Laboratório de Biossegurança Nível 3
Ministerio da Saúde- SVS - CGLab
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz - Bahia.
domingo, 12 de dezembro de 2010
Ensino no Brasil - reportagem do The economist
Na minha opinião todos devemos nos concentrar em melhorar a educação no Brasil, temos que exigir dos governos e nos empenharmos pessoalmente e coletivamente em melhorar o ensino. Educação de qualidade é nossa ponte para o futuro e todos devemos atravessa-la, juntos
Education in Brazil
No longer bottom of the class
Weak and wasteful schools hold Brazil back. But at least they are getting less bad
Dec 9th 2010 | SÃO PAULO | from PRINT EDITION
IN 2000 the OECD, a group of mostly rich countries, decided to find out how much children were learning at school. At the time, only half of Brazilian children finished primary education. Three out of four adults were functionally illiterate and more than one in ten totally so. And yet few Brazilians seemed to care. Rich parents used private schools; poor ones knew too little to understand how badly their children were being taught at the public ones. The president at the time, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, saw a chance to break their complacency. Though Brazil is not a member of the OECD he entered it in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Brazil came last.
A decade on, it is clear that the shock was salutary. On December 7th the fourth PISA study was published, and Brazil showed solid gains in all three subjects tested: reading, mathematics and science (see chart 1). The test now involves 65 countries or parts of them. Brazil came 53rd in reading and science. The OECD is sufficiently impressed that it has selected Brazil as a case study of “Encouraging lessons from a large federal system”.
Across Latin America there is far more awareness than a decade ago that poor education is holding the region back. Eight countries in the region took part in the latest tests. Chile did best among them, and continues to improve (see article and chart 2). But all came in the bottom third globally. In both Panama and Peru more than a third of 15-year-olds in school are borderline illiterate, able to make sense only of the simplest texts. Argentina’s schools, which a century ago were among the best in the world, continue to decline: they performed worse than ten years ago, and worse than Brazil’s.
The OECD highlights that Mr Cardoso’s reforms of school funding in the 1990s, which mandated minimum per-pupil spending and teacher salaries, made a huge difference in the poorest areas. His government also started to pay poor families to keep their children in school. The report praises the current president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for continuing and extending both policies.
Barbara Bruns, an economist at the World Bank who has written a book about Brazilian schools, praises the system, created over the past 15 years, of rating schools on how much students learn and how many of them drop out or repeat grades. “From a starting point of having no information on student learning, the two presidencies constructed one of the world’s most impressive systems for measuring education results,” she says.
But the recent progress merely upgrades Brazil’s schools from disastrous to very bad. Two-thirds of 15-year-olds are capable of no more than basic arithmetic. Half cannot draw inferences from what they read, or give any scientific explanation for familiar phenomena. In each of reading, mathematics and science only about one child in 100 ranks as a high-performer; in the OECD 9% do. Even private, fee-paying schools are mediocre. Their pupils come from the best-off homes, but they turn out 15-year-olds who do no better than the average child across the OECD.
One reason the poor learn so little is that a big chunk of school spending is wasted. Since teachers retire on full pay after 25 years for women and 30 for men, up to half of schools’ budgets go on pensions. Except in places such as São Paulo state, which has started to take on the unions, teachers can be absent for 40 of the year’s 200 school-days without having their pay docked. More than a tenth of spending goes on pupils who are repeating grades: an astonishing 15% of those graduating from secondary school are over 25.
Brazil has set itself the goal of reaching the average standard of the OECD over the next decade. At the current pace, it will only get halfway there. Some of its plans will help, such as to test new teachers on both content and pedagogy. Others, such as spending lots more, are unlikely to make much difference. Brazil already spends a higher share of GDP on schooling than most OECD countries.
Bad teachers are the biggest handicap. In few parts of the world do high achievers aspire to teaching (exceptions like Finland and South Korea have the best schools). Uruguay is the only Latin American country where would-be teachers have above-average school grades. Factor in that the region’s average is abysmal, and by global standards Latin American teachers are themselves very poorly educated. Brazil compounds the problem by training teachers in neither subject matter nor teaching skills (they learn about the philosophy of education instead). Nearly half of teachers in São Paulo failed to reach state standards for a permanent contract.
Ms Bruns sees hope in thousands of innovative education schemes across Brazil. Some are run by foundations: Itaú Social, the charitable arm of a big bank, is coaching teachers in struggling schools, paying for parent-school liaison workers and training head teachers in management. Others are led by a new breed of public-sector managers: São Paulo state has created a career track for teachers who do well on tests of subject knowledge; the city of Rio de Janeiro is tackling teacher absenteeism by giving schools bonuses for hitting targets—to be shared out only among teachers with good attendance records. If Brazil does make the grade, it will be because it has managed to spread such innovative practices everywhere.