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How to Convert Ideas into Solutions: The Greatest Challenge of the Brazilian Congress of Private Higher Education Institutions

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Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABMES – The Brazilian Association of Owners of Private Higher Education Institutions.

“Our beliefs turn into thoughts. Our thoughts turn into words. Our words become actions. Our actions become habits. Our habits become values. And our values ​​reveal our destiny. “(Mahatma Gandhi)

Starting a national education congress with a federal government opening speech on “The Role of Education in Combating Corruption” is a blatant demonstration of where the country came into its administration, both in the public and private business sectors. There is no saint in any of them. A sound society does not coexist with corrupt government and sound government does not admit corruption. There is compliance only if government and the governed act in the same way.

The Brazilian Congress of Private Higher Education Institutions (CBESP), promoted since 2008 by the Forum of Entities representing Private Higher Education and Direct Line, has an important “homework” for the sector to meet in the face of the intricate political, economic and social moment by which the country is: that of helping the graduates of our programs, from infancy to postgraduate, to assimilate and exercise the healthy values ​​of ethics, honesty and solidarity.

The 11th edition begins on June 7, opening at night with the lecture of the well known magistrate Prof. William Douglas. The next day, the event follows with suggestive roundtables and interesting panels aimed at public policies oriented towards innovation and inclusion in Brazilian higher education.

We will coordinate the “Perspectives and Educational Solutions for the Brazil We Want” pannel, which will include Prof. Ronaldo Mota, chancellor of the Estácio Group; Prof. Manuel Marcos Formiga, UNB, and economist João Noronha, analyst of Education, Health and Capital Goods of Santander. Our intention is to reflect on how to put into practice the brilliant ideas discussed. Through the experience of these events, we learn and exchange a lot of different points of views, but as we return to our daily work obligations, we are forced to forget everything.

Brazil is in a turmoil and the education sector needs, through its experience, to contribute ideas to solve the existing challenges. The opening theme of XI CBESP points out where everything should start: education!

In the subject that will be addressed by our panel, experience says that to solve anything, first of all we need to know what the problems are and then propose the solutions. Let us make an analysis of the project of TV Globo “What Brazil do You Want for the Future?” According to the videos sent, we arrive at a panoramic overview of the problems of the country.

Knowing what the Brazilian problems are is not enough to propose ideas for their solutions. It is necessary to analyze what can become viable programs and compare them to hundreds of existing ones.

Having ideas is easy, the most difficult is to make them a reality. If you have a demand, the right product or service is half way there. However, to manage any small service or great product there is a need for motivated and talented people who must have economic resources, plan and goals; fight night and day and persist forever. As optimistic as we are, we cannot solve everything at once. So, let’s just support those actions already being done in our communities.

The private sector of higher education has a relevant role in this context. It is necessary to show society that it is not only after making money and that, through its teachers and students, it can think of more programs to help solve the serious national problems.

The way is to collaborate and share viable ideas in order to find answers. The first action is to form a network of participants, who, depending on the specialty of each one, can donate a few hours of their time to the study of this question. After that, we can create a working group – the GIPP-Investigative Group of Possible Projects. And to be practical, we will not try to solve the problem of corruption, because this takes at least a generation. It is wiser to refine existing projects and begin to make them viable.

These are as follows:

  • Support the improvement of teachers in elementary, middle and high schools of public schools
  • Provide free intellectual and cultural advancement to poor students entering higher education
  • Promote free courses to reduce urban and rural violence
  • Prepare new leaders to take on political roles
  • Promote cultural and environmental preservation actions
  • Promote actions to support the needy population in the areas of law, health, architecture, engineering
  • Open libraries for the poor
  • Forward to the needy machines, equipment, utensils that are no longer being used
  • Provide literacy and numeracy courses
  • Organize free courses on democracy and how to vote
  • Work by neighborhood, city, and country
  • Promote lectures on prevention of health problems and awareness about drugs and alcoholism
  • Promote socio-educational projects to clarify the population on topics such as racism and homophobia
  • Support minorities of all races and creeds
  • Stimulate the incentive to read and produce materials that contribute to the training of public school students
  • Offer vacation courses for the improvement of public administrators
  • Organize cultural presentations (theater, musicals and fairs) for the local community
  • Create Sports events involving residents of poor neighborhoods
  • Promote the installation of mobile schools and hospitals to support the needy population and others of technical, cultural and artistic qualification for professional development
  • Encourage talents of all ages

Improving the lives of Brazilians takes time. But one thing is certain: it needs to have a public spirit, to stop thinking only for itself. There has been the recent strike by the truckers, where, according to Data Sheet, 87% the population supported the movement, but did not want to be without meat, vegetables and gasoline and grumbled when the maid did not show up. My friend stayed 2 hours in the gasoline line. In front of him was a father with two youngsters who were no more than 10 years old. After filling the tank of his truck he wanted to fight with the employees of the station, because they did not want provide extra fuel for his drums. What a good example he was giving to his children.

Respecting the rights of others is learned in the family and exercised in school. That’s the recipe all over the world. However educated we are, we are part of the same family of hominids and in the end we are all the same. Everyone thinks first of themselves. What sets us apart from other countries is that they have set boundaries for “smartness” and when people go beyond the established boundaries they are penalized.

I received a message from the actor Ademar Seccatto that I adapted to conclude today’s theme:

Brazil has come to this economic and social chaos not because we lack natural resources or because nature has been cruel to us. Nor because there are no talents, serious and well-intentioned people. We got into chaos because we became apathetic and when we see something done wrong we say “this is not my problem”. We got to chaos because we lack attitude. We lack the will to follow and teach principles of functioning, prosperous and developed societies, such as:

  1. Ethics as a basic principle.
  2. Integrity.
  3. Responsibility.
  4. Respect for legislation and regulations.
  5. The respect of the majority of citizens for the right of others.
  6. The love of work.
  7. The effort to save and invest.
  8. The will to be productive.
  9. Punctuality.
  10. The pride of doing your duty.

WE CAN ONLY SAVE BRAZIL THROUGH EDUCATION!