RN state network is the last in the Northeast to start classes in 2024

RN state network is the last in the Northeast to start classes in 2024
RN state network is the last in the Northeast to start classes in 2024
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The state education network of Rio Grande do Norte will be the last to start classes for the 2024 school year in the Northeast. Students should only return to the classroom on March 4th, while other northeastern states, such as Ceará and Pernambuco, are already starting activities this Monday (05th). The State Department of Education (SEEC) points out that the “delay” in the calendar is due to the teachers’ strike carried out last year to implement the salary adjustment. However, other northeastern states also had strikes and will still resume classes before RN. Expert points out that “delay” harms students.

The strike by teachers in the state education network lasted just over a month in 2023. According to the Secretariat, this will mean that classes will only start on March 4, 2024, with an expected end date of December 23. According to the Department of Education (SEEC-RN), it would not be possible to start the school year earlier in 2024, since some schools only finished classes for 2023 at the end of January this year.

This is not the case in other northeastern states. Maranhão, for example, had more than a month of teachers’ strike, also caused by the struggle to raise the minimum salary. Teachers stopped activities on February 27th and ended on March 30th. The state of Bahia had 11 days of strike. In Alagoas, it was 14 days. Even so, Maranhão, Bahia and Alagoas start the school year on February 19th, in the first two states, and February 15th, in the case of Alagoas. Two weeks before the RN.

Research carried out by TRIBUNA on teaching calendars shows that the states of Ceará, Pernambuco and Piauí will be the first to start classes in the state network, with classes already scheduled for this Monday (05). The other states, such as Paraíba, Sergipe and Alagoas, will begin work on the 15th, with Maranhão and Bahia starting classes on the 19th of February. Regarding the end of classes, Sergipe, Bahia, Alagoas and Paraíba will end classes before December 20th.

The sub-coordinator of School Organization and Inspection at SEEC-RN, Vanda Pereira, also explains that some schools in Rio Grande do Norte, having joined the strike last year, ended the school year only at the end of January, requiring a vacation period for teachers. Those who did not join, however, ended the school year on December 20th. She points out that it would be unfeasible to start the school year with different dates for those who joined the strike or not.

“We had 26 (school) days of strike and we had to make up that period. We started the replacement in the middle of the year, when we had already reduced the recess, and we had to extend it, some schools, until January 22, 2024. As we are a network, there is no way that schools that did not go on strike would start on a certain day in February and the one that made the strike start only in March. The calendar is made for the state network, unfortunately we have this specificity precisely because of the strike and we will start the 2024 school year on March 4th, with nine school Saturdays. It couldn’t be any different”, explains Vanda Pereira, about the decision to start classes only on March 4th.

According to Law 9,394/1996, known as the Basic Education Guidelines law, the minimum annual workload is 200 school days per year, “excluding the time reserved for final exams, if any”. The RN will fulfill the minimum workload, even starting in March.

“I don’t see that much harm because, as the LDB itself prescribes, 200 school days are mandatory. The calendar takes this into account. There’s nowhere for us to run. If we start late, we will consequently finish a little later. In 2023, the end date was December 20th. In 2024, we will go beyond just three days. It will not interfere with Enem, because it is within the context. Enem always takes place during class time, it has always been like this”, he points out.

Strike
The state education teachers’ strike began on March 7th last year and ended on April 12th after dialogue with the Government of Rio Grande do Norte. The category’s main demand was the implementation of the 14.95% increase in the National Teaching Floor. At the time, it was decided to apply a 14.95% adjustment in April (in a supplementary payroll) for teachers who earned below the minimum wage, retroactive to January, with installments for the rest of the employees.

“The closure of 2023 in January was exceptionally extended due to the strike, which is not the category’s fault, but rather the Government’s fault, which did not meet the readjustment expectations. As we moved with our own rhythm and deadlines, with 36 consecutive days, the strike added to the calendar. After the strike we are entitled to a month of vacation, so we needed to finish the school year to have the vacation. This disrupts the school year, which starts later, but it is a consequence of this need to replace classes and guarantee 200 school days”, analyzes Bruno Vital, coordinator of the Union of Education Workers of RN (Sinte-RN).

“SEEC needs to start the school year the same. There is no way the State can have a single network and have two different school years. There is no condition for this, there is no operability, it would be chaos, especially for professionals. For example: there are teachers who work in two schools, but only one went on strike. This kind of situation exists. It would be a chaotic situation”, adds Bruno Vital, representative of Sinte.

School Saturdays
The state education network of Rio Grande do Norte will have nine school Saturdays during 2024, according to the network’s official school calendar. According to SEEC-RN, the dynamic is already a standard practice in the state network.

“There has always been a school Saturday. I have been working in the state system for 38 years and as a teacher and manager we have always had school Saturdays. Not all students go, but we do different programming and classes because from the moment we have student and teacher in the classroom with a space for this different moment, this is counted as a teaching class”, explains Vanda Pereira.

According to the calendar, school Saturdays will be distributed across the four quarters of the year, with one Saturday in April, another in May, June, July, August, September, October, with November having two school Saturdays and December having one.

Expert sees “problems” in the 2024 calendar

The professor and PhD in Education, Cláudia Santa Rosa, points out that the calendar released by SEEC has “problems” and assesses that the ideal would be to start on March 4th only in schools that paid for the strike until January and “plan enrollments for the differentiated cases”.

“RN lives immersed in a perverse culture of academic failure. Public management has no plan B, is not prepared to deal with teacher strikes and organizes an enrollment calendar that requires no comments. All very late. We always level below. Schools that did not go on strike have been on vacation since 12/22 and even so, they can only start the school year on 3/4. It is impossible for us to break this cycle of educational delay. We spent a few years starting classes in February. Now, there is an unquestionable setback”, assesses the teacher.

According to the expert in successful pedagogical practices, the preparation of students and teachers is also compromised. “Those who take the ENEM take part in the tests, at the beginning of November, without having yet seen the content of the fourth two months. And when we start the school year, in March, those who have been in class since the end of January are already in a period of testing and even the first exams of the year. It’s a lot of delay and a feeling of inferiority,” she points out.

For the professor of Public Policy in Education and with a master’s degree in the area, Gustavo Fernandes, there is no harm or difference for students in starting the school year in March.

“I personally don’t see a problem with starting in March, quite the opposite. I believe that if there is a specific project for the months of January and February with a pedagogical planning proposal in mind, I think it is feasible to start in March. Because January is a month of vacation and February has Carnival, it ends up disrupting the school year. It gets broken, teachers travel, students are absent,” she points out.

“Now one thing that needs to happen is that teachers need to understand that, even though the school calendar starts in March, in February they already need to return to school to be available and plan the school year together with management. Not just teachers, but the entire school community”, he adds.

“What needs to change is cultural practice, because it happens that most teachers understand February as an extension of the holidays, but that’s not supposed to happen. It is now supposed to be the return of the teacher”, she points out.

Calendar
large northern river
Start: 04/03
End: 12/23

Ceará
Start: 05/02
End: 12/20

Paraíba
Start: 02/15
End:12/19

Sergipe
Start: 02/15
End: 11/12

Alagoas
Start: 02/15
End:12/19

Pernambuco
Start: 05/02
End: 12/20

Bahia
Start: 02/19
End: 12/18

Maranhão
Start: 02/19
End: 12/20

Piauí
Start: 05/02
End: Not disclosed

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: state network Northeast start classes

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