Posted by: kelvinpalharini | 22/05/2013

BRAZIL AND ITS LACK OF QUALITY EDUCATION

It is obvious to say that every child needs a quality education for a better life. Through quality education, social inequalities can be reduced by providing opportunities for all and not for only a privileged minority. Nevertheless, why is quality learning an urgent theme to be adressed in Brazil? In 2022, the 200th anniversary of our Independence will be celebrated. Although, there will be nothing to celebrate if education doesn’t change in our country now. In the speeches of politicians in elections, education is a priority. Once elected, they usually seem to suffer from amnesia and forget everything that was said and promised. However, politicians should not be the only one to blame. There was an improvement in the Brazilian educational level in the last 20 years, but this improvement was shown to be small compared with other countries, even those with worse economic developments than Brazil.

Filled with pride, Brazilian citizens think that it’s no one else’s responsibility, but the teachers’ and the government’s to make education work. Nonetheless, it is commonly forgotten, that it all starts at home, especially how to respect and behave, which are two of the biggest problems in our schools. Children always have someone they look up to and usually, parents are role models in their lives.  Those responsible for the students should set limits and make sure that learning continues at home.  According to Friedman (1986), “the major stakeholders in the education of children are not the rulers, the school nor the teachers, but the students’ parents. So parents are the ones who should control the education system”. Where are those worried parents who used to help with their children’s homework, who used to care about what they have learnt in school? Unfortunately, lack of interest leads to failure. About twenty years ago, all the developing countries were the ones with good education. This is different from Brazil, which developed a lot with less education.  Although, no government will increase investment in education if the population doesn’t fight for it.

There was an increase in the educational progress in Brazil since 1988, especially among young people who study and work at the same time and whose parents have little education. However, it wasn’t always like that. It is often shown that children are put to work at an early age to support their family, even though it is against the law to work under the age of sixteen. Dropouts are more likely in this kind of situation, because children spend more time working than they do studying. They begin to abandon school when they’re not in the grade corresponding to their age and when the chance of being promoted seems impossible. Langoni (1973) states that social inequality was due to the need of skilled workers associated with industrialization. Therefore, it is clear that education is one of the major determinants of not only social inequality, but also, income inequality.

The government doesn’t have to increase the number of schools or implement more and more equipment, but it has to improve our educational process and that needs to be the main priority. Teachers always give their best to make this whole joke work, but they are also seen as guilty. Overworked teachers with no working conditions, overcrowded classrooms, no time to prepare classes neither make nor correct tests. They’re blamed for not having a post-graduate degree, for not making differentiated classes/lessons, but how can teachers who have to work three shifts to guarantee decent salaries be blamed? According to several studies, teacher quality is an essential factor for student learning, Araújo et al (2009). Besides selecting and retaining good teachers, it is important to create incentives/awards for teachers to improve their actions to obtain better results. In the last two decades, many countries such as; Chile, Kenya, Israel, etc., have implemented reforms in order to introduce incentives for the teachers in the education system geared towards raising the quality of education and this had a positive effect on students’ grades.

What we cannot do is blame each other for the inertia. Brazil needs politicians who really care about our education and the population should open their eyes and fight for a better country. But instead, people are not worried about the things that happen to our society. The priority is quality education and we need it now.

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Responses

  1. I totally agree, it seems that the politicians are not worried about our current situation of education because they know that people with good education are people with thinking mind, critical mind, so to them will not be enough having politicians who just simply give to them food and fun, but also to improve our country so nobody will need that the country give them money or any help, because they will have a good job with good salary due to their good education.
    Also we need to aware parents that education IS VERY IMPORTANT to a better life, and that is not just a simply cliche to be said.
    To improve a country we need to have thinking mind, critical mind, and for that we need a good education for EVERYBODY. 🙂

    • Hidemi, You’ve impressed me with your words.. It’s amazing to think that youngers like you have such awareness of this reality. Hopefully, that’s what is going to start changes in the way the new generations see the world. Keep being that clever person you are!!

  2. Parents tend to leave their children education on the schools teacher´s hands, in brazilian society they work hard and dream to pay the most expensive school for their children , they think it´s the school responsability to educate, prepare their children to adulthood and expect them to come back home with good grades. that´s one of the problems adressed on the text above , Many parents think if they are paying particular expensive schools for their kids they wont have to worry about the children education.

    • I agree. Unfortunatelly, nowadays people have the impression that if they are spending they money with this kind of issue, like education, so they are doing the best for their kids, it isn’t true though. Parents have their own responsability and they will pay a expensive price if they are not aware of it.


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