Public Administration, Social Responsibility and Sustainability, the Commitment of Public Education Institutions: Instituto Federal Fluminense Case Study
Author(s)Isabel Grigorio Freitas
KeywordsSocial Responsibility. Social Project. Sustainability.
Social sciences (General)
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Abstract<p>School is part of the community and as such should provide ongoing discussions which are conducive to creating a more just society, striving to provide educational and vocational training in order to educate citizens who are free, able to think critically, and supportive of each other. In pursuit of this objective, education emerges as a springboard for sustainable development with social inclusion, bringing down certain barriers created by the need to meet government targets, and discussing the options associated to local characteristics, empowering people who are looking for a more dignified life.</p><p>The objectives of this research are to analyse the commitment of public teaching institutions in the area of social development and sustainability; identify the main difficulties of implementing social projects according to federal government guidelines, considering not only the general characteristics, but also those given by local communities; and understand the importance of education for improving communal living conditions, helping strengthen collaboration between communities and schools in tackling these social issues and identifying practices currently adopted. This will be done by reviewing the literature and case studies available, aiming to improve the management of future actions.</p><p>The method employed to answer the research question included the use of questionnaires and interviews, direct observation by the author, literature review and a study of best practices dentified throughout the research process, the use of the concept of social responsibility and sustainability to analyse public policies focused on education, and the case study of the Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia to improve the handling and understanding of research data.</p><p>It became apparent that the biggest difficulties encountered in the projects created by the federal government and operated by the Instituto Federal Fluminense had to do with lack of planning, which occurs due to an inadequate structure to deal with set targets; that is, the projects represent a view of society which does not align with reality, and which is more concerned with meeting government targets and improving animage. Analysing the development of current projects in the IFF, it can be seen that there is a need for changes which lead to improved management, taking into consideration work with the community, improved planning and project control, greater authenticity in social responsibility actions, and implementation of indicators.</p><p>When public teaching institutions take on their ethical and social commitment, carrying out actions that aid the development of their community, and when these actions take place without selfish or political motives, the real commitment of social actors such as schools, the community, the government at all levels, and organised civil societies is met, strengthening ties and generating benefits for everyone. Acting in a socially responsible way involves more than one aspect; it includes social justice, the economy, and the environment; it continually looks to improve its actions through relationships of cooperation guided by ethics and transparency.</p>