The National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep) announced, last Wednesday (20), the postponement of the exams of the National High School Exam (Enem) 2020. The controversy surrounding a new date is just a chapter of the broad debate on the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic also for education. A document prepared by researchers from the CoVida Network – Science, Information and Solidarity – alerts to the impacts of the closure of school units on the lives of the 47.8 million students of Basic Education in Brazil.

Despite defending the measures to suspend classes, the researchers point out a series of issues that can aggravate learning and increase inequalities in the medium and long term. “The objective is to discuss how the removal of these students, especially the 38.7 million who are enrolled in public schools, will increase the degree of inequality in education in the country”, explains Márcio Natividade, professor at the Instituto de Saúde Coletiva (ISC / UFBA) ) and one of the authors of the document.

The group of researchers highlights the impact of changes in the school calendar, and of Enem itself, for the health of students. “We raised it from the concern with nutritional problems resulting from the interruption of the supply of school meals, as well as the psychological pressure and the impact of the long period of social isolation on the mental health of students”.

Another problem discussed by the document is the education alternative in distance education and the lack of a more egalitarian internet access policy. In Brazil, according to the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), only 42% of the “D” and “E” classes are connected, with more than 70% of users being in urban areas. “This process is aggravated by the precariousness or lack of internet in a significant portion of the homes where these students reside”, he observes.

Still according to the professor, it is also necessary to invest in training educators to use and master digital tools in this new scenario. “These are pedagogical and technological limitations that hinder and prevent the development of distance education activities in our country,” he says.

To access the full document, click here.