by Luana Lourenço of Agência Brasil
The minister of Seppir (Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality), Luiza Bairros, said the Quota Law, enacted on Wednesday, August 29th by President Dilma Rousseff is expected to increase the number of black students in Brazil’s federal public universities from 8,700 to 56,000 per year.
The law stipulates that federal public universities and technical institutes reserve at least 50% of vacancies for students who have completed high school in public schools, with the distribution of vacancies distributed among blacks, browns and Indians.
According to the minister, the association of social and racial criteria for quotas was the “politically possible” solution to try to reverse the inequality in access to higher education.
“Every effort throughout time was in order to establish quotas for blacks, regardless of their school trajectory. But the proposals are placed according to the degree of political maturity of society. Within this measure, we got a result that I consider positive,” she said.
The universities and federal institutes will have four years to implement progressively the percentage of quotas established by law, even those that have already adopted some kind of system in the selection of students. The rules and timetable for the transition will still be established by the regulations, due out later this year.
In the minister’s assessment, as the majority of federal institutions have already adopted some mechanism to reserve places to facilitate access of certain groups of the population to higher education, the adequacy of the percentage established by the new law will not be difficult. “What the project does is establish a higher floor. In most cases the arrangements will be very small.”
In addition to expanding diversity in public higher education, Bairros believes the new law will stimulate the improvement of the quality of secondary education in public schools. “The public school will be sought out by other students. The tendency is recuperated in Brazil that that was once the Brazilian public school, which permitted the entry of people into college,” she said.
Source: O Dia