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Sad End for Technological Programs

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Rainer Marinho da Costa – Educational Consultant Ower RR Legal Educational Consultancy linked to Faculdade Modelo Curitiba and Faculdade São Braz Curitiba

“Either the red ants end with Brazil or Brazil ends with them”
Sad End of Policarpo Quaresma – Lima Barreto

I begin this text with this parable to illustrate somewhat the regulatory eagerness of the Brazilian public power – the red ants that try to kill innovation and creativity.

We read in prestigious scientific articles that we are graduating in our university portfolios students for professions which, in a few years, will no longer exist, without commenting that we graduate them in the wrong way, with a compartmentalized vision of a twentieth-century college. We know that we are doing it wrong and yet we continue to persist in error.

In the last Census of Higher Education it was found that enrollments in technological programs had a reduction of 12%, which runs counter to market needs, considering that, in their conception, these are programs more oriented to the market and that should cater to this need of the contemporary world.

The technologist programs were born in the Basic Law and Educational Directives (LDB) of 1996 as an idea of ​​Darci Ribeiro, inspired by the American community college system, that provides professional training of short duration, usually of 2 to 3 years. It was a great novelty for Brazil, going against our culture of only graduating bachelors.

From the outset, there was misunderstanding of the term. It was thought that they were programs of technology and not short vocational programs. So much so that, immediately, there were no requests from the colleges for their authorization, many preferred to go to the new Sequencial Programs – another modality created in the LDB, rather than towards a four year graduation.

In the early 2000s, the federal government decided to transform the so-called Federal Technical Colleges into Federal Technological Centers and, by rights, private Technical Colleges could also plead the same. Thus were born several private technological centers, with autonomy to create programs, as provided by the legislation, and with various nomenclatures.

By its regulatory hunger, the government revoked the autonomy of private centers and transformed them into technological colleges. However, each one had already created its own technological programs with its own matrix and nomenclature.

Since there were no guidelines for technologists, the market itself ended up defining what each program should offer. To do so, advisory boards were created, made up of people from the labor market and who participated in program proposals.

Several IESPs tried to create innovative programs with differentiated proposals, especially in the areas of web design, advertising and marketing, but when they tried to do it in the health area, they were barred by the Area Councils with their corporative view of labor market restraints. So much so that a mid-level program was valued more by the board than a short-term degree.

For this reason, and because there are more than 1000 different program denominations, the regulatory bodies saw it fit to rearrange the house, creating a National Catalog of Technological Programs.

In this catalog, the health area was totally restricted and, in most other areas, it was shown as an extension of the middle school-level catalog, the latter being more comprehensive in several aspects.

At this point we come to the heart of the matter: there was permission to innovate and create new programs, however, the bureaucracy for their approval was immense. In our opinion, if the Technological’s proposal is to respond rapidly to the labor market and its changes, regulatory bodies should allow, at least for those who already had a recognized program, the maintenance of that program without the need for a new authorization thus giving more agility to the process, keeping the program updated, meeting the market’s demand.

The isolated colleges, which are the majority of the IESPs, should be able to have autonomy to create new technological programs, taking advantage of the fact that they already have the necessary credentials as HEI. We can cite as example the area of Tourism, in which we observe there is no program that joins marketing with advertising or advertising in new media among several other new professions that are quickly appearing.

The Ministry of Education (MEC) makes it possible to speed up the technological authorization processes for well-evaluated institutions, the so-called bonus. However, we emphasize that the problem is not to authorize programs quickly, but to create new types of programs, with new nomenclatures, with other profiles that are outside the Catalog.

The big problem is that the world of work changes fast and we can not keep up with new programs because our paradigms are of the past. We still live in the twentieth century, following a catalog that does not allow us to create new proposals quickly.

The world is 4.0 and education should also keep pace. To this end, the IESPs should have the autonomy to create new programs according to the market demand. This would give the process agility.

Technologists must regain their market excellence and innovation.