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New Brazilian government removes “diversity” from textbooks


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Brasilia (AFP)

Textbooks in Brazil will no longer need to highlight the country’s ethnic diversity as part of rule changes introduced under the government of new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

The revised Education Ministry guidelines, a copy of which was seen by AFP, show a set of amended criteria for books to be used in public school curricula. It was dated January 2, the day after Bolsonaro took office.

One of its provisions states that textbooks are no longer required to contain illustrations showing the “ethnic diversity of the Brazilian population”.

The change means that – even though more than half of Brazil’s population is black or mixed race – a school book showing only white type would be deemed acceptable for classrooms.

Another previous requirement that positive images of women be shown has been removed from the new rules.

It is therefore obligatory for the manuals not to contain any spelling or printing errors.

However, an earlier requirement that preconceptions about sexual orientation should be avoided has been maintained.

Since assuming the presidency, Bolsonaro has embarked on an ideological campaign to promote his ultraconservative ideas and values ​​and to erase all traces of the 2003-2016 leftist government in Brazil.

Before becoming a leader, Bolsonaro was best known for nearly three decades as a lawmaker for his racist, misogynistic and anti-gay comments.

Its Minister of Education, Ricardo Velez Rodriguez, has promised to eradicate “cultural Marxism” and the “ideology” of gender identity.

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