The Auschwitz Institute is pleased to announce the release of a new eBook, Citizenship and Democracy in School in Times of COVID-19: An experience with schools of the socio-educational system of the State of Paraíba. This resource was created by the Warren Educational Policies Program (WEPP) in partnership with the Secretary of Education, Science, and Technology of the State of Paraíba in Brazil.
Citizenship and Democracy in School in Times of COVID-19 represents the outcome of activities carried out with students from the six units of the socio-educational system – a program teaching accountability and facilitating the resocialization of adolescents – in the state of Paraíba during the second semester of 2020. The activities, implemented within the context of the Citizenship and Democracy in School project during remote classes, addressed a series of themes such as racism, inequality, and human rights. The project culminated in an Arts Festival held on December 10, International Human Rights Day. The participating students’ drawings, poems, and texts were compiled to create this eBook.
This eBook aims to present the work of these students and the way they express themselves in relation to their reality living in Brazil. In addition to the students’ artwork, the book also includes stories reflecting the experiences of teachers involved in this initiative and representatives of the Secretary of Education, Science and Technology of the State of Paraíba, as well as the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office. These institutions collaborate closely with AIPG in Brazil and have been essential to carrying out this initiative during such a challenging and complex time for all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a series of negative social and economic consequences worldwide and has had an especially severe impact on guarantees of, and protections for, human rights in Brazil. Similarly, education is one of the areas that has been the most affected by the pandemic. Due to prevailing levels of social inequality, the resulting challenges have had a significant impact on the country’s most vulnerable groups. As a result of their living conditions, the students of Paraíba’s juvenile detention system have not had access to education for months — a fundamental misstep in their resocialization process. This situation motivated the Secretary of Education and the Auschwitz Institute to create the Citizenship, and Democracy in School in Times of COVID-19 to mitigate the negative impacts.
Since the beginning of the public health emergency in March 2020, AIPG’s Warren Education Policy Program has closely monitored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Brazilian education system. Through various actions, the WEPP has sought to strengthen its educational community and maintain students’ commitments to their education by encouraging reflection on issues such as identity, diversity, democracy, and other themes that are part of the Citizenship and Democracy school project.
In response to the global pandemic and its effects, the actions of the Warren Educational Policies Program of the Auschwitz Institute in Brazil have become more urgent. In partnership with the Secretary of Education, Science and Technology of the State of Paraíba and the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Auschwitz Institute has joined efforts to support educators and ensure students’ access to education, based on the values of human rights and democratic citizenship. AIPG sees these fundamental values as critical to overcoming these current challenges.
This eBook, Citizenship, and Democracy in School in Times of COVID-19: An experience in schools of the socio-educational system of the State of Paraíba, shows not only the importance of initiatives like these but also reinforces the need for collaboration between governments, teachers, coordinators, principals, and students to achieve a more just and humane, and solidary-minded society.
Dr. Clara Ramírez Barat, Director of the Warren Education Policy Program commented:
We are delighted to be able to reaffirm, through this initiative, our purpose of collaborating with Brazilian schools in promoting citizenship education among young people. This is carried out with the aim of building more inclusive societies in which people share the values of equality, justice, and empathy. As prosecutor Dr. José Godoy has written in the preface to this book, I too would like for this work to represent a breath of hope in these difficult times that Brazil is going through.