The present reflection that I make of this brief article comes to the detriment of a dialogue made with one of my greatest intellectual references and who by the way is also co-founder of the Public Administration course at ESAG/UDESC, Prof. Dr Francisco G. Heidemann.
Among the various topics discussed with Professor Heidemann, what most instigated me to reflect was the theme linked to students’ disidentity, either due to a lack of more effective (life and academic) orientation, or the difficulty of seeing themselves professionally working in the training area as future managers and public managers. But before revealing the main lines through which the dialogue was directed, we will explain what disidentity is and what are the implications that it entails in its core.
According to the definition found in the Portuguese online dictionary, the term disidentity comes from the main verb to disidentify that expresses the idea of ceasing to possess; cause the identity to be lost, fail to demonstrate identification with something (DICIO.COM.BR, 2022). It should be noted that depending on the area of knowledge in which the word disidentity is intended to take on different meanings. In this way, talking about students’ disidentity is linked to the distance that students have or have while they are in this training process and how to envision themselves working professionally. After listening and reflecting a lot on what Prof. Heidemann said, I then thought of the possibility of two explanations for this disenchantment on the part of the students, this because I am also a student, and as such, I try to understand from this place in which I occupy.
Two possible explanations for this phenomenon are:
The Covid-19 pandemic
We could put the pandemic phenomenon as a central element, in the influence that it had and continues to have in a broader sense on the way in which relations are constituted and how they are established between the state and society. The same had profound impacts on the way human beings deal with and understand problems of various natures, such as: personal, professional, etc. Regarding training, in general, we observed paradigmatic changes (Online classes, uses of didactic resources were expanded as meetings in: teams, zoom and moodle etc). The pandemic, on the one hand, changed the perception of how people see the world, and on the other hand, it triggered a series of immobility, such as staying at home, remote work, abruptly changing the routine of life. Things that we had never experienced more effectively before became everyday.
The challenges faced by public services
With the rise of a government with an ideological orientation more to the right, and with its own forms of action, this implies the displacement of the center of governmental priorities. If, at another time, the priorities focused more on actions aimed at the social, in this current government, although the social is also part of the horizon of governance, the economic gains greater prominence in general. In this way, the speeches of drying up the public machine and making it more efficient and effective, are in the debates of state and federal governments, as an example the administrative reforms made in some states such as the State of Santa Catarina. From the point of view of future professionals who have the public sector as essential for their performance, things become somewhat uncertain, as new institutional and administrative rearrangements require new skills and more pressing challenges and training in a more immediate sense is not provides this, as José Salibi Neto says, the emergency census of “public” education* is very low, and as such innovations in the public sector and in education in a specific way do not keep up with the speed with which changes occur.
The two points addressed, somehow try to put in check how the students’ disenchantment in taking the public administration course and concatenating with the concern regarding employability are legitimate concerns, and the result of this can be the issue of non-engagement of students and involvement more effectively in academic activities. To paraphrase one of the statistical principles that says “… risks are calculated, but uncertainties are not…”
Phrase to Think
“…The engagement that I saw in the first years of the creation of the course by the students, today it is a little more difficult to observe this…”
Online Dictionary of Portuguese – Dicio. Available at: https://www.dicio.com.br/desidentificar/. Accessed on 06/03/2022.
Understand the management concept “Business platform” | PrimoCast 131. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUtj5eUYzPA. Accessed on 06/06/2022
• Emphasis made by the author