Sloppy Revision in Brazil’s Textbook Delays Columbus Trip Over 400 Years

Christopher Columbus Italian adventurer Christopher Columbus must be having nightmares: according to the Brazilian state of São Paulo latest edition of public school books, the Genoa navigator arrived to America in 1942, that is 67 years ago and not in 1492.

The error comes a few days after a previous exposure of geographic distortions in the São Paulo books for the state run school system, which ended with the sacking of the Education minister.

Philosophy professor Claudio Da Silva and São Paulo teachers union leader claims there's a "moral crisis" in the education system of Brazil's richest and most populated state.

"Book contents were rushed, copying them from Internet with no further checking or supervision. We've come across gross mistakes in geography, history and even the Portuguese language orthography and syntax," underlined the teacher.

In the latest edition of history books for primary schools Christopher Columbus arrived in America in 1942, not 1492, a mistake the state government attributed to poor "typing" and therefore will not replace the editions already distributed among school children.

Daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo also published Brazilian geography mistakes such as the river Xingu, in the Amazon, but which for some miraculous reason moved to the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, neighboring with Argentina and Uruguay.

Another mishap refers to the history of the Brazil tree (pau Brazil) which is said to be originated in the Amazon rain forest, when it actually belonged to Brazilian coastal areas.

The Vanzolini foundation and the state of São Paulo which contracted them to publish the books two weeks ago were accused of disregarding quality education by distributing another school book with a map of South America which had countries changed.

Ecuador did not figure and Paraguay figured twice, instead of Uruguay (coastal) and as a province of Bolivia. Landlocked Paraguay is replaced by Uruguay.

São Paulo authorities sacked the Education Secretary and promised a corrected reprint of the 150.000 school books for mid April.

Mercopress

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