See how the year of 2020 was for the Project for Strengthening the Extension Pro-Deanship of the State University of Amapá (UEAP).

The Project for Strengthening the Extension Pro-Deanship (PROEXT) aims to bring the University and Society closer together and provide opportunities for the elaboration of academic knowledge, in the theoretical and practical scope, as well as understanding local needs, as part of the community inclusion and protagonism process in maintaining socio-biodiversity and sustainable development of territories.

PROEXT has developed extension and research actions as an emancipatory social practice in the territories of Bailique, Beira Amazonas and Mazagão (Carvão). These three large territories, called Territorial Extension Units (UTEX) - comprise the priority areas of PROEXT’s action between the years 2019 - 2021, and were selected by the greater concentration of the population of Amapá and from the facilities arising from the signing of agreements for technical cooperation between the university, community leaders and civil society organizations and entities.

Check out, below, how we performed throughout 2020:

Early 2020

Between December and February 2020, the project held three workshops with populations in the territories of Bailique, EFA do Macacoari (Beira Amazonas) and EFA do Carvão (Mazagão), with one workshop in each territory, with the aim of making the survey of the demands of each location and, later, the definition of priority actions for the year.

As a result of the workshops, the main potentials highlighted by the participants and common in the three territories were: the productive chains of extractive products, especially açaí and products from the forest (honey, oils, materials for handicrafts, fruits); the fish production chain; social capital and community organizations; the environment (forest and rivers) and cultural and leisure activities.

The common weaknesses, in turn, were: the precariousness of the electricity supply system; the precariousness of public services; chemical dependency, especially among youth (drugs and alcohol); the absence of basic sanitation (drinking water supply, garbage collection and sanitary sewage); the need for teacher training; the need for economic perspectives for the youth and the awareness of community members about collective activities in the territory.

In view of these strengths and weaknesses, PROEX established priority actions for the year with community members, which were divided into the following axes: 

And then the Pandemic came…

PROEXT chose, together with community members, not to work in person in the territories. Thus, the presence took place through dialogues, the collective construction of processes, and meeting, within the University's possibilities, the emergency demands of populations, mainly through the distribution of educational booklets on the prevention of COVID-19 , with a scientific basis and an accessible language to traditional and extractive populations; the availability of 238 soap dispensers with gel alcohol and another 400 l for replenishment; and psychosocial assistance to community members.

But even so, the actions continued!

The readjustment was carried out jointly with the community members, who assumed the leading role and the commitment so that the activities could be developed within the expectations and interests of the local populations, without compromising the objectives and goals established in the work plan. For this, each territory maintained a continuous agenda, with the possible activities to be carried out through digital platforms, as decided by the leaders. The actions (in each territory) were carried out as follows:

Training for 6th grade elementary school teachers in the territories of Carvão (Mazagão) and Macacoari (Beira Amazonas)

The training was collectively organized via the Google Classroom platform and systematized into 10 virtual meetings with the provision of teaching materials, guidance and continuous dialogues. The meetings were divided into three modules: 1) understanding the students' writing; 2) diagnosis of writing and reading and 3) pedagogical practice for literacy as students.

In the first module, it was discussed, from the perspective of several theorists (Magna Soares, Emília Ferreiro, Ana Teberosky and Paulo Freire), the universe of reading and writing, and in parallel, theoretical/practical dialogues were developed on the literacy process, the contextualization of literacy in the classroom and learning difficulties and disorders in literacy.

In the second module, the content worked was about the diagnosis of writing and literacy practices for students of Elementary School Final Years in rural schools and alternating assessment, which resulted in the collective construction of a notebook on pedagogical practices for rural education in the Amazonian Amapá.

The third module consisted on the development of educational games aimed at the literacy of children and adolescents from the 6th to the 7th year of Elementary School in the EFA's of Macacoari and Carvão, in a perspective of curricular adequacy in an interdisciplinary and transversal way, to meet the reality of the people of water, field and forest, based on local knowledge.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, it was not possible to develop the application of practical activities in EFA's as previously foreseen. Therefore, this step will be developed during 2021, depending on the return of educational activities.

Construction and dialogic orientation of the Political Pedagogical Project of the EFA's of Carvão and Macacoari

The implementation of the action plan aimed at the guidelines, constructions and updates of the EFA's pedagogical proposals took place in accordance with the uniqueness and positioning of the local leaders.

Flowchart of the methodology for the construction of the PPP of the EFAs.

Macacoari EFA (EFAM) chose to conduct the construction of the Political Pedagogical Project (PPP) via digital platforms (Google Meet), with biweekly meetings with representatives of the Macacoari Agroecological Family School Association (AEFAM) and the technical and pedagogical team at EFAM, to define methodological strategies and for the pedagogical construction to be representative and meaningful for the collective; and with dialogic meetings for the validation and construction of EFAM's pedagogical proposal, as well as for the construction of the written document, in accordance with the regulations and legislation of Brazilian education.

In addition to remote activities via digital platforms, an in-person survey was carried out with families on expectations regarding EFAM's activities in the territory, with the participation of eleven families. The questions in the questionnaires sought to identify parents' satisfaction with the school's performance; the difficulties experienced in monitoring the children during the alternation period; the perceptions regarding the approximation with agro-extractivism that marks this community; and the participation of families in the school.

The PPP construction of the Macacoari Agroecological Family School (EFAM) was based on the philosophical bases of the Pedagogy of Alternation and of Freirian education, through a collective construction with local social actors.

In parallel with the construction of EFAM's Political Pedagogical Project, there was a demand for pedagogical guidance to adapt the activities to the reality presented by the COVID-19 Scenario, in which the study of workload was carried out, provision of teachers from the volunteer program and guidance in the conduction process, based on the strengthening of alternation and its integration with non-presential curricular activities. In addition, after the completion of EFAM's pedagogical construction, the necessary elements for the regularization of the Educational Unit were verified, together with the State Council of Education, as well as a legal analysis of the constructed document.

The actions defined in the EFAM PPP should be contemplated until 2024, although the planning of actions for 2021 was prioritized, as it is understood that, based on the evaluation and monitoring of a pilot project for EFAM, it is possible to trace the actions for subsequent years.

It is important to reiterate that EFAM, understanding the importance of a feasible PPP, consistent with the reality of the field and the constant need for continuous training of the management team and teachers, will have the support and consultancy of UEAP, especially with regard to the pedagogical aspects of educational proposal, as well as other partners that encourage the self-assertion of a sustainable community and protagonist of its territorial and environmental management.

Carvão EFA (EFAC), in turn, decided, at first, that the construction actions of its pedagogical proposal should await the return of in-person activities, however, in October 2020 it chose to start updating and building its pedagogical proposal via digital platform, for later validation with the school community. Regarding the implementation of curricular activities through remote teaching, EFAC together with the Carvão Agroextractive Family School Association(AEFAC) decided not to implement it, taking into account that 80% of students do not have neither electricity nor access internet and other educational technological tools. Thus, the school requested pedagogical guidelines for the continuity of educational activities during the pandemic period, so that alternation could be strengthened in the territory and in the integral training of students. The construction of the EFAC PPP, in turn, extended to the year 2021.

To attend the needs of the Bailique Agroextractive Family School Association (AEFAB), considering that the Bailique Agroextractive Family School (EFAB) did not have a defined start of educational activities, we opted for a continuous and dialogical agenda for the methodological construction of a pedagogical proposal, based on the principles established in the participatory community protocol that gave rise to AEFAB and EFAB.

The construction process took place through the Google Meet platform, with moments of dialogue, construction and feedback on what local leaders expect and understand as priority activities for the functioning of EFAB. Then, a preliminary proposal was consolidated to be discussed with the associates in person, in the year 2021.

Inclusive, political and citizen education for youth

At first, meetings were held with Youth representatives in each territory to define the actions to be taken as priority and viable in the pandemic scenario.

In the territories of Beira Amazonas (Macacoari) and Bailique, young people collectively decided to maintain training activities via the Google Meet platform. Meanwhile, the Carvão Family School (Mazagão) chose not to participate, considering that 80% of the students do not have electricity and/or internet access. However, for 2021, EFAC signaled the participation of some young people with a leadership profile to continue the training process.

Encontros Formativos Juventudes Ribeirinhas – Temas propostos

In the second moment, a poll was carried out on the themes of interest to youth and the viable timetables for training, considering the singularities of each territory. After this poll, a survey was carried out on the socioeconomic profile and perceptions of youth in relation to the territory of Bailique and Beira Amazonas (Macacoari), via the Google Forms platform.

The main qualities mentioned in the territory were aspects related to the biodiversity and beauty of the place, as well as community organization and food security. The problems mentioned are mainly related to the absence of the State in basic assistance in education, health and sanitation, the constant lack of electricity, access to potable water, especially in communities where the river water is brackish part of the year and environmental problems .Finally, from the preliminary analysis of the youth profile, from the understanding of their perception and performance in the territories, the training was called “Riverside Youths” and was carried out through meetings that included the contextualization of the theme, the speech from the guest speaker, a general discussion and a moment of sharing with the guest.

Formative Meetings Riverside Youth, theme “Youth and the Common Home: Class Consciousness to Take Care of Our Territories”.

Preparatory course for the National Secondary Education Examination for young people from the three territories

The Pre-ENEM UEAP-EFAs Course aims to overcome the difficulties of accessing the internet that the young riverside population has, through teaching with the use of directed studies. In this format, UEAP organized 60 pre-university kits, containing 7 notebooks (one from each thematic area of ENEM and another exercise book) of the pre-university courses of the São Paulo State University (UNESP), video lessons provided by the Amazonas Media and Education Center (CEMEAM/SEDUC – AM) and a study schedule divided into 4 modules, with study guides, delimited in about 4 daily hours of activities, including attending classes, reading, performing the proposed exercises and register the doubts that are taken via WhatsApp when the student has access to the internet.

As not all students have a computer, UEAP made the video lessons available on DVDs that can be watched on TV and DVD players and also made pen drives available for the coordination of the EFAs with the video lessons of the modules. At each module, students received a new DVD and pen drives were updated. These activities lasted until January 2021.

Fish production chain

For this axis, it was carried out a nutritional mapping of approximately 40 fish and fish derivatives (for example, piracuí flour) from communities participating in the project, with the determination of moisture parameters, total lipid ash, proteins and carbohydrates, as well as the caloric value, in accordance with current Brazilian legislation. In parallel, pedagogical strategies were developed to guide the handling and processing of fish.

Flowchart of actions for the fish value chain.

Açaí production chain

In the first stage of this axis, a technical assessment was carried out on possible differences between the types of fresh (newly generated) stored residues, with the objective of proposing a more adequate and sustainable destination for each of the existing types.

After this evaluation, possible applications of the residues to value this biomass to make it a raw material for the development of regional products were considered, which, consequently, will contribute to the generation of income for the populations of communities in the territories of Bailique, Beira Amazonas (Macacoari) and Carvão (Mazagão).

Thus, açaí residues that are already accumulated in landfills or abandoned will be used in applications where the storage effect (beginning of biomass decomposition) is not a problem, such as, for example, for the production of organic fertilizers. On the other hand, the fibers and fresh residues, collected and dried right after the pulping of the fruits, preserve the physical properties of the fibers and, therefore, will be primarily used for the development of composite products, such as, for example, the production of cement plates.

Based on the results obtained, a pedagogical material was prepared to be made available to the community, with guidelines and indications for the reuse of these residues

Analysis of the water quality for human consumption.

Faced with the challenges of the pandemic and taking into account COVID-19's protection and prevention measures, sampling plans were defined in partnership with community actors and project partners, in which it was possible to obtain seventeen collection points, with a total of 53 samples, fifty from Bailique and three from EFA of Carvão.

Main results of the analysis of water for human consumption in the territories.

Water samples were collected along the entire length of streams or watercourses, where human occupations are located, with an average spacing of 100 m between points, and prioritizing water pumping points. At Family School of Carvão, samples were taken from artesian wells. And, samples were also collected from each inhabited residence, after the usual treatment carried out by the community. Totaling 53 water samples, collected in sterile polyethylene bottles.

After being collected, the samples were conditioned under refrigeration and transported to the vessel or to the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, at the University of the State of Amapá (UEAP), for laboratory procedures.

The parameters followed for the analysis of water quality are based on current Brazilian legislation and allowed a satisfactory preliminary assessment of the water quality, however there is a need for further physicochemical analyses. Thus, in 2021, in the rainy season, the water quality data will be complemented.

As an action to improve water quality in Bailique, and with financial support from the Research Support Foundation (FAPEAP) and the company Total E&P do Brasil, UEAP installed, in the Franquinho Community, a water treatment plant adapted to the treatment of water from the Amazon River, mainly in “launching periods” (brackish water), fed by photovoltaic energy, thus reducing financial and environmental costs. 

As for the improvement of water quality in Carvão, the proposal is the basic treatment of FUNASA, which consists of carrying out chlorination (hypochlorite) and chemical correction of the pH (light sodium carbonate) by automated systems (by pass), reducing risks of errors by processes carried out by non-specialized technical personnel. 

It is important to emphasize that these alternatives will be studied based on the analyzes carried out on the quality of water in the territories and in a dialogic manner with community actors so that, in this way, a choice is made that takes into account the financial conditions of the community in relation to financial and environmental maintenance of the proposed systems. These questions will guide the project's continuity plan for the coming years.

Next steps!

The planning made for the year 2020 was fulfilled, despite the difficulties imposed by the pandemic. As a result of these actions, the PROEX Strengthening Project, together with the Territorial Extension and Research Units (UTEX), evolved into the creation of the Sustainable Territorial Development Nucleus, a space for dialogue and knowledge enhancement for the development of Amazonian territories in Amapá, with actions planned and in progress for the year 2021.

To find out more about each of the actions developed throughout 2020, access the full Project Report on our website: 

In this link, you can also find the Guidebook of Tips for the Protection against Coronavirus, developed and delivered with and for the communities, and the Pedagogical Notebook, prepared with and for the EFAs, as a support tool for literacy and education in the countryside.