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Brazilian students protest against making public schools private

Students stopped traffic with their protest. This sign says, "No to privatization." (Nicole Luna/YJI)

Maringá, BRAZIL – Students here began protesting on Monday against a new law that would privatize state public schools.

The law, called the “Parceiro da Escola,” or School Partner Program, allows Brazil’s State Department of Education to hire private institutions to manage public schools in Paraná state.

A group of students holding a poster saying, “against the privatization of public schools of Paraná.” (Nicole Luna/YJI)
Brazilian students protesting on Monday night. (Nicole Luna/YJI)

According to Gabriel Ramos, president of the Student Union at the State University of Maringá, striking is a strategic key to show disapproval.

“We must have a protesting and popular organization. Students have to occupy their buildings to reject, in the ground, the privatization of their schools,” said Ramos. 

Students set fire to an an effigy of the governor of Paraná state, Carlos Roberto Massa Júnior, known as Ratinho Júnior. (Nicole Luna/YJI)

According to Ramos, there were at least 10 protests on Monday in Maringá. 

In the city of Curitiba, students and teachers invaded the Legislative Assembly of the Paraná State to interrupt the discussion of the law.

But according to the Brazilian newspaper G1, yesterday it was retaken remotely and the deputies approved it, 39-13.

Some watched in support from their apartments. (Nicole Luna/YJI)

“This proposal is one of the biggest attacks on public education in our state. Even with 20,000 people protesting against it, it was approved,” said Ramos.

According to the law, the program could be applied in all state institutions of basic education, with just some exceptions, such as islands and Indigenous communities.

“This is what the government needs to keep applying its reactionary project of ending scientific content and the autonomy of students and teachers,” said Ramos. “If we don’t rally against it, soon they’ll be charging fees to access public education.”

Nicole Luna/YJI

Nicole Luna is a Correspondent with Youth Journalism International.

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