A choice of Camilo Santana (PT) to take over the Ministry of Education (MEC) is seen as positive by experts in the field, but does not reach unanimity. Isolde Celacurrent governor of Ceará, had a strong crowd.
The elected president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT)consolidated the choice only after a conversation with Izolda, a former pedestrian and, today, without a party, on the night of this Monday (19).
She had been the favorite to head education, however, she lost her chances when the PT claimed the command of MEC. Camilo is the strongest party leader in Ceará.
“I am one of those who preferred Izolda, she was secretary of Sobral (CE), a teacher of basic education and, as state secretary, she created the pact for literacy. She played an important role in making Ceará one of the states with the most literacy in the country “, stated Claudia Costindirector of the Center for Educational Policies, at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, and who was on the transition team led by the future deputy, Geraldo Alckmin (PSB).
“But I didn’t think Camilo’s choice was bad, I wanted someone who had experience in implementing educational policies, this demands the ability to operate the budget with the complex logistics of education”, completes Costin.
With the nomination of Camilo, Lula offered Izolda the position of Secretary of Basic Education.
The double arrives at the MEC under prestige. According to Ideb (Basic Education Development Index)87 of the 100 best public schools in the early years of elementary school are in Ceará.
Cities in Ceará appear again with good results in elementary education. Of the 50 best positioned municipal networks in the initial years, 22 are from Ceará. In the final years, 16 of the 50 are from the state.
Former Secretary of Education in Ceará, Izolda was one of those responsible for implementing a successful educational policy in the state and in Sobral, a city with consistent educational results.
“Izolda kick-started and helped sustain the successful educational experiences in Sobral and Ceará. It would be an excellent choice given her qualities and the concrete results of her dedication to public education. It would also be the opportunity to have a woman in charge of the MEC for the first time since the military dictatorship,” said Alexandra Schneider, former Municipal Secretary of Education of São Paulo.
The preference for Camilo, in Schneider’s opinion, is due to his administrative and political experience, in addition to the fact that he is an emerging leader in the PT.
“He is an intelligent and skilled politician, something extremely necessary at this moment when the head of the MEC will need to negotiate with Congress and within the government, to lead the reconstruction of Brazilian education”, says Schneider.
For Andressa Pellanda, general coordinator of the National Campaign for the Right to Education, the choice of Camilo and Izolda is political and points to business groups that work in education.
As Folha showed, a wing of the PT intensified the pressure against the governor’s name for her with the Foundation Lemanna private organization that promotes initiatives for public education and was founded by businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann.
“The signaling for this model is linked with a nod to the business groups that act with lobbying in education, which have as a project for the area an agenda that is in line with the model, essentially meritocratic and that has in education the perspective of human capital”, he says. Andrea.
Santana was elected to administer the state of Ceará in 2014. During his tenure, the state of Ceará maintained good education indicators basic education and expanded the number of full-time schools. The latter, by the way, will be one of his main challenges ahead of the MEC.
According to the balance of the National Education Plan carried out by the National Campaign for the Right to Education, only 22% of public schools have at least 25% of students working full-time, while the target is 50%. Ceará, with 38%, is the most advanced state in the full-time school index, but it is also below the target.
“Integral education policies have varied immensely over the years, because they have not been implemented as a State policy, leaving them at the mercy of government changes and discontinuities, and they have not been substantially financed”, says Andressa.
In addition to accelerating the full-time school model, the future government will face challenges due to budget cuts and the command crisis at the MEC during the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government.
“Camilo is a political leader and a good manager, so he will quickly take foot from the MEC. The expectation rests on the plans for the ministry, we hope that they are dedicated to the dialogue with those who build the public school”, bets Daniel Cara, professor at the Faculty of Education at USP.
For Claudia Costin, education has experienced its biggest crisis in the last four years. “They didn’t pay attention to educational policy, there was a succession of ministers who preferred to wage ideological war with the universities”, she says.
“The new management will have numerous challenges, from daycare to graduate school. We are still far from meeting the PNE targets, especially that of children enrolled in daycare and the expansion of full-time education. I believe that with Camilo and Izolda at MEC, attention to these issues will be more effective than in recent years,” says Schneider.
Representatives of private institutions also showed enthusiasm with Camilo’s choice. “The experience as a professor and educational coordinator, and especially as a public manager, should contribute to the MEC being able to expand access and encourage diversity in higher education, with policies that reflect the consensus between the public and private sectors”, said Lúcia Teixeira, president of Semesp, an entity that represents higher education providers.
Celso Niskier, director of ABMES (Brazilian Association of Higher Education Supporters), says he was optimistic about the choice. “We have to recover the learning of millions of young people, promote the inclusion of underprivileged young people in higher education and guarantee the formation of qualified labor for Brazil’s economic development”, he says.
The president of Fenep (National Federation of Private Schools), Bruno Eizerik, congratulated the future minister. “The challenges are many, the recovery of the learning of those students who were left without classes during the pandemic, the guarantee of access to higher education and the study of public-private partnerships to promote the necessary investment that education deserves in Brazil.”