There was no interference in Enem, Milton Ribeiro tells CNN

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The Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro, said in an interview with CNN this Tuesday (16) that “there was no interference in the National Secondary Education Examination (Enem)”. According to him, the controversies about the exam, which will be held on the next 21st and 28th, are nothing but “pre-Enem noises”.

“Enem is guaranteed, the proofs have already been printed and forwarded. There is no way to interfere. The idea that there was interference is a narrative of those who want to politicize education. Education has no party”, said Ribeiro.

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On Monday (15), commenting on an institutional crisis at Inep, the body that takes care of Enem, President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) said that this year’s exam “begins to have the face of the government.” According to the minister, however, Bolsonaro “never asked nor suggested anything.”

“What we want is for the issues to be technical and not ideological. Neither left nor right. He [Jair Bolsonaro] he never asked me for anything, he never suggested anything to me. What he said, that ‘Enem is the face of the government’, is because we have been doing it in the best possible way”, he said. “What he [Bolsonaro] I really meant, you have to ask him,” he told analysts at CNN.

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The head of the Ministry of Education (MEC) also commented on the dismissals of dozens of professionals from Inep, in recent weeks, alleging that there was interference in the body.

According to Ribeiro, the dismissals are only valid after being published in the Official Gazette, which has not happened so far. Until then, he guarantees that everyone will remain at their posts.

“No servers were fired. First they are open for examination, they left and some made available positions on commission. Anyone who wants to leave can leave, because I’ve already received contacts from others at Inep who have the technical qualifications to take on the positions”, said the minister to CNN.

“They will only leave after Enem’s exams, because they are responsible until now for everything that is happening. We gave them the competence to prepare the exams, so they will be with us until the end. Afterwards, if they decide to reaffirm the resignation of commissioned positions, they can do so. Nobody was sent away”.

In an official letter sent to the board of Inep, to which the CNN had access, public servants claim that, “considering the systemic situation of the body and the technical and administrative weakness of the current top management of Inep”, they request the dismissal of the position in commission or commissioned function they occupied.

“Extremely politicized”

Ribeiro, however, stated that he did not believe in “any type of coercion” and classified the group of servants as “extremely politicized”.

“The claim of a group, as I said, extremely politicized, is a right, we are in a democracy. I can also say a number of things about each one and I have this right. I don’t believe in any kind of coercion, as none of our directors, other than those in charge, had access to the evidence. If you ask me today, I don’t know the topic of the essay, and I don’t want to know.”

According to him, the allegations of intimidation are administrative in nature. Ribeiro claimed that the civil servants involved in the institutional controversy at Inep are “looking at themselves, instead of looking at Education”.

“The intimidation, other accusations are administrative, they have to do with gratification, we’ll deal with it at another time. It is a cost, because in addition to the salary, they have the DAS, which is an extra amount in commission, and now there is a third item, the cost of public service work, there is a bonus for courses in public examination. Anyone who goes beyond their job description is deserving. Those who resigned are the ones who gained the most in terms of this bonus”, analyzed Ribeiro.

Reissue of ProUni e Fies

TO CNN, the Minister of Education also stated that the Bolsonaro government hopes to reissue the federal programs for entry into higher education in Brazil: the University for All Program (ProUni) and the Fies (Fund for Higher Education Student Financing).

But, without giving details, Ribeiro said that “Brazil needs to understand that the answer is a professional technical course”.

“I have no commitment to error. Today, if you have a course, a diploma from a higher education course, this does not guarantee employability. We have 600,000 vacancies for technicians that are open. There is a lack of skilled labor at a technical level. I can’t take an engineer and put him on the job of a building technician. We need to invest in federal institutes”, he said.

“These are interesting programs [Fies e Prouni], let’s reissue them. Fies, Prouni, all these programs will be reissued”, he concluded without providing further details.

(*With information from Basilia Rodrigues, from CNN)

Reference: CNN Brasil

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