08/11/2023 – 13:55
Will Shutter / Chamber of Deputies
The president of Inep, Manuel Palácios, countered criticism of the race
The president of the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep), Manuel Palácios, said this Wednesday (8) that the 2023 National High School Exam (Enem) was a test constructed based on technical and objective criteria . The opposition, however, says that the test had an ideological bias, contrary to agribusiness and capitalism.
The debate took place in the Education Committee of the Chamber of Deputies by agreement, without approval of the requests requesting Palácios’ attendance.
The president of the commission, Moses Rodrigues (União-CE), informed that there was an agreement for the Minister of Education, Camilo Santana, to attend a joint public hearing of the Education commissions; Financial Inspection and Control; and Agriculture, on the 22nd, to address the same topic.
Questions prepared in 2020
Palácios recalled that the test items are prepared by basic education and university teachers selected through a public call. The notice that selected the developers for Enem 2023 was made in 2020, during the Bolsonaro government.
“We are talking about teachers who were selected in 2020 and who are still carrying out this activity today. If there is any type of biased selection, it has been biased for a long time”, said the president of Inep. “In fact, there is nothing more than the public selection of education professionals through objective curriculum criteria”, he reinforced.
The president of Inep stated that the selection of authors cited in the test is also made based on technical and objective criteria – that is, those who have published texts in scientific journals that are well evaluated in the scientific community.
Palácios stressed that the student does not need to agree with the author’s opinion, but rather show that they understood the text. “What is asked, when commanding the item, is that he expresses, by signing the correct answer, that he understands the other’s argument”, he explained.
Agribusiness and capitalism
Deputy Sergeant Gonçalves (PL-RN) criticized the Enem issue that addressed negative factors in agribusiness in the Cerrado, mentioning, for example, the “overexploitation” of workers and the “poison rains” (in reference to the use of pesticides).
He criticized the person who prepared the question: “With a purely ideological purpose, he demands that the candidate in that contest either think like him, who prepared the test, or lose that question.”
Deputy Delegate Paulo Bilynskyj (PL-SP) criticized the same issue. “This is what is in Enem: that agribusiness kills. This is absurd,” he opined. “There is no poison rain anywhere in the world. This is ideological war, it is not agribusiness,” he added. “Your obligation is to cancel this issue”, he demanded of the president of Inep.
Representative Adriana Ventura (Novo-SP) reinforced the complaints. She believes that the test treats agribusiness in a pejorative way, which plays an important role in GDP from Brazil. “The evidence has many distortions, it has an absurd ideological bias”, she criticized. “What we saw in this test was a litany of questions confronting agriculture and capitalism on an absurd and, in my view, Machiavellian scale”, he added.
Representative Abilio Brunini (PL-MT), in turn, said that the president of Inep “had a clear interest in creating ideological distortion” to select left-wing activists for universities. “If you defend agriculture in this test, you will fail “, he said.
Palácios, however, denied that Enem or Inep demonize agribusiness.
New test developers
Deputy Captain Alberto Neto (PL-AM) defends a new notice to invite new developers to take the test. He considers that current people want to spread “Marxist, communist ideology, against the Brazilian family and against agribusiness”.
When criticizing the test, he cited the video that went viral on the internet in which singer Caetano Veloso is unable to answer an interpretation question about his music.
Racism and feminism
Representative Zucco (Republicanos-RS) stated that “the government transformed Enem into a doctrinal test on racism, feminism, military dictatorship and gender violence”. He criticized the citation of left-wing authors in the test and said that it is not balanced with the citation of conservative authors.
“Racism is a crime; Feminism is not a doctrine, it is the defense of women’s interests. It doesn’t seem to me that these are doctrinal items that in any way highlight issues relating to racial discrimination and discrimination against women”, replied Palácios.
According to the president of Inep, in cases of technical errors, these problems can be submitted to Technical-Pedagogical Advisory Committees, whose members are also selected by notice.
Defense of the test
Representative Pedro Uczai (PT-SC) defended the issue of evidence in which the cited author says that deforestation is linked to the tripod of land grabbers, loggers and cattle ranchers.
In Uczai’s view, the issue does not criminalize agribusiness, but rather land grabbers and deforesters who appropriate public lands. “Saying that there are no contradictions in the field? Saying that there is no violence in the countryside? Saying that there is no social inequality in the countryside? Saying that there is no land grabbing in the countryside? We will not hide the reality,” he stated.
Representative Chico Alencar (Psol-RJ) also refuted the criticism and said that capitalism exists, as well as deforestation in the Amazon and toxic rains. For Alencar, Enem encourages student intelligence.
Representative Tarcísio Motta (Psol-RJ) reiterated that there was, in Brazilian history, exploitation of the peasantry. “This is a debate that is established in academia, and cannot be banned in a test”, he pointed out.
Representative Dandara (PT-MG) said that violence against women and black people is growing, and racism structures power relations: “These are not ideological issues, as they want to sell. They are in fact sociological findings of the Brazilian reality.” She also praised the theme of the Enem essay addressing the invisibility of care work carried out by women in Brazil.
Distance from the test location
Manuel Palácios reported that Enem 2023 had almost 4 million registrants, with 28.1% absent on the first day of the test, held on November 5th. In 2022, the absence was similar, at 28.3%.
He commented on some problems that occurred on the first day of the test, with some test locations more than 30 kilometers away from the student’s residence. In these cases, the test will be reapplied on December 12th and 13th, the same date on which the Enem will be administered in prisons.
Palácios also highlighted that the student himself chooses the place to take the test. Enem was applied in 1,750 municipalities.
Sergeant Gonçalves said that around 50 thousand students were affected by the problem of distance from the test location. In his opinion, the new Enem application date for these students will break equality, causing harm to both students who have not taken the test and those who have already taken it.
Report – Lara Haje
Editing – Natalia Doederlein