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10th Anniversary of the Socio-Educational Movement (SEM), "Educating in Difficult Times" in Brazil

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RÍO DE JANEIRO, Brazil.
The Socio-educational Movement (SEM), "Educating in Difficult Times" in Brazil, celebrates ten years. In this context, the X National Seminar was held last August 19 with the theme "National Curricular Common Base tensions and challenges" at the Teresian School in Rio de Janeiro with much participation.

Edileia Carvalho, responsible for information, writes a summary of this seminar.

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We arrive at the 10 year-mark of a road that has been resistant, hopeful and multiplier. It has been a decade of collective commitment, sensitive to persistent indicators of inequality, discrimination and exclusion, present in our societies, as well as desiring to build alternatives that affirm justice, equality, solidarity and active citizenship, based on socio-educational mediations. 

It is with this spirit of joining forces, in tune with the commitment assumed in our Charter of Principles, that we arrive at a decade of hard work, aiming at the search and affirmation of social justice and human rights within a transformative approach, which is an alternative to the homogenizing and dominant tendencies in our society. And to commemorate this timely moment, nothing better than gathering, once again, our educators and peers who joined at the beginning of the road, members of SEM, as well as the newly arrived, to discuss the current educational guidelines in our public and political agenda.

Thus, on August 19 of this year, the X National Seminar was held, which had as its theme "National Curricular Common Base (BNNC): tensions and challenges". The meeting was held at the Teresian School in Rio de Janeiro, with the participation of 158 educators from public and private schools, university students, and educators of non-formal education. A diverse audience, colorful, and coming from different regions of the States of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

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The event had the following objectives: 1. Analyze the BNCC, identify limits and possibilities; 2. To problematize the conceptions of curriculum at the base; 3. Identify to what extent the issue of differences is present in the BNCC; 4. Discuss how the integration of the BNCC and what we can do favor an education that humanizes and transforms with social quality.

During the opening of the meeting, an overview of the 10 years since the creation of the Socio-educational Movement Educating in Difficult Times (SEM) in the Americas was presented, as well as its proposals for training, participation and seminars. A round table discussion was held to discuss the central theme of the seminar: "Common National Curricular Base: Tensions and Challenges". The invited speakers were Carlos Artexes (Director of National SESC and former Director of Conceptions and Curricular Orientations for Basic Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture) and Professor Arnaldo Valentim Silva (Coordinator of Prof. Álvaro Cotomacci School, from Campinas, São Paulo, Ph.D. candidate at the School of Education, University of Campinas - UNICAMP).

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Among the topics discussed, Carlos Artexes’ contribution stands out: a more general view of what BNCC is and what it represents in times of change. According to him, some arguments "favorable" to the integration of the base (such as the search for equity) and some criticisms exist (the base has no capacity to alter the reality of Brazilian Education, as it is proclaimed, as well as its homogenizing and standardizing quality). With regard to the changes envisaged, he also emphasized that educators need to move from a reactive position to a more active position.

Concerning the presentation of Professor Arnaldo Valentim, we highlight: the articulation made between the proposal of the base and the existing neoliberal macro political context (political cycle of deconstruction of rights and political illegitimacy). The implicit idea is that the problems of basic education will be solved when copying models of management used in private education. The new regulation /de-professionalization of teaching work. Exclusion of minorities, differences and diversities (indigenous, quilombolas, LGBT's, gender issues, youth and adult education, among others). Unifying and homogenizing curriculum. The management model of public education and performance and centered on results that are present at the base.

Then, the participants separated into groups, according to their interests, by level of education: Table 1 - Infantile Education in the BNCC (lecturer: Maria Fernanda Nunes - UNIRIO); Table 2 - Fundamental Education I at BNCC (lecturer: Naira Muylaert - PUC-Río); Table 3 - Fundamental Education II at BNCC (speaker: Silvana Mesquita - PUC-Río); Table 4 – High school at BNCC (Carlos Artexes - SESC Nacional). After the discussions by areas, a synthesis was reported to the large group.

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In general, one could perceive the concern of the educators present to continue thinking about a way of acting toward the counter-hegemony of the BNCC, of ​​its homogenizing character and of universalization, since the base is a reality already imposed on society. This shows how important it is to act in the trenches, with action, creation and intervention.

We closed the meeting with the assurance that this year, in which we commemorate 10 years of SEM, the seminar was not only a celebration and a training event. This year we understood, in a special way, the need for the seminar as a space for training/information, participation, resistance, solidarity and a sensitive listening of the anxieties and worries present among educators. And above all, we understood its political importance, given the complex moment we are living. A moment of uncertainty mixed with fear and hope. Nevertheless, we concluded, after all the discussion, that understanding the complexity of the current political moment, as well as its implications in the field of education, is a call for us to think of different ways of resisting and re-existing against all forms of oppression and social injustice.

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Currently, SEM in Brazil has 306 members. The following are testimonies of some of them, in which they share what it means to them, personally and professionally, to be part of it.

To consciously assume my commitment as a citizen and, above all, as an educator; work for the construction of a democratic society that respects and guarantees equal and human rights for all. And, in addition, to contribute to the socialization of discussions and reflections on those subjects, in different spaces. (Professor Ana - Municipal Secretary of Duque de Caxias / Seeduc, Rio de Janeiro).

Act collaboratively to build an education committed to the formation of intercultural citizenship, which seeks to create true societies, democratic and committed to social, economic, political and cognitive justice. (Professor José Antonio - Faculty of Education of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).

Strengthening, resistance to the oppressive system, a globalized vision of cross-cutting themes and experience of being an educator as a participatory and transformative agent of history. (Professor Cristina - city of Sapucaia - RJ).

I highlight the concern to deepen into the debates about concepts and practices committed in the process of a contextualized, humanizing and dialogic education. (Zilda, popular educator of the city of Campinas - SP)

SEM is the great accomplice of education because it recognizes the leading role of serious and committed educators. Having SEM by our side is encouraging. (Professor María Helena - Helio Alonso College, Rio de Janeiro).

It means understanding education inside and outside the classroom. (Marcos - history student of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Rio de Janeiro).

Participating in SEM means joining forces in a permanent struggle against inequality, discrimination and exclusion. It is rowing against hegemonic neoliberal educational currents and believing that it is possible to construct other participatory, public and popular educational models and other models of societies. (Mónica popular educator of the city of São João de Meriti - RJ).

Let us continue, then, joining forces to build an education committed to the processes of humanization and transformation of our country and the continent, in its entirety, calling more educators to participate in SEM!

Information: Edileia Carvalho, from Brazil

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