Going to and from school was a daily routine common to thousands of Brazilian children and teenagers until the beginning of March 2020, when social isolation and the suspension of presential classes were decreed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. With public and private schools closed, the entire dynamics of classes, exercises and assessments had to be adapted to the virtual environment and, in many places in the country, without the proper structure for distance education (EAD), thousands of children and young people, from basic education to high school, were even more excluded from the learning process.
The effects were felt to a greater extent by students and teachers of public basic education, many of whom did not employ any digital device before the crisis. Three months after the suspension of presential classes, approximately 4.8 million students, equivalent to 18% of the total number of elementary and high school students in the public network, did not receive any type of activity, by electronic means or printed.
In June 2020, the Global Education Monitoring Report (UNESCO report) warned that 258 million children and young people worldwide did not have access to education in the first months of the pandemic. In Brazil, another report, that of the organization Todos pela Educação no Brasil, “Inclusion and education: everyone, without exception" pointed out that the pandemic will generate significant learning losses and should increase school dropout rates and educational inequalities, in a generation of children and teenagers affected by their educational and social impacts, especially that of the most vulnerable, and, with the absence of a post-pandemic “response" that matches it, should bring repercussions that are even more profound and long-term to the country.
Added to this scenario, there was also a slowdown in important agendas that were underway, such as the implementation of the National Common Curricular Base (BNCC), the New High School, and measures aimed at professionalizing the teacher career and training. However, despite the unfavorable scenario, there were important advances, such as the approval of Novo Fundeb (Basic Education Maintenance and Development Fund) - main funding mechanism for Education - thanks to the action of entities representing different segments of education and the National Congress.
Brazil is part of low- and
medium-low income countries, among which 40% did not have policies to support
students during the period when schools were closing to contain the advancement
of the new coronavirus, nor did they were quick in providing accessibility to
new technologies to reduce the digital exclusion, impacting on the impediment
of regularity of the curricular programs of the series and in the aggravation
of the reach of indicators that are important to the evolution of the
educational area. The world scenario in the face of the pandemic
reinforced and further aggravated the exclusion of students from the poorest
families and specific groups, such as those who live in a rural environment or
in peripheral communities of high social vulnerability.
Four out of ten students,
equivalent to 42%, do not have adequate equipment and conditions to access
distance education. Regional inequalities are also evident. While almost seven out
of ten high school students in the Southeast Region took online classes
mediated by their teachers, this proportion was just over four out of ten in
the Northeast and South regions.
In the last edition of International Student
Assessment Program (PISA) - an exam
carried out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
with 15-year-old students from more than 88 countries - the socioeconomic
status of Brazilian students was already a predictive factor of performance. In
other words, the higher the student's income, the better their performance in
the test - and the abyss that separates students from different social classes
had been deepening before the pandemic. To give you an idea, in 2009, there was
an 84 point gap between rich and poor young people, an indicator that jumped to
97 points in the 2018 reading test. On the average of OECD countries, the
distance from Brazilian students is 89 points from students from countries in
the best positions.
However, although this
impact on education presents a horizon of further delay in reaching the
progress indicators, it has been researched and has accelerated proposals that
reduce the gap, contributing to the proposal of new practices to overcome these
The project Educational
Ideas and Practices Desk, carried out by Neoenergy
partnership with CIEDS - awarded by NGO Advisor as the second best
non-governmental organization in the country - is one of these good examples.
The project, which started in April 2019, proposes the training of teachers and
school administrators, promoting the development of collective and integrated
actions in the co-creation and expansion of pedagogical strategies that impact
the integral development of students, and revealed innovative practices in
education, which work the ten competencies of the National Common Curricular
Base (BNCC). One of its most relevant actions, in 2020, was the launch of a
platform with the intention of sharing these practices, reflections and new
proposals in facing the challenges of education, accessible to all educators in
Searching for the best
strategies to take the program to the virtual world and identifying the
challenges that impact distance learning courses, the project team invested
time and dedication to overcome these difficulties and continue to engage
educators. “It was and still is a scenario of a lot of resilience and
adaptation. For complex solutions, we think that we need collective work. And
we have tried that with the Ideas Desk", says Nathacha Ferreira,
coordinator of the project that happens in the municipalities of
Caieiras and Francisco Morato, in São Paulo; Itapebi, Itaparica and São
Francisco de Conde, in Bahia; Rio do Fogo in Rio Grande do Norte, and Santa
Luzia, Junco do Seridó and São José do Sabugi, in Paraíba.
During the pandemic, the Ideas
Desk (“Balcão de
Ideias”) had the opportunity to try the adaptation of its methodologies and
accompaniments for a distance relationship. “In 2020 we need to learn how to do
EAD, thinking about the best learning process for our teachers and managers. We
conducted a survey to identify the main challenges and best online learning
tools, in addition to elaborating content and creating a remote teaching
In view of the pandemic
scenario and to continue to provide valuable support to education networks, the
project defined as strategies the launch of the special page “Education and Covid-19”,
within its online platform, available to everyone, and the creation and the
implementation of three distance learning courses for the training of teachers
The page "Education and Covid-19" was launched in June 2020
with the purpose of curating content, events and good practices. “And also to
make it possible for education professionals to disseminate their content and
initiatives related to the context of the pandemic”, explains Nathacha.
The EAD courses were
divided as follows: one for elementary school teachers, with a focus on BNCC
and the development of skills; another for teachers of early childhood
education, with a focus on BNCC and the development of the field of experience;
and a third with a focus on training managers of education departments.
The challenge increased in
the face of inequalities in educational networks, such as difficulties in
accessing the internet and the distance between schools and students' homes. “We
thought of the platform considering the best experience of our teachers and
managers, to be easy to use on the mobile phone and without relying so much on
a good connection. We created asynchronous courses (which can be done at any
time) with tutors, who used several strategies to support educators in the use
of resources in this new reality", complements Nathacha.
The network formed since
the beginning of the project reached more than 1600 teachers and school
administrators and has had an impact on the dissemination of innovative ideas
in education through the systematization of pedagogical practices that work
with the ten General Competencies of the National Common Curricular Base. In
2020, it was adapted to the remote mode - and the more teachers and educators
developed in this new model and received positive feedbacks, the more they
realized that they were improving their knowledge and evolving with the digital
A completely new training
course was built. Each group that is part of the program network had a
customized strategy, using what they knew from their participants to develop
ways to engage them - creating a course with accessible language, contemporary
theoretical-methodological approach and experienced and dynamic trainers.
“I felt insecure
because we were not working in person. I was teaching the mother, we were used
to talking to the child. We need to teach the mother to teach the child. We
were trying to figure out which way to go. Then I saw that it was just an
adaptation of what I normally did”, explain Solange Oliveira, teacher of
early childhood education in Francisco Morato (SP).
Lucycleide Ferreira, an
elementary school teacher in the city of Itaparica, says that the project went
further, because although the pandemic was a sad scenario, learning must always
encourage play. “I really believe in this part way learning by playing, with
playfulness. Teaching comes smoother and the student can assimilate, learn
lightly”, it says.
The Itaparica class, of
which Lucycleide is a part, is made up of teachers of early childhood education
and all of them wanted to expand their educational knowledge, create
pedagogical practices and understand more about their students' learning, and
had no equipment available. In the beginning, they had many access difficulties
and little familiarity with the virtual environment, but they overcame the
difficulties with the project's network.
In March 2021, the teachers made a point of recording their graduation, in view of all the difficulties and protocols required for the prevention of Covid-19, in order to share this experience with all the teachers in the country. “With the Desk I felt more prepared, trained and with new teaching skills", concludes Lucycleide. The teachers' initiative to celebrate their completed training process says a lot about the results of the project, which has been overcoming challenges and changing the reality of Brazilian education, every day.