Manoel Jairo Bezerra He was a well known Brazilian mathematics teacher. He was born in 1920 in the city of Macau, Rio Grande do Norte, where he spent his childhood. He taught mathematics, his passion, between 1939 and 1996. He wrote 53 books and held important positions in public institutions. He was one of the pioneers of distance mathematics.
By 1930, at the age of 10, it seemed that he would follow in his father's footsteps and become a merchant. But the bankruptcy of the Rural Bank of Macao, where he kept his savings, made him change course. He attended the gym at Colégio Santo Antônio, in Natal, even thinking of becoming a priest. He was a classmate of the former Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro Archbishop Eugênio de Araújo Sales.
In 1936, at the age of 15, after deciding not to be a priest, he began to study by correspondence to be a military aviator. He asked his father for permission to go on aviation. Even though he didn't like the idea, his father said he would give him permission.
He then moved to Rio de Janeiro and in the beginning had difficulties in this city. The representative of the institution that waited for him at the port pier did not appear. The next day I learned that I had been tricked. A week later, he had an appendicitis and an intestinal abscess, and spent about two months in the hospital. He competed for aviation, but failed the health check (because of his operation). Unemployed and unwilling to ask for help from his family, he had financial difficulties.
In the year 1937, he met a lawyer, who helped him enter the Complementary Engineering Course of the Polytechnic School. The beginning of his academic career was at the Metropolitan College, located in Rio de Janeiro, where he worked at the school secretary. By living with the teachers, attending classes and studying in the library books, he acquired the desire to teach. He then began to replace teachers as well as to give private lessons. In the 1950s, he became director of this institution.
In 1941, he entered the National Faculty of Philosophy and completed a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1943. In 1948, he created a preparatory course, Jairo Bezerra Pre-Normal Course. He also worked at the Pedro II College, Guanabara State Institute of Education, the Air Force Command and Staff School, the Army Teaching Technique Course, the Naval College, the University of Popular Culture Course, Radio MEC and Brazilian Center for Educational Television Foundation.
From the success of the preparatory courses he offered in the late 1940s, he began to organize his first textbooks. In 1953, he published the work Questions of Admission Exams by Companhia Editora Nacional, which also published the three volumes of the Mathematics Course, known as "Tijolão" in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo as "calf". He has authored more than 50 didactic works.
Jairo produced works for the Preparatory Courses, the beginning and final grades of the 1st and 2nd grades. His best-known book is the Mathematics Course for the first, second, and third years of the Classical and Scientific courses, edited by the National Publishing Company, which had over 60 editions and sold over 1 million copies.
He received several honors throughout his life, in Brazil and abroad. There were commendations (awards given to people who excel in their areas of expertise), diplomas and medals, such as Chevalier of Arts and Letters, in France.
Manoel Jairo Bezerra died on March 11, 2010, at the age of 90.