En masse resignations at agency behind Brazil’s national university entry exam

enem university exam
Government officials announce changes to Enem. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr

A total of 29 officials have resigned from the Brazilian educational studies institute Inep just two weeks before Brazil’s national university entrance exam Enem is set to take place. Two of the institute’s executives resigned on Friday, and a group of 27 civil servants followed suit in a collective request published on Monday.

The disgruntled group complains about the “lack of command” in planning the massive nationwide exam, which is the main entrance yardstick used by Brazil’s public universities. They claim the current government created an “atmosphere of insecurity and fear” in Inep, stressing that their decision to resign was not political. A union of Inep employees accuses the institute’s top brass of moral harassment.

The en masse resignations jeopardize this year’s Enem exam, scheduled to take place on November 21 and 28. 

The exam had already been hit by the Education Ministry’s decision to cut exemptions on fees for those who missed last year’s test, controversially held during the peak of the pandemic in Brazil. Last year, the exam had a record number of 5.8 million abstentions. 

The move resulted in the lowest number of applicants in 14 years, a 52-percent decrease in black applicants, and a 31-percent decrease in applicants from public schools.