connection with the state government's own resolution seems fragile, unless the meaning of the word “safe”, in the statement that schools must offer a “welcoming and safe school environment”, has some understanding different from that used in the media educational.

Why believe that military corporations could manage discipline within schools, as the project assumes, when they cannot manage discipline around these schools, despite police officers being trained for the latter task, and not for the former?

Whichever side is examined, the project, now a law, is bad. It will not help overcome any problems in our educational system, of which there are many. The main one and the cause of many others is the budget per student in the São Paulo state basic education network. This budget, intended to pay teachers and other workers, maintain schools, purchase educational materials, among many other typical expenses of an educational system, should not even reach five hundred reais per student per month. Therefore, schools are unable to adequately serve students or provide teachers with adequate and dignified working conditions.

The militarization of schools is yet another problem hindering public education.

*Otaviano Helene is a senior professor at the USP Physics Institute.

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