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Liceu Alagoano

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Liceu Alagoano

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Last update: 26/02/2014

By: Virginia Barbosa - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

The first official records of a request for the creation of a Lycée (a facility where the teaching of high school and/or vocational education takes place) in the province of Alagoas came from its president, Manoel Lôbo de Miranda Henriques who, on 1st December 1831, in front of the General Council, defended the immediate need for the province to have a Lycée of humanities. The Council considered the possibility of creating a School of Preparatory Classes, but the proposal was turned down on 30th January 1833.

The successive president, Vicente Tomaz Pires de Figueiredo Camargo, re-presented the request from Manoel Lôbo, suggesting that it would be integrated just like the Pernambuco Lycée (“with the Bylaws completely organized under the inspection of a director”) and that it would occupy the facilities of the São Francisco Convent, until its own building was built. However, with the passing of the Ato Adicional, on 12 August 1834, the Councils were abolished and the Provincial House of Representatives became responsible for the legislation of public primary and secondary school.

On 17 May 1835, the representative Silvestre Domingues da Silva defended, in the Provincial House of Representatives, a project for the foundation of a lycée, but the proposal did not survive. The transference of the capital of the province to Maceió contributed, once more, to the postponement of the initiative.

Finally, with the Provincial Law n. 106, from 5 May 1849, sanctioned by the president of the province, Cel. Antonio Nunes de Aguiar, the Provincial Lycée was created in the city of Maceió, centralizing the secondary public education. Its integration took place in an old building, at the main church square, in the address where the present city of Maceió began, already in the José Bento da Cunha Figueiredo administration.

The classes started in July 1849. The first principal was José Próspero Jeová da Silva Caroatá and his successor José Correia da Silva Títara (1853/1860). The first years of operation were calm for several reasons, with school indiscipline being highlighted, now attributed to excess rigor in applying the Bylaws of the Lycée; [...] now to the misunderstanding by the boys that would abuse the new regime of school freedom which they had never experienced before; now to the flaws in teaching, or administration (DUARTE, 1961, p. 37), which culminated in the closing of the Lycée, through the Law n. 370, from 4 July 1861. Some scholars added also as the causes for the extinction: the evasion factor (the universities would not recognize the exams taken in provincial lycées), the financial crisis to which the province was subject, the competition among the private schools and the official institute and, mainly, the bad educational policy that fed the idea of extinguishing the secondary education institution, a kind of day school, to found another, in the same models, but with the appearance of a boarding school [...] (DUARTE, 1961, p. 47). The Lycee was active for twelve years and spent two years closed.

During João Marcelino de Souza Gonzaga’s administration, its re-establishment was declared by the Provincial Resolution n. 395, from 16 November 1863. In the next year, instructions were approved for its operation through the Presidential Resolution n. 12, from 23 January 1864. The classes were re-started on 1st February of the same year and, without interruption, they proceed until today. The Lycée was reopened with the mission of intellectually forming the students, who were guided by the most prestigious names of teachers. As time went by, it started offering the courses of Sciences and Literature, Surveying, Teaching, Commerce, Complementary and Evening.

Throughout its existence, the Lycée was transferred from one facility to the next many times. In 1873, it moved to a rented one-floor house, situated at rua da Imperatriz, number 18, and there it stayed there until the year 1877. In the next year, it was transferred to the building where the Police Headquarters worked (presently Visconde Sinimbu square); in 1898, to a stately home situated at rua do Livramento (presently Senador Mendonça), a building that afterwards was purchased, giving the Lycée its own home, although not definitive. In the beginning of the 1960s, it moved to a building at rua Barão de Maceió; and, presently, it is at rua Cônego Machado, in the Farol neighborhood, Maceió.

In this pilgrimage, the establishment has also changed names. It was installed as Liceu Provincial das Alagoas (1849), after that it was called Liceu Alagoano, Lycée of this State, Liceu da Capital, Colégio Alagoano, Colégio Estadual de Alagoas, Colégio Estadual Prof. Afrânio Lages and Escola Professor Edmilson Vasconcelos Pontes.

The institutional history was marked by successive educational reforms, curriculum changes, changes in hiring teaching staff, admission of students, physical installations which, in some way, have threatened its existence. However, it evokes a turbulent and innovative phase of secondary education in Alagoas.

Founded in the Empire, it reached the republican period and it persists – although with another name, in another place, and with a school management turned towards updated education – as the live and active expression of the culture from Alagoas.

Recife, 28 September 2012.

sources consulted

DUARTE, Abelardo. História do Liceu Alagoano. Maceió: Departamento Estadual de Cultura, 1961.

REINALDO, Francisco; BARROS, Amorim de. ABC das Alagoas: dicionário biobibliográfico, histórico e geográfico de Alagoas. Brasília: Senado Federal, 2005. V. 2. (Edições do Senado Federal; v. 62-B).

Source: BARBOSA, Virgínia. Liceu Alagoano. Pesquisa Escolar, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Available at: . Access on: 24 set. 2012.

how to quote this text

Source: BARBOSA, Virgínia. Liceu Alagoano. Pesquisa Escolar, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Available at: <> . Access on: 24 set. 2012.