MEC spent R$ 10.2 million to hold an ideologized event on education

MEC spent R$ 10.2 million to hold an ideologized event on education
[****]The Ministry of Education (MEC) transferred at least R$ 10.2 million to hold the National Education Conference (Conae) to discuss the guidelines of the National Education Plan (PNE), a document that defines the direction of Brazilian education through next ten years. The high expenses, according to sources heard by People’s Gazettecould have been considerably smaller if the event had been held in a hybrid format, as occurred with Conae 2022, under the government of former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

[****]The management of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) financed around 1,900 trips to take participants to the national stage, which took place in Brasília in the last days of January. Of the R$ 10.2 million, R$ 3.6 million was spent on tickets and R$ 3.1 million to pay guests’ daily allowances. The University of Brasília (UnB), the place that hosted the national stage, received R$3.5 million for expenses with structure and employee payments.

[****]In payments to individuals, it is possible to find transfers of up to R$29 thousand. Such as People’s Gazette showed, Conae 2024 was a stage for the leftist ideological agenda with the promotion of gender ideology and opposition to homeschooling. During the debates, conservative participants were harassed and even President Lula asked teachers for support for the 2024 elections.

UnB employees received remuneration of R$8 thousand to R$29 thousand to organize Conae

[****]UnB employees also earned extra income for holding the event. This was the case of an audiovisual programmer, who received R$29,238.88 to work for the event – ​​2.5 times more than the gross salary she receives at university. Another who received similar remuneration was the owner of an audiovisual company. He is not a public servant.

[****]A member of the Faculty of Education at UnB received R$13,960.70 to join the Conae Welcoming Committee. In addition, two teachers at the institution received payment in the same amount. Another nine UnB employees received R$8,497.74 for services provided. Approximately R$477 thousand was spent on payments to individuals alone. The data was taken from the Finatec Transparency Portal, which is a support foundation of the University of Brasília, and was responsible for executing the national stage of Conae 2024.

[****]Finatec responded, through a note (read below in full), that the audiovisual programmer was hired as a graphic designer, the businessman participated in the public selection, and that the UnB teachers performed specific functions at the event, “with remuneration in accordance with legal regulations”. The salaries of UnB teachers range from R$25,000 to R$20,000, according to the Federal Government’s Transparency Portal.

[****]Finatec itself received R$284,266.17 for operational and administrative work to hold the conference. “The resources allocated to Finatec are intended to reimburse operational and administrative expenses, as recommended by art. 1st of Law No. 8,958/1994 c/co art. 6th of Decree No. 7,423/2010. This allocation ensures the adequate application of the public resources involved”, replied the agency.

Conae to prepare the PNE had already been carried out in the previous government

[****]Another controversial point concerns the very need to hold the event, since Conae for the preparation of the PNE had already been carried out under the previous government. The National Education Forum, direct organizer of the conference, disregarded the results of Conae held in 2022 during the Bolsonaro government.

[****]“This expenditure of R$10 million should not have even been made. There is no way to say that there was no debate at Conae 2022, because the steps were completed. We follow all legal procedures”, says Helber Ricardo Vieira, former deputy secretary of Basic Education at the MEC during the Bolsonaro administration. “Now they spent R$10 million just to print a legitimization of a partisan speech”, he adds.

[****]In response to a request for information presented by federal deputy Adriana Ventura (Novo-SP), the MEC states that Conae 2022 did not have concrete proposals in relation to PNE objectives, goals and strategies. They add that the bill with the PNE guidelines should have been presented to the National Congress by 2022, according to the law that governs the PNE, and that this did not happen.

[****]“Failures in federative coordination, the lack of objective contribution from Conae 2022 and the failure to send the PNE Bill to the National Congress within the deadline stipulated by law led to action by the current government to take a set of measures aimed at drafting the National Education Plan for the next decade”, points out the document signed by Maurício Almeida Prado, current general coordinator of Ten-Year Education Plans. The document also points out that the MEC considers that there was enough time to carry out Conae and wide dissemination for the municipal and state stages.

[****]“So, at the end of 2022, the conference was held, especially because there was a deadline required by law. In fact, there was a lot of pressure. Because it was held after the election and the PT government wanted to do this Conae, but there was a legal requirement to do it in 2022”, reports Vieira. He says that debates were also held at the municipal and state levels.

[****]A People’s Gazette heard, in October, the Master of Education Anamaria Camargo, who criticized the lack of metrics in the base document presented by the Lula government. “It is an education plan to have no effective metrics for learning and performance. They explicitly say that this should not be measured”, explains Camargo. Still according to her, “a good part of this political and ideological agenda that is in this document brings practices that go against what is already proven to be beneficial for education”.

Hybrid format would have saved money spent on Conae 2024

[****]In relation to direct expenses with participants, there were 1904 paid trips for Conae representatives. Which generated an expense of R$6.7 million for public coffers. The average value per trip was R$3,538.36. The data comes from the federal government’s own travel panel.

[****]According to the law that established the National Education Plan, in art. 6th, at least two national education conferences must be held during the ten years of validity of the PNE. The conferences must have an interval of up to four years between them, as their objective is to “evaluate the execution of this PNE and support the preparation of the national education plan for the subsequent decade”.

[****]The event held by the Bolsonaro government took place in a hybrid format, which considerably reduced costs. According to Helber Vieira, who participated in Conae 2022, the amounts spent were around R$380,000, including daily allowances and tickets. The cost would have been 27 times lower than that of Lula’s team. A People’s Gazette was unable to confirm this information officially.

[****]The MEC must present, by the end of February, the bill with the National Education Plan for the next ten years. According to the ministry’s minister, Camilo Santana, negotiations have already taken place with the National Congress so that the text can be considered before the parliamentary recess in June.

[****]Finatec clarification note

[****]In response to the request for information, Finatec clarifies that its participation in the National Education Conference (Conae) 2024 was conducted in strict accordance with current regulations.

[****]Conae was convened extraordinarily by the Presidency of the Republic, as established in Presidential Decree No. 11,697/2023, with the Ministry of Education (MEC) being the body responsible and financing the event.

[****]The actions of the University of Brasília (UnB) and Finatec, as its supporting foundation, followed the guidelines of Decree No. 10,426/2020 and Law No. 8,958/1994, which regulate the decentralized execution of federal resources and relations between institutions of higher education and supporting foundations.

[****]The selection of personnel for Conae was based on the work plan approved by the competent bodies. Information on financial execution is accessible on the Finatec Transparency Portal, with the event duly registered under number 7543.

[****]The resources allocated to Finatec are intended to reimburse operational and administrative expenses, as recommended by art. 1st of Law No. 8,958/1994 c/co art. 6th of Decree No. 7,423/2010. This allocation ensures the adequate application of the public resources involved.

[****]Finatec, due to its legal nature as a foundation, is under the scrutiny of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which evaluates the accounts and performance of its activities, attesting to the regular functioning of the institution.

[****]Regarding the professionals mentioned, [****] was hired as a graphic designer, [****] participated in the public selection, and [****], [****]It is [****] They are professors at UnB, performing specific functions at the event, with remuneration in accordance with legal regulations.

[****]Finatec reiterates its commitment to transparency and responsibility in the use of public resources, remaining available for any additional clarifications.

[****]****The names were not presented by the newspaper in the report, but can be found on the Fintec Transparency Portal.

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