Logo An Amazon Concertation
Land of Encounters
“Educação: Território de Encontros” (Education: Land of Encounters) was the topic of the 3rd Concertation Meeting in 2023. Attended by over 100 people and mediated by the initiative's executive secretary, Fernanda Rennó, the meeting kicked off with a tribute to João Donato, which featured the performance of song “Amazonas”.

Fernanda Rennó presented the exclusive series of Amazon fungi watercolors, created by Amazonian visual artist Hadna Abreu, portrayed in publication “Propostas para as Amazônias: uma abordagem integradora” (Proposals for the Amazons: an integrative approach), launched at the Amazon Summit, in Belém, by the Concertation.


Fungi are a metaphor for the interrelationships between the structural topics discussed in the publication, similar to the connections that fungal networks establish at the base of the nutritional cycle necessary for all forms of life. The document seeks to go beyond these topics and expose the connections between them, understanding that comprehending these relationships and enhancing the debate can offer paths for transforming action.


And while, together with the launching of proposals, the network also launches Programa Itinerários Amazônicos (Amazon Itineraries Program), in partnership with Instituto iungo and Instituto Reúna, Education was the central topic of the discussion from the perspective of its fundamental importance for the construction of an inclusive development agenda for the territory.

“When we make advancements in the understanding of the schooling process, we realize that part of the Amazonian population that managed to access education is withdrawing from school because school does not make sense for those lives and because, as a public policy, no care is taken towards protecting the school life trajectories of the most fragile and vulnerable groups in our societies. This must be an intersectoral public policy effort to prevent people from withdrawing from school. Protecting this trajectory is protecting the boys’ and girls’ retention in school. This means investment in health policy, social welfare, work and income policy. This is because if families were faced with the dilemma of choosing to survive or keep their teenagers in school, we know the answer each of us would give and the answer that families tend to give.”, Alexsandro Santos, Director of Basic Education Policies and Guidelines of the Ministry of Education, guest lecturer of this meeting.

Alexsandro also shared the floor with Alcielle dos Santos, Director of Education at Instituto iungo and member of the Board of Sustainable Economic and Social Development of the Presidency of the Republic, and Wilmara Cruz Messa, Director of the Amazonas Education Media Center (CEMEAM).

“Schools should be thought of as a knot in a net. Nets protect, they prevent things from falling”

(Alexsandro do Nascimento Santos)

First speaker up, Alexsandro stressed that public education policies are marked by the hegemony of how the Southern and Southeastern people in Brazil see the world. This perspective places the North and Northeast as territories of absence, secondary to the nation’s project, producing educational policies that do not apply to them. For this reason, he advocates a “decolonial turn”.


According to Alexsandro, it is necessary to mobilize the power of subjects who have been excluded, as is the case in the Amazon, to help Brazil see other ways of living and coexisting in the world, and to produce educational policies based on other parameters: life in the forest, in the rivers, in the Amazonian cities. These policies, therefore, must find answers to questions that have not yet been asked.


Concerning the Basic Education policy, Alexsandro highlighted the need to face three layers of challenges: ensuring access, permanence and meaning in the lives of subjects. In the Amazon, in particular, intersectoral and interinstitutional action is needed to protect the school trajectory, combining health, infrastructure and income actions, for example.


The MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture) director mentions, as a metaphor for education, the idea that “schools should be thought of as a knot in a net; nets protect, they prevent things from falling”. As such, schools must connect with what happens in people’s social and cultural lives, where learning processes also take place. Comprehensive education involves a perspective of strengthening the intersectoral network and ensuring that its curriculum produces a strong and consistent connection with the territory. Thus, territory and intersectoriality are pillars of a comprehensive education policy that provide schools, communities, cities and states with high decision-making power on how to implement education.


As for Secondary Education, Santos stated that the MEC revised the National Education Plan and continues to work towards further developing its policies, having the equality of education opportunities as its center of gravity.

“Generating opportunities for everyone to have basic education in their areas is a necessity”

(Wilmara Cruz Messa)

Next, Wilmara Cruz Messa reported on the CEMEAM, created in 2007 by the Amazonas state government aimed at bringing basic education to more remote communities, by means of online classes. Today, the Center serves approximately 27,000 students.   She presented an institutional video describing CEMEAM’s work, which combines pedagogical and technological tools, making use of face-to-face teaching mediated by technology. The program features live classes, specialist teachers and pedagogues, expanding the coverage of the State Department of Education and Sports.   According to Wilmara, the project is still not able to deliver specific curricula for indigenous, rural or quilombola education, but it is expanding its teams to achieve this goal. At this time, our focus is on “generating opportunities for everyone to have basic education in their areas”.

“We must Amazonize Brazilian schools”

(Alcielle dos Santos)

Afterwards, Alcielle dos Santos addressed two topics: the education that Brazilian society wishes for the Legal Amazon; and how this education should also be aimed at all Brazilian men and women.


Alcielle explained that education for the Legal Amazon must be expressed in an integrated and inclusive approach, as proposed in document “Educação em Perspectivas” (Education in Perspectives).


The publication thinks of education in terms of its material conditions and seeks a more humanized construction than that which has been carried out so far. It involves building education for the Amazon with the Amazon, which means engaging the people of the Amazon from the conception through the materialization of public policies and all efforts in education that take place in their territory.


The expert pointed out that the current political moment requires the collaboration of all sectors for an education policy that is made by and for the State, not by and for the government. The National Education Plan for the 2024-2034 decade and a public policy on Comprehensive Education are under debate, with the recreation of the National Education Forum (FNE).


In this sense, document “Educação em Perspectivas” (Education in Perspectives) presents a territorial analysis based on quantitative and qualitative data. Alcielle showed an infographic with a timeline of the main legal frameworks of Education policies since the 1988 Constitution, providing grounds for what needs to be put into perspective today: the education indicators in the Amazon, which are more worrisome than the national indicators, but which should not be considered a “fault”. One must look at the materiality of the territory, the cultural wealth and diversity of the people, the consistency and power of the youth.


For her, this document is a relevant Concertation deliverable to the government and the advocacy of a quality of life that is based on social justice, which is part of the discussion of the development model.


At this point, Alcielle moved on to the second topic of her speech: the recent launching of the “Itinerários Amazônicos” Program, which proposes to “amazonize” schools in Brazil.


Developed by the Concertation in partnership with Instituto iungo and Instituto Reúna, the program is based on a curricular matrix designed by experts, which brings biodiversity and sociodiversity, the geopolitics of the Amazon, the identities, cultures and economies of the region as its main topics. The Itineraries include in their pedagogical material 15 curricular units and continuing education for teachers. Provided free of charge to all Brazilian states, they have already been adopted by eight state departments of education.


Related News