Klaus Hart Brasilientexte

Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz

Brasiliens wichtigster Befreiungstheologe Frei Betto: 800000 jugendliche Analphabeten im Tropenland

800.000 ILLITERATE YOUTHS

The UNESCO report ”Education for all in 2015: have we reached the target? published at the end of 2007 reveals that Brazil lost four points in the world ranking for education, moving from the 72nd position to 76th. It ranked behind Bolivia, Paraguay and Ecuador.

The report singles out the ”Bolsa Familia (Family Benefit) as the reason for the improvement in schooling amongst the most poor.

The ”Educaçáo para Todos (Education for Everyone) program which since 2000 evaluates 129 countries targets the expansion and improvement of education for children, to permit all children to have access to public education by 2015, to make the access of youths and adults to professional training a priority, to increase by 50% the level of literacy in adults (there are 34 million illiterates in Latin America today), to reduce inequality in education between the sexes and to improve the quality of education.

It is believed that in Brazil quality education requires investments of R$19 billion from the public sector, particularly from the federal government, in order to increase the number of teachers and for their professional training, as well as for promoting an effective national campaign for literacy as promised by the Lula government in 2003.

There is good news in Brazilian education however: the Youth Development Index shows that, between 2003 and 2007, illiteracy amongst young people 15 and 24 years of age fell from 4.2% to 2.4%. In ten states it is lower than 1%

We can rejoice that 97.4% of children between 7 and 14 years attend public schools. But when we look at the population between 15 and 17 years, we see that a smaller percentage (82%) attends school. Apart from this, in 2005 only 56.2% of 16 year olds had finished primary school, this being essential for entering high school.

The number of youths between 15 and 24 years enrolled in primary school fell between 2003 and 2007 from 17.7% to 12.5% which is also good news. The enrolment in high school and university has also increased. But it is necessary to be alert. There are 800,000 young people in the country who are illiterate. The illiteracy indexes are highest in states such as Alagoas (8.2%), Piaui (7%) and Maranhao (6.6%).

Many leave school in order to enter the (informal) work force because of the need to contribute towards increasing the family™s income. DIEESE (Inter Trade Union Department of Statistics and Socio-Economic Studies) charts from 2005 show that 5,451,439 children and adolescents between 5 and 17 years were working in Brazil of whom 305,281 were children between the ages of 5 and 9, 2,633,045 from 10 to 15 years and 2,513,113 between the ages of 16 and 17.

The Northeast is at the top of the list. Most parents justify this saying that the family does not earn enough and, therefore, is obliged to seek the help of their children who are minors to guarantee their daily sustenance.

According to ”Everyone in Favour of Education Commitment (Compromisso Todos pela Educaçáo) – an initiative of civil society and educational groups “ in 2005, at the end of the 4th grade in primary school only 29.1% of children had learned what was expected in the Portuguese language for their level. In 8th grade that percentage fell to 19.4% and in the third year of high school to 22.2%.

If we improve in quantity, we lose in quality. There are students in 8th  grade who cannot find France or Japan on the map, they read a story by Machado de Assis but cannot understand it, they write a simple note with huge spelling and grammatical errors.

Many families consider education a favour rather than a right. Thus they do not pressure the government for more room in the schools or for better quality. They accept political favouritism and do not demand participative democracy.

If we want education of quality, the families should get organized “ in churches, unions, associations, etc. “ to evaluate the schools in the region and pressure those responsible for education in order to improve things. They must also demand that the government fulfill their role; it is up to civil society to take the necessary initiatives to fill educational needs such as organizing community day care centres and literacy courses.

The right to education will be much more effective when the educational system improves. That is why Everyone in favour of Education believes that all children and youths should be enrolled in school, that all can read and write by the time they are eight years of age, that they learn what is necessary for each level of teaching and that they all attend school till they are 19 years of age.

The Everyone in favour of Education Commitment hopes that all these objectives will be in place by 2022 “ for the bicentenary of Brazil™s Independence.*Frei Betto is a writer, author of ”Alfabetto “ Autobiografia Escolar (Alphabetto “ School Autobiography) (Ática).

About the autor

He is a Brazilian Dominican with an international reputation as a liberation theologian.
Within Brazil he is equally famous as a writer, with over 52 books to his name.  In 1985 he won Brazil™s most important literary prize, the Jabuti, and was elected Intellectual of the Year by the members of the Brazilian Writers™ Union.

Frei Betto has always been active in Brazilian social movements, and has been an adviser to the Church™s ministry to workers in Sáo Paulo™s industrial belt, to the Church base communities, and to the Landless Rural Workers™ Movement (MST).

In 2003-2004, he was Special Adviser to President Lula and Coordinator of Social Mobilisation for the Brazilian Government™s Zero Hunger programme.
 “29 Prozent der Schüler in den zweiten Klassen der städtischen Schulen Sao Paulos verstehen nicht, was sie lesen” (Qualitätszeitung Folha de Sao Paulo über Schultests)

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Mittwoch, 27. Februar 2008 um 14:28 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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