Sunday, October 30, 2011
Not to de-municipalization
Since 1981, public schoolswere transferred to be administered by the 350 municipalities, only rarely and very few municipalities have been able to assume fully the responsibility thatwas transferred. And what could they do it is because many extra resourceshave been allocated to it.
But it seems hasty to say that, given that the vast majority of municipalitieshave failed to manage well their educational establishments, should be exempted from that responsibility. Key seems to me to ask why this has occurred.
First, this is the result of scarce economic resources have been allocated to education through the public school grant. If this is added the declining enrollment in the municipal sector, the result is obviously the resources are completely inadequate to demand better results.
Second, extremely rigid institutional status of teachers and other standards by which many actions and programs are set centrally by the ministry andmunicipalities simply must "apply", gives very little autonomy on educational projects that municipalities can develop their businesses.
Third, it has allowed the installation of private schools indiscriminatelysubsidized by the state to "compete" with local schools (in those districts and neighborhoods where the competition is "profitable"), but private schoolsgiving access to more resources (through share financing) and autonomy(freedom to design their educational projects, and teaching status do not apply).
If not offered sufficient resources and autonomy to manage the schools, and also put them to compete at a disadvantage, I do not see how they could havesucceeded in their goal. It is true that there have been other difficulties, including the political use of funds and contracts, in some municipalities, the lack of priority of some mayors, or the shameful law tenured managers who, for over twenty years, prevented the mayors to change school officials under any circumstances.
Then is it the ultimate solution to remove the management of schools to the municipalities without taking over the substantive issues?
I acknowledge that I have an ideological bias in favor of municipal education. I like to be managed locally, where people are more likely to know and influencewhere education projects could be much more relevant and where integration with other community and public services is much easier to coordinate.
To me it seems wrong to suggest the de-municipalization. What if I might try toleave education in the municipalities, allowing these to ally themselves to generate economies of scale, giving them sufficient resources and autonomy, ensuring that they will be able to work without unfair competition?
The worst scenario is naively imagine changing the dependence of schoolsresolve problems. Any other institutions to repeat the errors identified will sufferthe same failure. What if instead of repeating the slogan, he talked seriously?
Published by Eugenio Severin
This work is under
Creative Commons Licence.