Academic freedom under threat by the "Escola sem partido" Bill in Brazil

Rafaella BRUSTOLIN

Résumé

A free and democratic society must be built on the right to freedom of expression. If the citizen are free to decide who they will vote for, and which ideas or propositions to support and promote, they must be free to communicate their ideas with each other, and to attempt to persuade others to their positions. Also, people must have access to information regarding the functioning of government. It is difficult to have meaningful democratic participation, or democratic accountability, when the government conceals information from the public, and starves the public of information regarding its functioning. On the other hand, no one should underestimate the vital role in a democracy that is played by those who guide and train our youth. To impose any strait jacket upon the intellectual leaders in our colleges and universities would imperil the future of the Nation. Scholarship cannot flourish in an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise, our civilization will stagnate and die. This article, therefore, aims to understand the “academic freedom” as the fundamental right that democratically legitimizes teachers and students to construct scientific critical reflections regarding themes that permeate contemporary society. It is closely related to freedom of expression and speech, which is a key principle to the development of an open and democratic government. In Brazil, the Escola sem Partido Bill proposes ideological neutrality in schools and universities, rendering unfeasible debates on issues of political, economic and social relevance. Furthermore, it seeks to understand the fundamental right to education from the individual perspective, rather than comprehending its public and collective character in the political formation of citizenship of the people.

Mots-clés

Freedom, Academic, Brazil

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