11 Schools In Brazil Facts That You Probably Haven't Heard Before

Abhijeet Modi
Feb 29, 2024 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Dec 09, 2021
Schools in Brazil facts will help you know more about the pre-school and primary school system.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The education system in Brazil is run by the Brazilian government's the Ministry of Education.

Students falling in the age group of 6-17 have compulsory education. This is called basic education or ensino basico in Brazil and is mandatory for every student.

The educational system in Brazil is made up of three levels, which are pre-school, basic, and higher education. Pre-school education is not mandatory, but it is provided by various private as well as public institutions. The basic education level which is compulsory comprises elementary school and high school. The age of the older students is between 6-14 years. A typical school day in Brazil is for five hours.

Higher education is sought for graduation, master's, and doctorate degrees and is provided by public as well as private institutions. The educational system of Brazil consists of both private school systems and public schools, as well as tertiary and technical school levels as well.

During the school year, pre-primary and primary school Brazilian students are taught soft skills, social skills, and physical education as well. To get admission to higher levels of school education or graduation, students have to face a very stringent entrance exam in order to qualify into higher universities, public or private.

According to PISA, the performance and outcome of Brazil’s education system are well below average compared to other countries, and the students of Brazil test below average on most topics, apart from maths where some improvement can be seen during an academic year.

After reading about the school system of Brazil, also check Brazil houses facts Brazil landmarks facts.

Administration Of The Education System

The Brazilian Constitution adopted in 1988 states that education is the duty of the state. The principal aim of education is the development of an individual in all forms, which includes the individual’s right to exercise citizenship as well as qualify for the profession in which one decides to qualify.

The education system in Brazil functions at the federal level, state level, and county level. The Federal Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for providing the states with financial and technical assistance.

There are several ventures which the Brazilian government has undertaken in order to ensure that the citizens are provided with basic education in their prime age. In 2000, Brazil started the Brazil Literate Program, which was established in order to increase the literacy level among the population which was 15 years and older.

The states are responsible for looking after the administration of schools within their jurisdiction, except for private and federal institutions. The Index of Basic Education Development program has been implemented for evaluation of performance quality of students overall and for improvement of the education system.

Income Inequality And Education

Brazil’s population is divided widely on the basis of class. The country’s population can be starkly divided into the lower class, middle class, and upper class based on the type of education they receive. But the ground reality shows that public universities lack the quality of education provided by private institutions.

On the other hand, private schools offer better quality core curriculum, but they are extremely expensive and could not be afforded by people with low annual incomes. Statistics reveal that about 33% of young students in Distrito Federal have received their education from tertiary institutions, which are a mix of public and private institutions.

The entrance exams are termed vestibular, and the performance in these exams vastly depends on the socio-economic background of the student, as the students who come from a wealthier background find it easier to qualify for these exams due to the higher quality of education received by them. The number of students belonging to the lower class pursuing admission into any institution becomes low and they lack many professional, employment, and educational skills.

In order to reduce the gap in this disparity, a law was passed in 2012 which made it mandatory for federal institutions to reserve half of the seats for students who graduated from public institutions and a quarter of seats for the students who come from low-income families.

Low Teacher Salaries

A research report prepared by the PISA for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concluded that the average salary of teachers in Brazilian schools is less than half the salary of the teachers around the world.

This happens mainly because of the failure of implementation of educational reform which is introduced by the government from time to time. There is also the factor that the salaries of teachers do not vary greatly according to the level of education.

Teacher Training And Qualification

A student can opt for several methods to train themselves to become a teacher in Brazil. The secondary schools provide vocational programs to students, as well as teacher training courses.

These courses require at least 300 hours of supervised internship which includes teaching practice and other tests in order to qualify as a teacher for a school.

These certifications from secondary schools are easier to get, but they do not allow one to teach at the secondary level. In order to qualify for those, one needs to obtain higher education, mostly a master’s and/or doctorate degree. These make one qualified to teach at a higher education level, as well as private schools and universities.

In order to improve the level of Brazilian education overall, the government released a National Education Plan which specifies 20 goals, four of them being with respect to making improvements in teacher’s training programs.

educational system in Brazil has three levels

Government Expenditure On Education

Public expenditures include all the expenses which the government spends on the public as well as private educational administration; education institutions include subsidies for private entities like households and dormitories for students.

In 2017, the expenditure for the education system was 6.32% of the GDP, which has increased from 5.5% in 2015.

Apart from the government funds, several public funds are allocated to public schools, even to the community, philanthropic or religious schools. Several organizations like SENAC and SENAI are supported by private funds which provide opportunities to adults for seeking educational qualifications. Public elementary schools also receive a funding called education salary which is usually made by several companies.

Structural Conditions And Constraints Of Education In Brazil

For the past many years, the quality of education provided by public schools has seen a downgrading curve. Maintaining the high standard of educational quality in elementary and higher education institutions is taking a huge blow due to the lack of educational reform in these schools.

Even though Brazil is the largest country in South America, the regional disparity is a stark representation of the difference in socioeconomic and educational background. The school fees have been on a rising trend every year, which makes it difficult for people with low income to continue with education, giving a rise to the number of dropouts.

In Brazil, the percentage of people who have received higher education is only 14% between the ages of 25-34 years. According to statistics by PISA, Brazil spends less money on a student in elementary and secondary education compared to other countries. As Brazil is known for being one of the most unequal societies in the world, the education system suffers as well, as the way for people out of poverty is education itself, which the country fails to provide, and hence the cycle repeats.

The percentage of students dropping out of public institutions is almost 16.9%, which is a lot for a developing nation. Still, the country tries to implement reforms and increase the literacy level regularly, as the literacy level has risen to 93.23% in recent years amongst adults.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for schools in Brazil facts then why not take a look at Brazil poverty facts, or Brazil language facts.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

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Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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