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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Ministry of Education in Brazil has announced that it is postponing the National Secondary Education Examination (ENEM), scheduled for this Saturday, in 304 locations due to occupations of schools by protesting students. According to authorities more than 191,000 candidates will have to take the test on December 3rd and 4th. It is estimated that over eight million candidates will take the country-wide university entrance exam this weekend.

Brazil,Students protesting occupy school in Sao Paulo as police look on,
Students protesting occupy school in Sao Paulo as police look on, photo by Rovena Rosa Agencia Brasil.

“INEP deeply regrets the anxiety that these young people (will endure) waiting another month to take the test,” said the president of the National Institute of Studies and Studies Teixeira (INEP), entity which administers the test, Maria Inês Fini said in a news conference on Tuesday.

Fini stated that the students who are taking part in the occupations have the right to protest, but she noted that it is also necessary to guarantee the rights of other students.

According to the official the postponement of the exam will not affect the subsequent use of Enem results for the Unified Selection System (Sisu), the University for All Program (ProUni) and Student Financing Fund (FIES), government-backed financing programs for low income university students.

According to authorities the states of Paraná, with 74 schools occupied and Minas Gerais, with 59, have the largest number of locations where the tests will not be able to take the test. Officials say the affected candidates will receive notice by SMS of the postponement and that they will also be subsequently informed of the new locations.

Student-led school occupations have been occurring since the beginning of October to protest against a proposed Constitutional amendment that limits federal government spending for the next twenty years, and the government’s proposal of a reform on the country’s high school curriculum.

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