February 25, 2019
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s new right-wing government requested on Monday that schools film their students singing the national anthem and that a message including President Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign slogan be read aloud to classes.
Education Minister Ricardo Velez Rodriguez sent a letter to schools requesting that teachers submit videos to the ministry of the readings and singing, according to a ministry statement.
“Brazilians! Let us greet new times in Brazil and celebrate responsible and quality education being developed in our schools by teachers, for the benefits of you, the students, who constitute the new generation,” the message to be read aloud says.
The message concludes with “Brazil above everything, God above everyone,” Bolsonaro’s campaign slogan.
Bolsonaro has vowed to eliminate perceived leftist influence in schools, including sex education and political debate, after the Workers Party ruled for 13 of the last 15 years.
Many activists and non-government organizations are also concerned about growing authoritarianism under Bolsonaro, who has openly praised the 1964-85 dictatorship.
(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Richard Chang)