by Gabriel Mario Rodrigues
“You should not go into despair. The fear of the new is old. For almost two centuries it has been speculated how many jobs will disappear because of the machines. “(Daniel Rittner – journalist from Valor Econômico)
Coral weddings represent the maturation and strengthening of a relationship, just as coral reefs take years to form fully. This 35 years since the founding of the Brazilian Association of Private Higher Education (ABMES), as symbolism, shows that, identically to these beautiful species of nature, the entity matured and today is already a beautiful coral reef.
The history of ABMES shows that there has always been an extraordinary and recognized effort of its leaders, not only to value and to strengthen the role played by the associated institutions but also, with tireless years of struggle and work, to articulate with the public administration, aiming to offer and debate proposals for the development of Brazilian education.
Candido Mendes, the first president, established during his administration the ideals and principles that until today guide the entity. He said in 1982: “The ABM should be a great forum for discussion and dialogue of schools, in order to capture their aspirations and translate them into viable propositions for the Government, since bankruptcy of the sector would mean today the frustration of almost one million Brazilians and the inexorable condemnation of this generation. ”
In the administration of Édson Franco, ABMES grew significantly in number of associates, conquered new spaces, brought to the scope of the entity the debate on topics of interest of Brazilian higher education. It gained respectability in the academic community and in the government, created ABMES Editora, whose publications are known throughout the nation for the quality of its content.
With these lines of action defined and without losing sight of the ideals and principles established, as the third president, my mission at the head of ABMES was to open spaces for dialogue with public agents, to strengthen communication with society and to articulate the construction of the Forum of Entities Representatives of Private Higher Education, as a place for the exchange of information between associations of the sector. Among the legacies, we can highlight the associative strengthening and the purchase of a majestic headquarters. Among the concerns, we have to consider the global transformations in the workplace and its dependence on the continuing training of Human Resources.
Over these 35 years, ABMES has gone through delicate periods, with some displeasures, but also with great brilliance as it participated and witnessed national history with its social, cultural, economic and political issues. However, reality has moved and advanced at an incredible speed, challenging the various actors in the world of education to worry about finding alternatives for young people who are going to work in a new society that is changing the way of living, working, relating and communicating.
In the commemorative dates of ABMES we have talked a lot about its history and the past. But the changes are demanding that we leave the rearview mirror and look into the future that has already arrived and into the future that still awaits us. Let’s think, then, of visioning 2032 as a much better world, when the Association will turn 50.
In this context, ABMES, as wise as ever, recently elected President José Janguiê Bezerra Diniz, who, with his board of directors, knows how to face the challenges of the “Century of Intelligence”, and works tirelessly to ensure that educational systems are structured to overcome the demands of the realities of this new world. His biggest challenge is to visualize the agenda that awaits us.
The 4th Industrial Revolution has brought in its transformations concepts such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, cloud computing, robots replacing much of the traditional workforce and hundreds of other operational, cultural and demographic changes. And the paradox in all of this is that the Brazilian educational system is completely tied to outdated regulations that are not in tune with business and social needs that are now hungry for talented and competent professionals independent of their degrees.