Posted by: isatmoraes | 10/04/2011

Development x Education


While discussing certain topics in class we came across an article in the NY Times ( that addressed a very important matter concerning our country: the educational gap that is causing a stall in its economic development and stopping it from becoming one of the world’s biggest emerging countries.

According to the article, Brazilian students have got some of the lowest grades in basic subjects like math, science and reading, and have some of the highest repetition rates in the world. While numbers seem to be improving, there is an urgent need for change.

First world countries like Denmark and Finland have always invested in education, and are now some of the world’s most developed countries. In our opinion, this is what we should have done since the beginning. We never gave much attention to improving the educational system; we were mostly worried about improving economically and establishing ourselves as a global force.

Big mistake.

Although there was a steady economic growth over the past decade, the numbers seem to be stalling due to the educational gap. By putting education aside, Brazil is compromising its status as an ascending country, which is a huge disadvantage compared to other ascending countries like India, Russia and China.

So, what can be done now? Most of the problem seems to come from the social disparities that the country suffers from: while some people will use education to get a job and build a life, others see no use in it, and do not believe it will bring them new opportunities.

In our opinion, the educational and social problems of our country need to be put in first place in order to reestablish our status as a growing economy. Quoting Samuel Pessoa, “Brazil will continue to grow slower than its potential. If it had a better education system, things would be different.”

We do hope everyone else shares our thoughts and opinions and that, someday, we’ll be able to stand, proudly, as a fully developed and grown country – in all areas.

Bruna and Isadora



  1. Of course our country does need to invest hard on education. We can see how the numbers are low! In some public schools teachers just pass the students through the years, making the student leave school without any knowledge. I’ve heard about a new law project that will not allow teachers to reprove students anymore.. does anyone knows more details about it?

    • Ju, I agree with you! But don´t you think this non-failing students policy has been going on for a while? as you said, teachers have been passing students on to other grades without any knowledge and students already know they won´t fail.
      I also agree that education is the key to improve the country in many areas, like economy and criminality rates.
      Take North Corea, for example. The country was screwed, they reformed their education system, only, but reformed it all, and in 30 years the country improved in all areas.

    • Ju, here in Brazil they have this very ‘smart’ ideas… A teacher must be allowed to reprove a studant!!! What’s the purpose in that crazy idea?? What’s the point??!! I don’t get it… things should be improving, not getting worse!

  2. The main purpose of our government it’s not education. And I don’t think it’s ever goint to be because they want that most part of our population continue stupid and ignorant. That’s good for them, mas terrible for us. Just a miracle can change our country, specially concerning education.

  3. It’s a great topic. We should invest more in education, but I don’t think people interested in… In my opinion they see economical development as an independent part/thing of educational development or they see as different parts of the same matter. Brazil won’t be an emerging country for a long time if they don’t invent in education… probably, when this happens, they will worry with it.

  4. i’ll just leave a link here and a few parts of the link’s text, so you can read it and have your own conclusions….
    my opinion is that the education in brazil have always been used as a tool for people manipulation.

    “Durante as primeiras décadas da I República, a presença de escolas é praticamente nula. As existentes eram basicamente destinadas às elites, segmento onde a infância já existia e onde a escolarização infantil já era difundida. Enquanto isso, os filhos de trabalhadores e desempregados têm pouco ou nenhum acesso a instituições de educação. O ensino público não abrange a grande maioria desses jovens, tanto pela questão quantitativa, devido ao escasso número de vagas, quanto ao fato destes terem no trabalho seu meio de sobrevivência e também de suas famílias. O trabalho infantil era uma prática absolutamente comum e teve grande relevância no crescimento econômico do país. A visão de que esta era uma maneira funcional de controlar a delinqüência, ao mesmo tempo em que essas crianças e adolescentes tinham a oportunidade de aprender ainda jovens um ofício, contribuía de algum modo para essa prática.
    Com o tempo, o respaldo destinado a essas crianças e adolescentes foi a criação de “escolas isoladas” noturnas, destinadas ao pequeno trabalhador e aos filhos de operários. Ministradas por professores da rede pública, essas escolas tinham seus horários, calendário, metodologia e currículo constantemente interferidos por empresários, que cancelavam o funcionamento das instituições em períodos de greve, por exemplo. Foram também instaladas na mesma época cerca de cinqüenta escolas noturnas para adultos, regidas pela mesma lógica das escolas isoladas”

    and then you have the final strike of the education as a tool for mass manipulation:

    O governo do estado de São Paulo, por exemplo, no decreto referente à criação dessas escolas define o encaminhamento do ensino de linguagem da seguinte maneira:
    “lições de coisas tratando das qualidades, emprego, uso e propriedade de corpos e objetos de uso nas artes e indústrias e lições que contribuam para a educação da vontade, onde sejam narrados os triunfos da perseverança e exaltadas as alegrias da vida ativa, fecunda e tranqüila do trabalhador honesto.” (Decreto 1915 de 18/jul/1910)

  5. The Brazilian politics have to give a good attention to our educational system in all sides,cause with this we will have a better development in our country.The country with a good investment in term of education,certainly is a country with a perfect future.

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