Brasilia, (EFE).- The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, promised this Thursday to “take back” “the children of the poorest” to the university and to recover investment in education, reduced to a minimum in the last four years.
Lula participated in a meeting with rectors of the country’s federal universities and, without actually naming him by name, lamented the “abandonment” that the education sector suffered during the four years in office of now former President Jair Bolsonaro.
He stressed that his “ancestor” never received the heads of the universities and described this first meeting with the rectors as “a meeting of civilization”, to recognize the importance of education and science.
He also alluded to the “contempt” for the universities that the extreme right led by Bolsonaro showed while he was in power and promised to reverse the “regression” that occurred in “every classroom” during a time that he defined as “obscurantism.”
Lula affirmed that he intends to review the budgets of public universities, reduced to a minimum during the last four years, with the conviction that the money destined for education be accounted for as an investment.
In this context, he again criticized the financial market, which in recent weeks has shown some concern about the decision of the new government to strengthen the role of the State and leave behind the liberalism at all costs promoted by Bolsonaro.
“We cannot accept this denial by the State,” because “we have a 500-year social debt with the people,” Lula declared.
He also reiterated that it is necessary that “education, health or the urbanization of the favelas” be considered investment, contrary to the idea of financial operators, for whom “the only thing that is not spending is the payment of the debt”. state.
Lula recalled that in his first two terms, between 2003 and 2010, investment in education in Brazil grew at historic rates and that, in that period, the poorest were the majority in public universities.
However, according to data from the Ministry of Education, currently only 17% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 study in higher institutes, when the goals that had been set more than a decade ago pointed to 33%. by 2024.
These same data say that evasion in tertiary study in Brazil reaches almost 60%, which Lula attributed to the fact that the poorest have been forced to leave the university to work and help their families.
“We went back to the time when the majority of the people were born just to work,” but “it is not possible not to feel indignant at that,” declared Lula, who assured that the State “will create the opportunities that people need” and will allow “the daughter of a domestic worker can once again dream of being a doctor”.