Textbooks Purchase Request Brings Controversy To Department Of Education

A new federal purchase order for K-12 textbooks had no requirements of bibliography and anti-hate speech; minister blamed the previous administration

Paulo Saldaña

The Ministry of Education's new request of offers for a massive purchase of K-12 textbook for the whole Brazilian school system left out basic content requirements like commitment with promoting nonviolence against women and information on Brazilian rural communities.

The purchase request also no longer required publishers to provide bibliographical references, which in turn would make it possible for the government to buy textbooks with factual errors and unproven points of view. 

However, by early evening, the Bolsonaro administration announced that it canceled the controversial purchase request. "This measure was made by the previous administration and corrected by us," the president tweeted.

In a separate note, minister of Education Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez also blamed the purchase request, published two days after the inauguration, on officers from the previous administration. 

Former Minister of Education Rossieli Soares Silva, however, denied that he or any senior officer under his authority authored the changes. Bolsonaro's transition team met with the former Education department 17 times since Dec. 3rd.

"Our team never discussed these issues. In fact, we changed the purchase request to make it even more clear the nonviolence against women content requirement. As of January 1st, any acts from the Ministry of Education are the new administration's responsibility, " said the former minister.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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