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Educação & Realidade

versão impressa ISSN 0100-3143versão On-line ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.44 no.1 Porto Alegre  2019  Epub 25-Fev-2019 


Offer of Schools of Quilombola School Education Center in the Northeast/BR

Edmilson Santos SantosI

Tatiana Ribeiro VellosoII

Paulo Gabriel Soledade NacifII

Givania SilvaIII

IUniversidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco (UNIVASF), Petrolina/PE - Brazil

IIUniversidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB), Cruz das Almas/BA - Brazil

IIIUniversidade de Brasília (UNB), Brasília/DF - Brazil


The present study aims to present an overview of the implantation of Quilombola Schools (EEEQ) in the Northeast Region. Three aspects have been analyzed: (a) distribution of EEEQ by state and populational class in the Northeast region; (b) identification of the relation among communities self-defined as quilombolas, certified by the Palmares Cultural Foundation, and EEEQ offers; (c) analysis of enrolments in EEEQ. As it has been detected in previous studies, conflicting and unreliable information produced by the State foster the continuity of practices that neglect important information and take us to the road of institutionalized racism that lingers in Brazilian society.

Keywords: Public Policies; Education; Quilombola Education; Quilombo; Inequality


O presente trabalho tem por objetivo apresentar panorama de implantação das Escolas de Educação Escolar Quilombola (EEEQ) na região Nordeste. Três aspectos foram analisados: (a) distribuição das EEEQ por estados da região Nordeste e por classe populacional; (b) identificação da relação entre comunidade quilombola certificada e oferta de EEEQ; (c) análise das matrículas nas EEEQ. Como já detectado em outros trabalhos, informações desencontradas e de baixa confiança produzidas pelo Estado dão continuidade às práticas que negligenciam informações importantes que nos levam à porta de entrada do racismo institucional que persiste na sociedade brasileira.

Palavras-chave: Políticas Públicas; Educação; Educação Quilombola; Quilombo; Desigualdade


One of the saddest moments in our history covers the 300 years of slavery in Brazil. Thousands of black men and black women were yanked out of Africa and brought here as slaves. During this period, Brazil consolidated itself as a nation, even pulling apart from social coexistence those responsible for building a significant part of the country’s wealth. As we know, slavery was not a hasty isolated action taken by the economic elite, but a State policy with specific legislation and government practices that guaranteed the right to enslave. Therefore, the Brazilian state was the responsible for securing legal, political and police security to the slavery system (Moraes, 1966).

Over a hundred years after slavery abolition, the State takes the first steps towards reparation of the historical debt with descendants of slaves, mainly those who remain living in quilombo (Silva, 2015). Regarding quilombola communities, the Federal Constitution of 1988 guaranteed the right to recognition of communities remaining from quilombo (CRQ) (Brasil, 1988)1. Another important step has been taken by the federal government since 2003. A series of actions have been implemented and make possible to put in an objective (and belated) way quilombola communities on the map of effective concerns of the State (Figueiredo, 2017).

Among the initiatives, we may highlight the following: the creation of an organ linked to the direct administration that enjoy Ministry status with the ability of coordinating actions in the field of racial equality promotion, the Special Secretariat for the promotion of Racial Equality; the Brazil Quilombola Program; expansion of the certification of quilombola communities and of land regulation; improvement of water distribution via PAC-FUNASA; the attainment of a house of their own via the Minha Casa Minha Vida Program; extension of the Luz Para Todos Program and social fare guarantee; Technical Assistance and Quilombola Rural Extension; Brazil Quilombola Seal; building of quilombola schools; access to the Dinheiro Direto na Escola do Campo Program; approval of Curricular Guidelines for Quilombola Education, for instance. In other words, policies regarding quilombola communities have officially made it to the government’s agenda.

As we could notice, a set of actions has been implemented with the intention of fostering the economic and social development of quilombola communities, with the government receiving part of the quilombola movement’s political agenda. Despite the expansion of access to public policies, it has not been possible to implement social justice from the educational point of view, since these communities still hold many vulnerabilities in this area. Thus, it is necessary to increase actions that aim to enhance the quality of education and teaching conditions in Quilombola Schools Education (EEQ)2 and Quilombola School Education Centers (EEEQ).

EEQ is the result of a social mobilization around education aimed at assisting historical and cultural specificities from these communities. This recognition came after a long discussion process that led to the approval, by the National Board of Education, of Resolution 8, in November 20th, 2012, by Curricular Guidelines for Quilombola Basic Education (Brasil, 2012).

Despite the progresses rewarding quilombola communities with poor or inexistent national public policies till then, there is lack of studies to bring to the debate surface the challenges need for the realization of EEQ and implementation of quality EEEQ3. For instance, the evaluation of educational quality of EEQ is still lost in the debate. Little is known about the impact of public policies in education in quilombola lands and how do they respond to challenges set by the National Plan of Education (Brasil, 2001). The lack of information (and the silence of authorities) does not allow to find effective answers, in the field of public policies, for the problems faced by EEQ.

It has been long known that the non-visibility of reality contributes hugely to the perpetuation of inequalities and racismo. This aspect has been highlighted by authors such as Telles (2005), Bedin (2006) and Borges (2005). To the latter, racial democracy myth only lasted based on statistical and demographic misinformation.

There are few studies on the education field seeking to bring out to the debate the reality of EEQ in Brazil4. In this direction, the work of Silva (2015) stands out. In it, the author makes a rich national diagnosis from data available on School Census of Basic Education of 2012. The study intended to assess limits and possibilities of school census as a tool to follow-up of educational policies in CRQ.

Even acknowledging the importance and lack of national analysis for the enhancement of the debate on public policies aimed at CRQ, especially those in education, we chose to limit the scope of this analysis to the Northeast region. However, this limit does not diminish the complexity and breadth of the problem, since the Northeast region, in 2013, was responsible for 64,42% [South region (2.66%); Southeast region (11.78%); Central-West region (3.67%); North region (17.47%)] of EEEQ offers and 67,69% of enrolment in EEEQ [South region (3.17%); Southeast region (10.61%); Central-West region (4.55%); North region (13.99%)]. Therefore, this framework represents the reality of EEQ in Brazil and might point to important challenges in the national education policy.

To understand the conditions for the implementation of EEEQ in the Northeast region, the present study analyzed the offer of EEEQ from registers of CRQ by municipality and state5. It has been added to the analysis the distribution of enrolments in EEEQ. Educational information was based on the School Census of Basic Education of 2013 (INEP, 2013).

In order to do that, we organized the study in three moments. In the first one, a brief incursion about the debate around the State responsibility regarding the generation of racial inequality was taken. The organizing concept of institutional racism marks the observations. Next, we bring out data referring to the following investigated aspects: (a) distribution of EEEQ by state and populational class in the Northeast region; (b) identification of the relation among communities self-defined as quilombola, certified by the Palmares Cultural Foundation, and EEEQ offers; (c) analysis of enrolments in EEEQ. Finally, we make some considerations about the research findings.

When There is Something We do Not Know

It is not new to affirm that black populations, including those from quilombola communities, suffer from several fragilities on account of inequalities fostered by racism. To Jaccoud (2008, p. 55), “[…] there is no doubt that an important part of factors preventing the improvement of living conditions and opportunities for black people lays on limited insuficcient patterns due to the social naturalization of this population’s inferior condition”. The work of Telles (2005) brings with rich details the deepest marks of this inequality.

After the abolition, the Brazilian State and society struggled to diminish or eliminate ethnic-racial inequalities (Nunes, 2016; Arruti, 2010). For a long time, racial democracy ideology served as antidote to deny the social drama experienced by millions of Brazilians because of their racial origin. The idea was always to explain it placing the problem as from another cause, usually socioeconomic. According to Jaccoud (2008), this denial served as one of the bases for the reproduction of racial inequalities in Brazil, as far as its recognition would demand the governments take a stand. There was, and to a certain extent there still is, difficulty for the State itself to acknowledge racial reproduction institutional devices created by it (López, 2012).

To some authors, the difficulty of facing this issue is associated to veiled devices that foster discrimination by society and State and for that reason are not recognized/open (López, 2012; Kalckmann et al., 2007). Due to this non-confrontation, social institutions (especially governments) have been contributing immensely to the continuity of a racist culture. Consequently, State should fight relentlessly these practices, and not act in favor of their survival. As Santos (2012) points out, since slavery period the Brazilian State holds a history of disrespect to legislations that foster social justice to black population. It seems to be a bother to change this way.

In the academic field, there are few works capable of problematizing the educational reality of CRQ in national or regional level (mainly through panoramic or comparative approaches) in a way to present (or deny) the implications of institutional racism in the production of its reality. Quilombola communities for a long time have been arbitrarily forgotten or silenced. Not even governments or policies communities have dedicated themselves to produce accurate diagnosis and evaluations about this reality. Advancing into this agenda is necessary, since it is in the secondary turf, the unattainable one, that lay those racist practices legitimated by the State (Larchert; Oliveira, 2013; Santos, 2012; Silvério, 2002).

According to the Report on the Situation of Brazilian Childhood and Adolescence (Brasil, 2003, p. 15):

[…] 31,5% of seven-year-old quilombola children have never attended schools; educational units are far from their houses and structural conditions are poor, usually the buildings are made out of straw or wattle and daub; few of them have drinkable water and sanitary installations are not appropriate. Access to school for these children is hard, transportation is insufficient and inadequate and the syllabus is far from their reality. Quilombola students hardly ever see their history, their culture and specificities of their life in class programs and materials. Teachers are not properly prepared, and outnumbered to meet the demand and, in many cases, in a single space there is only teaching classes to different groups.

Another important diagnose capable of translating this reality in a comparative way was mentioned by Silva (2015), who emphasizes that a significant number of EEEQ have no access to sewage system and electric power and infrastructure conditions and teachers’ formation are poor. Since basic education is a responsibility of subnational governments (municipalities, states and Federal District), the lack of preparation in guaranteeing access to an education that responds to the challenges set by the National Plan of Education (Brasil, 2001) may be seen as one of the marks of institutional racism (Venturi; Bokany, 2005).

In face of the prior commitment the Brazilian State should maintain with CRQ, due to the long period of abandonment to which these populations have been submitted, it is reasonable to think ‘negligence’ and ‘historical abandonment’ as revealers of a racism produced by State institution (López, 2012; Rodrigues, 2010).

Institutional racism may be understood as “[…] collective failure of an organization or institution in promoting a professional service suitable to people according to their color, culture, racial or ethnic origin” (PNUD, 2005, p. 6). Another concept quite accurate to what is being proposed in this study is the one offered by the Combate ao Racismo Institucional Program.

Institutional racism is the failure of institutions and organizations when it comes to providing a professional and proper service to people due to their color, culture, racial or ethnic origin. It manifests itself in norms, practices and discriminatory behaviors in the routine at work, which result from racial prejudice, an attitude that combines racist stereotypes, lack of attention and ignorance. In any case, institutional racism always places discriminated people from racial or ethnic groups in a situation of disadvantage in the access of benefits produced by the State and other institutions and organizations (CRI, 2006, p. 22).

These populations’ life conditions reveal the State has been historically legitimizing institutional practices that widely open institutional racism (Duarte, 2004; Silvério, 2002). The most wicked side of these practices is noticed in the participation of State agents (military police, mainly) in the genocide of young black people (Santos, 2012); in the negligence in health department regarding illnesses that attack mostly black population (Kalckmann et al., 2007)6; in the struggle to guarantee the right to the land, especially when the feud is with the State itself, as it is the case of the titulation of the communities of Rio dos Macacos (RJ) and Alcântara (MA) (Figueiredo, 2017). In the legislative sphere, it is never enough emphasizing that the quilombola right has been secured in only one article in transitory dispositions in FC/88, while indigenous communities have been assisted in one chapter.

In the educational field, it is important to highlight that EEQ was the only teaching modality in only one article: Art. 41, Resolution 4/2010 from the National Board of Education (CNE) (Miranda, 2012). Thus, in different ways and intensities, the State fulfills a role in the legitimization of a differentiated treatment. It is not rare that its bureaucracies produce a certain racist culture in the way they related to black population (Souza, 2011). One of the clear examples of this cultural behavior regards the treatment given by society to diseases which affect black population and the genocide of young black population in particular. These behaviors are tacitly allowed and complicate the fight against racism with State operators, since they are the responsible ones for the functioning of the governmental bureaucracy that emphasizes racist measures. The Weberian ideal bureaucratic model had been long buried by bureaucrats in the street level (Laguardia, 2006; Flores, 2016).

To Santos (2012), institutional racism works in a way to reproduce systematic patterns of inequalities, mainly in the offering of low-quality goods and public services (when they exist). Since institutional racism is not something open, it depends on the hiding and disguising to reach its goals, it appears in a fuzzy way in the functioning of institutions and organizations (López, 2012). Its search and identification need probative elements capable of marking precisely inequalities in treatment.

In Brazil, these elements may be easily detected in the amount of social injustices to which these populations are subjected regarding factors of health, education and death by firearms, for instance. That means, as Ciconello (2008) points out, that racism is an issue that fosters social injustices in Brazil.

The analysis of Souza (2011, p. 80) about the subject points to a more sofisticated aspect of this reality, which demands the understanding of the whole complexity of the term.

The idea is simple. Institutional devices of a certain society are at service of hegemonic groups that create and make the system reproduction work, granting them significance and existence. Someone operating this system may produce racial results unfairly differentiated even if it did not intend to do it. Although this kind of racism might be difficult to detect, its manifestations are observable through patterns of systematic inequality produced by system bureaucracy that, in turn, next to the structures, form institutions.

Structures, here represented by governmental agencies, work because there is a set of creeds and values feeding them. For these creeds to survive (racism inexistence), the disguise is necessary. Therefore, production of information that highlights this State pseudonegligence must be used to face the sad reality of institutional racism in our society7. Structures tail behind creed such as equal treatment among races.

As it was mentioned before, it is possible to recognize in a tangible and clear way the progresses in the promotion of public policies aimed at quilombola communities, since 2003. Lima’s (2010) study accurately examines policies fitting this scenario. But there is something that still remains and depreciates our feeling of nation when maintaining high levels of black population exclusion, especially among inhabitants of quilombola communities.

Unfortunately, the educational field, a fruitful space for the promotion of equality, has not been contributing effectively to this debate. The lack of comparative studies in a regional or national scale makes it difficult to visualize accountability in educational policies devoted to quilombola communities8. This issue creates huge obstacles to the mobilization of information (and ideas) and agents in the political fight necessary for the democratization of access of quality education to CRQ. In this sense, descriptive-exploratory studies, like the one presented here, are necessary to enlarge the extent of information about a certain reality of CRQ, still little explored panoramically.

Quilombola Education in the Northeast Region

There is a lack of studies that allow us understanding the current stage of offers in EEEQ, mainly in the Northeast region, where most school units in CRQ are. The concern in analyzing the relation between CRQ and EEEQ is the base on which the present study was build.

Necessary information for the development of the study was gathered in different sources. From Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE) was taken the list of cities per state in Northeast region and populational class. It has been observed the following classification per CP (2010 census): CP1, cities with up to 5 thousand inhabitants; CP2, between 5 and 10 thousand inhabitants; CP3, between 10 and 20 thousand inhabitants; CP4, between 20 and 50 thousand inhabitants; CP5, between 50 and 100 thousand inhabitants; CP6, between 100 and 500 thousand inhabitants; and CP7, over 500 thousand inhabitants. We tried to identify, also, the contribution of color/race of individuals over 10 years old - white, brown and black - to cross it with the information about the size of black population (brown + black).

In the National Institute Anísio Teixeira (INEP) we had accessed the School Census of 2013 Basic Education and, through the report send by INEP, we identified schools that registered as EEEQ and distributed schools by city and federal unit. The identification of certified communities was collected with the Cultural Foundation Cultural Palmares, that sent the report of certified communities until July 2017. This information was also distributed by city and federal unit. All data was gathered during the second semester of 2017.

For an adequate understanding of offers in EEQ it is interesting to dimension certified quilombola communities (CRQ), since the certification process has been a struggle for recognition fought by the quilombola movement and essencial for them to be framed as EEEQ. It is quite simple an unbureaucratic. In locals where there is an association legally built in quilombola land, there must be convened a meeting for the approval of the community selfdefinition. Where there is no association, this deliberation must come through assembly. Certification should be the entrance door of public policies, because it allows to establish a relation with organized departments from the local community.

In the absence of a clearer regulation, it might happen that, in some communities, there are disputes among associations capable of fragmenting the land in several CRQ. An example of this reality is what occurs in Campo Formoso/Bahia, in the region of Lage dos Negros. Many associations, some of these ruled by residents with a family tie, search for recognition through certification as a way of guaranteeing an amount of power close to the community. The inexistence of a more objective pattern in terms of land extension (and georeferencing) and the number of members complicate a more qualified analysis of this reality.

As it can be observed in table 1, Bahia, besides having the largest number of certified communities (607), also holds the highest percentage of cities with CRQ, 33,33% (n = 139) of the Northeast region. Alagoas and Maranhão hold the second highest percentage of cities with certified communities (32,35% e 32,26%, respectively). Sergipe comes right after, with 28%. As it can be noticed, only two states, Bahia and Maranhão, concentrate 74,58% of certified communities in the Northeast region.

Table 1 Number of municipalities with communities remaining from quilombo per state in Northeast region9  

FU Cities Number Cities with CRQ % CRQ Number
Alagoas 102 33 32,35 65
Bahia 417 139 33,33 607
Ceará 184 20 10,87 38
Maranhão 217 70 32,26 552
Paraíba 223 21 9,42 35
Pernambuco 185 50 27,03 129
Piauí 224 31 13,84 75
Rio Grande do Norte 167 16 9,58 21
Sergipe 75 21 28 24
Total 1719 380 22,11 1522

Source: Research data.

We can notice, still in table 1, that the number of CRQ until 2013 is a lot higher than the number of cities with CRQ. That means, in some cases, that there is a quite high number of communities in the same city - Bahia and Maranhão, responsible for 76,15% (n = 1.159) of certified communities in the Northeast region.

It is not possible to identify a pattern of distribution of CRQ per city in the Northeast region. Maranhão, with almost half the cities with CRQ in Bahia, has a number of certified communities quite close to this. Without a georeferenciated analysis it is not possible to discuss about a higher or lower land fragmentation due to political disputes inside communities regarding its recognition or the poor distribution within cities. We believe land continuity of communities inside the city (one geographically close to the other) increases the possibility of guaranteeing EEEQ. Fragmentation of communities decreases densification, which, theoretically, makes EEEQ implementation difficult.

Alagoas (32,35%), Bahia (33,33%) and Maranhão (32,26%) coincide regarding percentage of cities in the state with CRQ. In an intermediary group, there are Pernambuco (27,03%) and Sergipe (28%). The other states present percentage lower than 14%, with Paraíba being the state with the lowest percentage (9,42%).

Distribution of cities with CRQ do not follow a pattern either, when we consider the size of cities [Populational Class (PC)]. As it can be observed in table 2, the total distribution of CRQ happens in all populational classes. However, 69,07% (n = 277) of communities are in cities from 10 to 50 thousand inhabitants (CP3 and 4). It stands out the fact that great number of certified communities in cities under 5 thousand inhabitants are in the state of Piauí and 60% are in cities up to 10 thousand inhabitants.

Table 2 Distribution of certified communities remaining from quilombo per populational class and state in Northeast region 

PC1 0 1 0 0 5 1 9 0 1 17 85,54
PC2 6 11 1 4 4 3 13 3 4 49
PC3 13 62 6 25 5 15 4 6 5 141
PC4 10 46 6 30 6 21 4 4 9 136
PC5 3 10 5 6 0 6 1 2 1 34 8,48
PC6 1 7 2 5 0 4 0 1 0 20 4,99
PS7 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 1
Total 33 139 20 70 21 50 31 16 21 401 100

Source: Research data. CP1 up to 5 thousand/inhabitants; CP2 from 5 to 10 thousand/inhabitants; CP3 from 10 to 20 thousand/inhabitants; CP4 from 20 to 50 thousand/inhabitants; CP5 from 50 to 100 thousand/inhabitants; CP6 from 100 to 500 thousand/inhabitants; CP7 over 500 thousand/inhabitants.

It is important to emphasize that 85,54% of cities from the Northeast region have up to 50 thousand inhabitants. These cities, in general, depend more on the Federal Government with the transferring of resources to guarantee their public policies (Leite, 2009). Either through Municipality Participation Fund (FPM) or volunteer intergovernmental transfers (top-down10), that need cooperation from local public authorities. That means, they need to be willing to respond to the agenda proposed by the federal government concerning educational policies for CRQ.

On account of questions associated with economic development level, small municipalities have less autonomy to produce public policies (bottom-up). If financial conditions press local governments capacity, more fragile departments might be seconded in face of scarce resources and institutional racism. In this sense, the participation of federal government to balance inequalities (Item 3, Article 3, FC/88) becomes necessary. Its policies may create rules that induce certain behaviors of local managers.

The diversity in financing conditions of public policies, on the part of local governments, ended up contributing to the imbalance in the ability to promote social services (Souza, 2011). This inflow, the low capacity of financing and institutional racism may yet worsen the access to public policies by CRQ (Larchert; Oliveira, 2013; Santos, 2012; Kalckmann et al., 2007; Silvério, 2002). In this federalist game, the federal government plays a strategic role.

Therefore, it cannot go without concerns the fact that small cities are majority among those with CRQ. Small municipalities may make difficult the access to social policies by CRQ. It is not hard to imagine that this creates the condition for the ‘oblivion’ or abandonment of this communities given pressure for more resources demanded by the non-quilombola population. Following an old popular saying in the Northeast region, farinha pouca, meu pirão primeiro (something like if there is little flour, my fish pouridge comes first), it is easy to understand the social abyss that prevents, not to say stop, a stronger integration between CRQ and the whole Brazilian society.

The State extension in the implementation of public policies may help us understanding institutional racism marks. In this specific case, CRQ vulnerability turns into a State product, and not a condition linked to their lack of competence (resiliency) or their faith in front of vulnerabilities.

As the offer of education to CRQ may occur in non-quilombola schools, located near a quilombo, but not in its land, it is not possible to affirm it this offer is happening or not, only by analyzing the existence or not of EEEQ. However, this analysis allows us to understand the status of this policy (construction of EEEQ) close to CRQ.

Table 3 shows the diversity on the behavior of subnational governments regarding the installation of EEEQ per cities and state in Northeast region and per certified quilombola communities. As it can be observed, there is no pattern in the behavior of EEEQ offering in the region.

Table 3 Quilombola School Education Centers Per CRQ, City and State 

FU City number EEEQ number CRQ number
AL 33 37 65
BA 139 474 598
CE 20 29 39
MA 70 653 546
PB 21 25 35
PE 50 85 131
PI 31 54 74
RN 16 17 21
SE 21 31 25
Total 401 1405 1534

Source: Research data.

The state of Maranhão seems to be the most committed with this agenda (construction of EEEQ). Besides presenting a higher nominal number of EEEQ, the number of schools is nine times higher than the number of cities. In second place, the state of Bahia, where this number is only 3,4 times superior. In the other states, this result does not overcome two times the number of cities. There seems to be distinctive conditions in Maranhão that allow this large offer of EEEQ.

When we try to understand this offer by analyzing the number of certified communities, we could notice clearly the influence of Maranhão in the offer of EEEQ. Maranhão has a lower number of CRQ than Bahia, but it presents higher offer of EEEQ. With the exception of Maranhão and Sergipe, the rule is portraying a higher number of CRQ than of EEEQ11. Maranhão is the state in the Northeast region where the policy of EEEQ construction has been really effective.

Complementary to this information, it is important to observe the number of cities with CRQ where there is no EEEQ. As it is shown by table 4, in over a third of cities with CRQ there is no EEEQ (34,91%). The best performance could be found in the state of Maranhão (18,57%). There, there is a lower number of cities with CRQ and no EEEQ. The second best result was found in the state of Rio Grande do Norte (25%).

Table 4 CRQ Per City and State With No EEEQ 

FU CRQ CRQ number
Total no EEEQ %
AL 33 14 42,42 25
BA 139 51 36,69 102
CE 20 10 50 14
MA 70 13 18,57 34
PB 21 6 28,57 10
PE 50 16 32 20
PI 31 15 48,39 38
RN 16 4 25 4
SE 21 11 52,38 12
Total 401 140 34,91 259

Source: Research data.

It is remarkable that in the states of Alagoas (42,42%), Piauí (48,39%), Ceará (50%) and Sergipe (52,38%) the construction of EEEQ in cities where there is no CRQ has not turned into a strategic policy in these communities, as it has happened in Maranhão, for instance. However, the highlight is the state of Bahia, with the highest number of CRQ and presenting a high level of cities where there is no offer of EEEQ (36,69%).

One hypothesis for this reality, the inexistence of EEEQ in cities where there is CRQ, may be related to the size of communities. None the less, if we take into consideration the National Curricular Guidelines for Quilombola School Education in Basic Education (Resolution 8/2012 of CNE), this factor does not generate a deficit in the offer of contextualized educational content to quilombola communities whose children are included in non-quilombola schools (Item IV, Article 1, Resolution 8/2012 of CNE, where they mention “teaching establishments near these communities which receive significant part of students coming from quilombola land” Therefore, a pedagogy based on recognition and appreciation of quilombola culture is ensured.

However, since there are no objective criteria to characterize proximity in rural environment, children of CRQ may be put under long school transportation journeys, that may or may not be associated to a poor quality of service, and may be exposed to practices of institutional racism. In this way, if the hypothesis is confirmed, the State keeps promoting inequalities under this, in the strictest sense, and racism, in the most piercing sense.

Data presented in table 4 indicate a little inaccuracy that does not compromise the whole assessment being ran here. There is a set of EEEQ that cannot be addressed (city), because the communities have been registered as belonging to more than one municipality. That means, the quilombola land lays in the intersection of two or more cities. This reality has not allowed them to be counted in table 4.

Another data that ended up being highlighted in the analysis regards cities with EEEQ, but where there are no remaining certified communities. There are two possible hypotheses: the community may be in the process of certification or be an error in the registration process carried out by the schools. On the other hand, there is no common database between the Palmares Cultural Foundation and INEP in order to guarantee greater consistency in the information provided by the schools. However, the standard should better specify this issue so that it is not mocked (we are not saying that it occurs) or that it leads to some kind of imprecision. To guarantee more recognition of these communities, the classification of EEEQ should establish as a condition the certification of the community. The classification of the school as being EEEQ should foster certification of communities. According to data available at the website of Palmares Cultural Foundation, in 2017, there are 17,25% (n = 464) of quilombola communities without certification.

The criteria used in table 5 was the existence of EEEQ in cities with no CRQ. The number of schools that appeared on this first reading was 166, which would guarantee a percentage of 11,81% of the EEEQ system. This percentage alone already represents a serious problem for the assessment of the system. Ceará and Piauí emerge with the most serious problems.

Table 5 Quilombola School Education Centers in Cities Without Remaining Certified Quilombola Communities 

Cities EEEQ without CRQ
FU no CRQ % % % Adjusted
AL 102 1 0,98 1 2,70 2,70
BA 417 13 3,11 38 8,02 7,80
CE 184 7 3,80 12 41,38 17,74
MA 217 22 10,13 82 12,56 8,26
PB 223 2 0,89 2 8,0 0,0
PE 185 4 2,16 4 4,71 4,70
PI 224 5 2,23 22 40,74 31,48
RN 167 1 0,59 1 5,88 0,0
SE 75 2 2,66 4 12,90 0,0
Total 1719 57 3,13 166 11,81 8,32

Source: Research data.

On a second reading, we sought to identify which EEEQ are in cities where there are communities certified between 2014 and 2016. We found the city of Presidente Jucelino (MA) with the CRQ of Mirinzal, certified in 2015; São João Batista (MA), with the CRQ Quiá and Nova Brasília, certified in 2014; Cansanção (BA), with the CRQ Tamanduá, certified in 2014; Campo Alegre do Fidalgo (PI), with the CRQ Santa Maria do Canto, certified in 2014. Despite their inexistence at the moment of the school census in 2013, there were quilombola communities in these places.

Among these, three cities stand out for another reason. Even if they have only one certified community, they present a number of schools higher than one. Presidente Jucelino (MA) has 5 schools and enrolments and São João Batista has 23 schools and 1.048 enrolments. The city of Campo Alegre do Fidalgo (PI) has presented 5 schools and 86 enrolments. It is not reasonable that these numbers do not show inconsistencies that difficult our reading regarding the extension of the EEEQ system.

Another adjustment we made was locating those cities registered in more than one city. The city of Araripe (CE) has one CRQ registered in the city of Salitre (CE). Both cities share an EEEQ and 90 enrolments. The city of Croatá (CE) has a CRQ registered in the city of Ipueiras (CE), with one EEEQ.

The cities of Pacajus (CE) and Horizontes (CE) share land with two CRQ, 5 schools and 1.288 enrolments. Amparo do São Francisco (SE) has a community in the intersection between other 5 cities: Canhoba (SE), Aquidabã (SE), Cedro de São João (SE) and Telha (SE). In another CRQ, it shares with Telha (SE) the jurisdiction of the CRQ of Lagoa dos Campinhos. Even if Amparo de São Francisco is jurisdiction of two CRQ, the number of enrolments is only 52, the same of Canhoba. In another jurisdiction, Amparo de São Francisco and Telha have 217 enrolments. Again, it is remarkable the incongruence of data making a more sophisticated reading difficult.

Cities of Gurinhém (PB), Ingá (PB) and Lagoa Nova (RN) have 1 CRQ each, in making border with other cities. However, the number of enrolments was 83, 139 and 70, respectively.

Removing these two realities of population placed in table 5, there is a column for adjusted percentage. As it can be seen, Ceará and Piauí present high number of EEEQ in cities with no CRQ. Only Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe do not show this kind of problem. This reality demands more clarification from educational authorities.

It seems that there are not elements enough to explain this reality, other than a neglect or a disregard, typical from institutional racism, from those responsible for gathering the information and those who guarantee its reliability - municipal/state and federal government, respectively. There still may be an aggravating factor: since EEEQ earn higher percentage of resources from FUNDEB to meet their needs (BRASIL, 2007), the system might have been cheated.

Differently from what the National Curricular Guidelines propose for Quilombola School Education in Basic Education, this teaching modality should be offered where there are CRQ (and surroundings), and not where there are not those. Silva (2015) has noticed already the discrepancy between school census registers and data from other federal organs. This discrepancy complicates the acknowledgement of this reality in a more qualified manner.

Enrolments are another controversial point in the data provided by the Ministry of Education regarding EEEQ. From the total amount of municipal enrolments (6.349.884) in elementary education in the Northeast region, only 2,35% (149.635) refers to enrolments in EEEQ. However, there is a variation in the percentage of enrolments among the states in the region: Alagoas 1,60%, Bahia 3,82%, Ceará 0,34%, Maranhão 4,65%, Paraíba 1,08%, Pernambuco 1,00%, Piauí 1,01%, Rio Grande do Norte 0,50% and Sergipe 2,71%. Maranhão has the ‘most quilombola’ system in the region, only acknowledging enrolments in EEEQ.

As we could notice in table 6, for all states in the Northeast region, most municipalities have a higher percentage of enrolments in EEEQ in a range up to 10% out of total enrolments in the system. There is an important variation among states. Sergipe presents the lowest percentage of cities where enrolments in EEEQ make up to 10% out of the total enrolments, 46,15%. The highest number is presented by Ceará, 88,24%. For the great majority of municipal education systems, a low number of enrolments (up to 10%) in EEEQ may lead to a less responsive behavior regarding the necessities of these schools. Pernambuco, Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte have enrolments up to 30% in their education systems.

Table 6 Distribution of Percentage of Municipal Enrolments in EEEQ Per State 

FU Up to 10% 10 to 30% 30 to 50% 50 to 80% Over 80%
N % N % N % N % N %
AL 14 70 5 25 1 5 - - - -
BA 63 65,63 20 20,83 9 9,38 4 4,17 - -
CE 15 88,24 2 11,76 - - - - - -
MA 41 51,25 25 31,25 8 10 5 6,25 1 1,25
PB 10 58,82 6 35,29 1 5,88 - - - -
PE 32 84,21 6 15,79 - - - - - -
PI 14 63,64 6 27,27 - - 1 4,55 1 4,55
RN 11 84,62 2 15,38 - - - - - -
SE 6 46,15 3 23,08 2 15,38 1 7,69 1 7,69

Source: Research data.

With a percentage of over 30% of enrolments, the number of cities is 35, spread around the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Maranhão, Paraíba and Sergipe. Bahia and Maranhão are the states with more cities in a percentage over 30% (13 and 14, respectively). Maranhão is responsible for the highest percentage of cities, 45,16% (n = 14), and Bahia comes in second place, with 41,94% (n = 13). It is necessary to emphasize that these are the two states in the Northeast region with the highest number of CRQ.

A detail in this analysis draws our attention: among the 13 cities where enrolments in EEEQ are higher than 50% of the total of the municipal system, 3 do not have certified CRQ until 2013 - São Francisco do Piauí (PI), Belém do Piauí (PI) and Canhoba (SE), with almost 40%. Out of these, only the last one has a certified community (Caraíbas) in the intersection with other cities: Amparo de São Francisco, Aquidabã, Canhoba, Cedro de São João and Telha. That is to say, it does not have a certified community in its land entirely. The result causes a bit of a surprise. None of these cities had had certified communities between 2014 and 2016. Thus, we are not discussing quilombola communities which have not recorded a register request, yet.

Based on this information, we analyzed the composition race/color in 10 cities with the highest percentage of enrolments in EEEQ, according to table 7. Such municipalities show high variation in the percentage of black and white population. The city with the highest percentage of white population is Belém do Piauí, 31,48%. The lowest, Serrano do Maranhão, only 6,42%. Regarding race/black color, municipalities present great variation. Serrano do Maranhão has 39,45% of black population and Belém do Piauí, 2,18%. Despite these differences, they present the same percentage of enrolments in EEEQ (63%).

Table 7 Distribution Race/Color Over 10 Years Old (%) 

City Black + Pardo Black White MEEEQ
São Francisco do Piauí (PI) 86,34 13,53 13,23 100
Alcântara (MA) 80,69 27,29 19,13 98,34
Brejo Grande (SE) 75,63 15,74 22,95 93,39
João Dourado (BA) 74,77 11,71 23,45 75,34
Maraú (BA) 86,78 28,34 12,61 65,41
Mirinzal (MA) 89,23 12,81 9,96 64,87
Belém do Piauí (PI) 66,60 2,18 31,48 63,79
Santa Luzia do Itanhy (SE) 80,96 19,91 16,56 63,53
Serrano do Maranhão (MA) 91,97 39,45 6,42 63,35
Cairu (BA) 85,09 21,41 13,50 60,79

Source: IBGE, Inep. MEEEQ: enrolments in EEEQ.

The comprehension of data becomes difficult when we come across cities that present variations so high in terms of population (black and white) and yet with the same percentage of enrolments in EEEQ. Despite these differences regarding population, Belém do Piauí and Serrano do Maranhão present the same percentage of enrolments in EEEQ (around 63%). This discrepancy may be also observed when we compare other cities trying to explain the percentage of enrolments or the percentage of black and pardo population.

At first, there is no correspondence when we order municipalities by percentage of black/pardo population or by percentage of enrolments in EEEQ. A higher percentage of black/pardo population does not lead to higher percentage of enrolments in EEEQ. A reality perfectly compatible with the lower number of CRQ and the offer of EEQ in non-quilombola schools. A higher percentage of enrolments in EEEQ does not lead to higher percentages of black/pardo population. However, the discrepancy leads to distrust regarding sources from where data was gathered.

We also find great variation in the number of certified CRQ. São Francisco do Piauí (PI) is the only city with no certified CRQ until 2013 (and either between 2014 and 2016). In the two cities with more than 90% of enrolments in EEEQ, the difference in certified communities is quite high. Alcântara had 156 and Brejo Grande, 1. It is not reasonable, regardless having census information about the size of these populations (CRQ), that for schools with more than 90% enrolments in EEEQ the number of communities does not have any impact on the percentage of enrolments.

Santa Luzia do Itanhy (SE) has 63,53% of its enrolments in EEEQ. Serrano do Maranhão has 63,35%. That means, they are cities with a very similar profile regarding enrolments. However, the first one has 1 certified CRQ and the second city, 22. For the same reasons mentioned, it is not likely that there are not discrepancies in the information shared by governmental organs. Discrepancies which, given the level of vulnerability of these communities, depict negligence, entrance door for an interpretation in an institutional racism level. A negligence prevents public authorities from having more consistent information about communities.

When we analyze only enrolments and group them up by race/color percentage, we also find variations difficult to understand. The average for percentage of CRQ, when there is only one certified community, is having enrolments in EEEQ under 5,5% in the system. In other words, having a certified community guarantees low percentage of enrolments in EEEQ.

The cities of Araças (BA) and Vitória da Conquista (BA) differ from this reality, with less than 5,5% of enrolments in EEEQ. The previous has 46 certified communities and the latter, 24. Perhaps they are communities interrupted on the land, which would make the clustering of enrolments in EEEQ harder. This way, discontinuation and size of communities may be variables that impact on the guarantee of EEEQ. A more detailed analysis of data will point other variables that this study could not reach.

The number of cities with over 30% enrolments in EEEQ is 35. Out of these, 3 have no certified communities. Another 10 cities have less than 3 certified communities. Most EEEQ are in rural environments, 94,30%. Populational density is lower and distances are longer between one point and another in the city. Longer distances increase children’s commuting. In this case, construction of EEEQ within communities reduce costs associated to commuting. Considering that EEQ guidelines are established in every school where there are quilombola students, the existence or not of EEEQ, theoretically, does not compromise students’ formation required by guidelines. So, the challenge consists on verifying the quality of the education being offered to quilombola students.

Final Considerations

The lack of qualified information from the Brazilian State regarding EEQ depicts institutional racism, since it prevents communities and policy makers from structuring proper strategies to face an improvement on the quality of the education aimed at CRQ. It is a pre-condition to guarantee effective policies to the existence of accurate diagnosis about the main issues to be tackled by public policies. The invisibility of marginalized populations produces an inadequacy of the intervention (López, 2012).

We understand that the importance of quilombola school education does not rest in the percentage of enrolments in EEEQ in each educational system when we consider what is being proposed by the Quilombola Educational School Guidelines. For a population who have, for a long time, had their access to public policies hardened or blocked, the existence of accurate information helps restructuring their rights. Therefore, there is no room for negligence or divergent information preventing a proper reading of this reality.

Although recognizing that information is an essential and necessary input to the formulation of public policies, we should not disregard the fact that it collaborates with the construction of alternatives that take into consideration the reality of facts. Thus, this puzzle on data reflects the lack of articulation among state departments and the lack of interest on the State’s side when it comes to producing qualified information for a population which has been target of persecution and slavery for 300 years. Therefore, there are enough elements to reference the institutional racism hypothesis concerning the guarantee of safe and reliable information about CRQ.

INEP, SECADI, IBGE and the Palmares Cultural Foundation could create a work team to adjust the steps necessary to guarantee more data reliability. EEEQ register, in terms of registration in the Ministry of Education’s database, needs to be followed by elements that convey social control.

Finally, we need to know:

  1. what motivation leads CRQ to not have EEEQ registered in their lands?

  2. what makes data so inaccurate regarding register in EEEQ where there is CRQ?

  3. as the higher offer of EEEQ happens in cities where their enrolments reach up to 10% of the total enrolments in the system, it is important to observe if there is any kind of negligence compromising the offer of quality education for these communities.

Being institutional racism produced by society, the engagement in the fight for CRQ rights is the main weapon for social justice. What has been highlighted in this study points to an unease in society (and in academy) in recognizing its participation in the production of institutional racism by keeping this subject in the marginality.

1For the purpose of this analysis, we will be using the abbreviation CRQ to refer only to the certified ones, those which follow what states Decree 4.887/2003 (Brasil, 2003).

2It is important to highlight the definition of the abbreviation EEQ. It does not regard school physical and geographic structures. EEQ is a right of students coming from communities remaining from quilombo that recognizes specificities from policies addressed to this group. EEEQ refer to those registered in quilombola lands (Silva, 2015).

3Studies in a local level aiming to understand challenges to recognizing ethnical diversity as propeller of this quilombola education that has been growing in the last years, as pointed out by Santana et al. (2017).

4There are many studies in local level, but a few of national and regional comparative analysis allowing to identify the main problems of the offer of this teaching modality.

5These registries were elaborated by report sent by the Palmares Cultural Foundation, which Decree 104/206 was published in the Union Official Gazette on 20/04/2016.

6An important data to follow the human development of black population is the access to information about mortality and born alive among black population. This was only achieved in 1996 with the Resolution 196/96 of the Health Ministry (Brasil, 1996).

7To Souza (2011, p. 83), “However, it should be stressed that the short-circuit provoked by institutional change does not generate a system inability of creating racist institutions able to neutralize progresses or prevent the questioning of old structures in its old state or sold as new.

8This assertive dwells on the analysis of Santana et al. (2017).

9Certificates referring to more than one city are not included.

10Top-down decentralization is different from bottom-up decentralization because it exists when formulation, financing and implementation are made by subnational governments (states, Federal District, municipalities). Top-down decentralization may also occur when municipalities decentralize state policies. For an analysis of top-down and bottom-up implementation, see Sabatier (1986).

11It has been practice of some municipalities the closing or school nucleation, as it is called. For a better comprehension of the topic, see Rodrigues (2017).


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Received: March 21, 2018; Accepted: November 28, 2018





Edmilson Santos dos Santos Degree in Physical Education, Master’s and Doctorate in Human Movement Sciences from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). He is currently a professor at the Universidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco (UNIVASF). ORCID:

Tatiana Ribeiro Velloso Degree in Agronomy from the Universidade Federal da Bahia. She is a professor at Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia. ORCID:

Paulo Gabriel Soledade Nacif Is na Associate Professor at the Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia and na Advisor to the Rectory of the Universidade Federal do Sul da Bahia. ORCID:

Givânia Maria da Silva Educator quilombola, master in Public Policy and Management of Education at the Universidade de Brasília and PhD student of the same University. ORCID:

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