The image capture of one of the questions of the partial
“In the government of Mauricio Macri there was a scientific and technological delay because …”. The question appeared in a partial of the Common Basic Cycle (CBC) of the UBA that was taken last Wednesday. In the last hours, it went viral through social networks and installed the controversy about political indoctrination.
The slogan was part of the first part of the subject Introduction to Scientific Thought. It was taken in one of the commissions of the chair led by Professor Javier Flax. As he could confirm ., was one of the 25 questions that were asked in the exam.
In a normal year, the chair is taken at the CBC’s Avellaneda headquarters. In this abnormal year, like all subjects at the UBA, the course took place virtually due to the pandemic.
The CBC partial was taken in multiple-choice format through the university’s platform. The possible options to the question about the management of former president Mauricio Macri were:
-It was not necessary to build the Arsat III satellite since in inaccessible places, including rural schools, internet connectivity was not necessary because they are dedicated to rural tasks.
-There were no resources to finance the research because the country had a huge external debt.
-Scientists and technologists did not agree with the neoliberal government and decided to slow down their research so that innovations did not occur during their government.
-It was considered a priority to order the economy before starting with investment in science and technology.
-Macri considered that Argentina should limit itself to an agro-export model and buy the necessary technology.
As observed in the resolution of the exam, the last option was the answer that was considered correct.
. confirmed the veracity of the slogan after consulting different CBC sources. A student of the commission, whose identity is preserved, confirmed that this question had been present in the partial.
“The question has nothing to do with the content and also the choice of the answer depends on the subjectivity of each one. As far as I know, nobody raised it directly with the head of the chair because two things happen: on the one hand, this action is naturalized. It is said: ‘well, this is part of the public university’. And on the other hand, nobody wants to be singled out for fear of losing the course ”, commented.
The student warned that the line of the chair is defined by Flax and took responsibility from the assistant Gustavo González, who is in charge of four commissions. “From the beginning, before starting the course, there was an introductory video on the subject in which Flax questioned Macri’s policies and he talked about cutting science and technology over and over again ”, he explained.
The young woman shared the slogan in the commission’s WhatsApp group to “test the waters.” At that moment the political rift moved to the chat. A strong discussion was generated between students who also questioned the ideologization of the exam and those who downplayed it. He soon realized that there were more questions along the same lines, with criticism of macrismo. Only they hadn’t touched her.
“Indoctrination is wrong and must be reported. It does not matter that the drop in line is for or against Macri, Cristina or Alfonsín. There are several of us who begin to express ourselves because if it does not pass by, “he said.
Another student also revalidated the version, although she did not want to give details for fear of losing the one taken. “Yes, that question was on the test. It was one of those that we had to answer. There are several screenshots going around, but I don’t want to say much more because I don’t want to have problems with the faculty“, said.
Future UBA lawyers are enrolled in the Flax chair, who the following year will begin to study at the Faculty of Law. It is a very large chair: it contains 48 commissions that are divided among twelve professors. Aide González is in charge of four of those classrooms. One of these commissions is 44006, as shown in the image capture, where around 50 students attend.
With the controversy installed, Flax published a discharge in which he points out that it was not an act of indoctrination, but that it was about “teaching facts.” “To say that teaching facts is indoctrination is, at the very least, a huge lack of intellectual honesty. Indeed, during the government of Mauricio Macri there was an indisputable delay in scientific research and technological innovation. The minimum contents of the subject include: ‘The social and environmental impact of science. Science, technology, society and ethical dilemmas’. So we deal with these issues, in addition to training in logical reasoning and scientific knowledge methodology, “he said.
According to CBC sources, the ideology habitually enters the classrooms although in a “less crude” way. In public universities these actions are usually supported based on academic freedom. The incumbent, in this case Javier Flax, took office after circumventing the demands of a contest. This validation instance confers freedom to guide the subject as it deems appropriate, always under certain curricular and ethical standards. It is a fine line that, in general, the authorities prefer not to cross.
After the viralization of the images, the CBC opted for silence. Faced with repeated inquiries, his authorities did not respond and favored academic freedom.
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