University Entrance Exam puts Brazil against global trends

university exam brazil
Enem exam. Photo: UERJ

President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration has insisted to maintain the dates of the National University Entrance Exam (Enem). The format and dates will be the same despite the closure of schools and universities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This move once again places Brazil against global trends.

Most countries have opted to postpone exams or change the exam format. Only Brazil, Japan, Germany, and Colombia, out of the 27 countries surveyed, have decided to hold their exams as per usual. 

Education Minister, Abraham Weintraub opted to maintain the exam against the advice of state Education Secretaries, claiming that critics were attempting to politicize the issue. Postponing the exams is a leftist subterfuge that disadvantages students, according to Mr. Weintraub. There is currently a bill at the Lower House leveled by opposition parties to postpone the entrance exams.

However, the closure of school has impacted the ability of students to prepare for the exams. According to the superintendent of the Unibanco Institute, Ricardo Henrique, school closures have had a severe impact on poor students. The closures have not only impacted their objective ability to study, but the shock of the pandemic has negatively affected their emotional well-being. As Mr. Henrique noted, “For inept crisis management, only students are paying the price.”