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XI CBESP Shows How to Face the Challenges of the Present and Have the Courage To Reinvent Itself

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Prof. Gabriel Mario Rodrigues

Gabriel Mario Rodrigues
Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABMES – The Braziian Association of Owners of Private Higher Education Institutions

“We are what we do, but we are mainly
what we do to change who we are. ” (Eduardo Galeano)

The XI Brazilian Congress of Private Higher Education (CBESP), which had the theme “Innovation and Inclusion for the Brazil we want”, will undoubtedly be a landmark in the transformation of Brazilian higher education, because what was discussed there is the challenge of transformation and breaking the “sacred” paradigms of the status quo of the current stage of education in our country. Do not change the old by changing clothes, what we need to change are minds and souls.

Education will not be transformed if we do not change the jurassic mode of state thinking. And more than that, changing the old rotten and corrupted power structures is a necessity.

The main concern: the biggest problem of the Brazilian university system are its own actors. The system needs to have the courage to reinvent itself. And make it clear that we are the actors who need to change our archaic curricula, our unmotivated teachers, our outdated classrooms, our teaching systems, and evaluation processes.

The heads of the leaders of our schools, the teachers, the people who make up the structure of the Ministry of Education, MEC and even the students themselves must change. For modernity to happen, we need to work together to transform the patrimonial, immoral, shameless and corrupt world of Brazilian politics that robs the Brazilian people ever since Cabral.

As the Forum of Entities representing Private Higher Education makes available the excellent works presented at the XI Congress, www.cbesp.com.br, and only to highlight its thematic quality, I would like to mention Prof. Daniel Castanho, in the first panel on Innovative and Inclusive Higher Education, where he presented the transformative project of his institution, entitled “The experience of Anima Education: the transformation of education through innovation and access”, which shows the lines of action needed to modify the reality that knocks at our doors.

Those who want to be competitive in the coming years, have sustainability, economic, educational and social, just follow the model. If Daniel’s mentality was not one of appeal and unity of purpose, he would not show the development plan of his institution and would not say what I concluded at my round table. Inspired by his words: “We need to create a great ECOSYSTEM OF BRAZILIAN EDUCATION, with each one doing his part, all working together, small, large, private, public, technical, research … finally all in a single and integrated ECOSYSTEM.”

And it is the representative entities of the sector that must be programmed for this expected project and get to work for this to happen. As I said in the previous article, the great challenge of this Congress will be to put ideas into action. The most important task is to align strategies to work in a more welcoming and healthy university environment.

I coordinated the table “Perspectives and Educational Solutions for the Brazil that we want” and questioned teachers Ronaldo Mota and Manuel Formiga and economist João Noronha on the subject. At the conclusion of the debates, I proposed, and felt the proposal to have been accepted, that for Brazil that we want to happen, we will have to stop expecting solutions to fall from the skies and start working to make things happen.

This is the purpose of the creation of the Institute “ONLY EDUCATION CAN SAVE BRAZIL”, whose main objective is to find viable programs to save Brazil from the centenary evils that prevent us from giving better quality of life to our fellow citizens.

Its proposition s to link Ideas and Programs, between the current Brazil and thee  Brazil that we need and want.

During the round table, I applied a poll to check, in the opinion of the participants, what the problem is in Brazil. Corruption (37.6%), Social inequality (32.2%),  and Education (25.5%) were the top three problems among the ten biggest problems pointed out.

The institute “Only Education Can Save Brazil” is still an idea in gestation and for the time being only a pretension. It is based on the collaboration and sharing of people who want a country with less problems and with more optimism and self-esteem. In order to do this, it is necessary to count on the collaboration of the talents and brains and the willingness of the people to straighten the course of our nation. The goal is to have ideas that, transformed into programs, enable a more egalitarian, developmental and sustainable Brazil by 2052.

Explaining why: 321 babies are born per hour. It means 2 million and eight hundred thousand Brazilians per year, will be born counting from tomorrow on. If they have a healthy first childhood, they will be able to enter elementary school at the age of 7. They will enter higher education (technologists, undergraduate and other programs) by the age of 20, will become graduate university students by age 24 and experienced citizens by the age of 30. With optimism, I gave another four years for a generation to put the country on its feet. But it is a path that can only be followed with education and with optimism. It may well take longer.

“Only education can save Brazil” does not intend to re-invent the wheels of educational solutions. The first task is to try to bring together all similar projects, such as “Todos”, Pitágoras Foundation, Ayrton Sena Institute, Leman Foundation and other similar institutions. For the next elections there is a project that the OAB is heading, that the ABMES supports and that we intend to collaborate with. There is an idea to be presented to the ABMES that instead of making the usual meeting with the political candidates’ teams, we must do the opposite: call the candidates to listen to what Brazil needs based on education.

The organizational structure of “Only Education Can Save Brazil” will be thought out and we will soon publicize it, at the request of your collaboration, which is to DONATE ONE WEEK PER YEAR OF YOUR EXPERIENCE AND IDEAS to find a way for this country.