Lo público, lo privado y la Reforma Educacional

por Melissa Sepúlveda

Ha concluido el primer año del gobierno de Bachelet. Con rapidez cayó la ilusión de que con él vendrían cambios en la dirección que ha apuntado el movimiento social. Lo que hasta ahora hemos visto en términos de la reforma educacional así lo ha demostrado: ésta no sólo avanza de manera tibia en relación con las demandas centrales instaladas por el movimiento estudiantil (el fin al lucro, el fin a la selección, el fin al copago), sino que en la mayoría de sus ejes, lo hace en la dirección contraria, dando respuestas mercantiles a un conflicto que surge, precisamente, de la mercantilización radical del ámbito educativo.

La reacción de los grupos conservadores frente a esta reforma anticipa lo que será la defensa a ultranza de los privilegios de los grupos de poder en la educación. Privilegios anclados profundamente en el sentido común chileno, que permite que estos aparezcan “como en sintonía” con el interés general. Los proyectos educativos de la élite chilena no han sido tocados, y el margen de acción extralegal de la Iglesia se ha reafirmado.

Se suponía que durante este año la reforma a la educación superior, así como también el proyecto de fortalecimiento a la educación pública serían prioridad. Sin embargo, hoy el Ministro Eyzaguirre afirma que los puntos centrales serán la carrera docente y la desmunicipalización, aplazando la discusión de gratuidad y todo aquello que podría traer mayores costos políticos para el gobierno. El Ministro sabe que han sido las y los estudiantes movilizados quienes hemos instalado esa demanda con mucho esfuerzo y quienes la defendemos con énfasis; probablemente la razón por la que se juega con ella. En relación a la desmunicipalización y al debate en torno a la carrera docente, como estudiantes, sabemos la urgencia que revisten dichos temas, especialmente por la gran deuda histórica que existe. Pero para avanzar, necesitamos enfrentar las discusiones que se vienen con mayores claridades que las que tuvimos el 2014. Es por eso que queremos utilizar este espacio para anticipar un debate que, sin ser explicitado, ha estado en la base de los procesos que vivimos durante el año que recién pasó y que, en términos generales, atraviesa la discusión con respecto a la educación en Chile. Si bien es cierto que lo diremos no es algo nuevo, sí se trata de una discusión que ha estado relegada a espacios pequeños y no ha salido de ellos, y que esperamos con esto poder contribuir a su apertura.

Chile vivió una transformación sustancial de su sistema educativo durante la Dictadura cívico-militar. Sabemos claramente que aquello contra lo que nos hemos movilizado durante estos años, es el legado de ese período y que han sido las directrices que allí se impusieron las que han determinado el curso de la educación en Chile, el cual ha sido perfeccionado y profundizado por la Concertación. Este conglomerado, sin embargo, “se hizo cargo” de una serie de problemáticas reales que vivían miles de jóvenes, especialmente en lo que se refiere a la posibilidad de ingresar a la educación superior y asegurar mejores condiciones de vida en un sistema brutalmente competitivo como el nuestro. La pregunta es cómo se hizo cargo, qué consecuencias tiene eso hoy, y cómo nos enfrentamos a esa realidad con una propuesta propia.

Otra de las cosas que sabemos es que no sólo cambió la educación durante la Dictadura; cambió el carácter mismo del Estado, pasando de un Estado garante a uno subsidiario. Aquellas tareas que antes eran de su competencia ahora están en manos de privados. Los “servicios públicos” fueron convertidos en una mercancía y transados en el mercado bajo las lógicas de funcionamiento que le son propias. De este modo, los negocios subvencionados por el Estado en estas áreas se multiplicaron, ampliando con ello la “cobertura” y restringiendo radicalmente su carácter. Algunas de las instituciones que surgieron al alero de esta política pública eran lisa y llanamente “negocios”, y son las Universidades que hoy están en la mira en la medida en que se ha instalado la demanda del fin al lucro. Sin embargo, hay Universidades que, tan mercantilizadas como las otras, tienen proyectos educativos que las hacen aparecer como realizando un aporte al país y, en ese sentido, se han defendido por cumplir un “rol público” que, a la larga, vuelve irrelevantes las diferencias de propiedad entre éstas y las Universidades Estatales.

Es ante esta indeterminación entre lo público y lo privado que creemos necesario decir algo. Esta aseveración ha permitido que lleguemos a afirmar que universidades como que la Universidad Católica, que responde directamente al Vaticano, es un Universidad Pública. Lo que planteamos es que, hoy las Universidades Estatales, aunque lejos de ser públicas, son las únicas que potencialmente podrían llegar a serlo, o al menos las que abren camino a una transformación profunda en su carácter que las haga ser “de todas y todos” y “para todas y todos”.

Lo público debe ser entendido básicamente como aquello que no está orientado a satisfacer los requerimientos de un pequeño grupo social en desmedro de las mayorías sociales; y para esto, hay algunas condiciones que pueden permitir su existencia. Como puntos centrales: una composición en la matrícula de las instituciones que sea reflejo de la realidad social; una producción de conocimiento que no vaya dirigida a permitir el mero aumento de las ganancias de los empresarios, sino que responda consistentemente a las necesidades de quienes directa o indirectamente generan con su trabajo la riqueza; una construcción profundamente democrática de dichos espacios con participación vinculante de todos sus miembros, etc. Pero, estas condiciones sólo pueden llegar a concretarse fuera de las Universidades Privadas.

El objetivo de las Universidades Privadas va de la mano “de su propiedad”, y no es indiferente a ésta: el fin de un espacio privado se determina por sus dueños, quienes tienen por definición -y en los hechos- la potestad de definir la orientación del proyecto educativo. Esta limitante objetiva no se soluciona desde una serie de garantías políticas como la democracia o la inclusión, puesto que para ser “de todo y para todos” el carácter realmente deliberador de dicha institución entraría en una contradicción irreconciliable en torno al problema de quién dirige el proyecto educativo: si todas y todos quienes componen dicha institución o si son exclusivamente los dueños.

Es en base a esto que creemos que la reforma no debe apuntar a financiar a ninguna institución privada-y esto puede ser ampliado más allá del ámbito educacional- ya que no es posible que el Estado asuma un gasto y sean los privados quienes lo administren respondiendo a sus intereses concretos, reproduciendo las lógicas sociales: ya hemos visto como el rector Sánchez de la Universidad Católica ha vociferado contra el aborto en todas sus formas. Y es necesario entonces comprender, que no debe ser la izquierda la que se transforme para encontrar un espacio en el sentido común, sino que debe ser la izquierda quien transforme el sentido común para dar paso a una sociedad donde todas y todos podamos tener un espacio para participar y deliberar de manera transformadora, dejando de lado los vestigios de las lógicas del bloque en el poder.

[Publicado en la edición N°27 de Solidaridad, marzo-abril]

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