Poverty's Impact on Schools

URBAN schools in Brazil could not keep up with the influx of migrants to the cities over the last three decades. Since 1979, chronic inflation has undercut teachers' salaries, forcing many to quit or moonlight. Inflation also weakened government finances, reducing investments in school buildings and other infrastructure. Poverty continues to force millions of children to drop out of elementary school to work. The results:* 17.5 million illiterates over age 15, out of a population of 150 million. Millions more are barely literate. * An estimated 5 million children who attend schools like Antonio de Padua Vieira that have three shifts or more. * Secondary school enrollment of only 3 million in 1989. Only 232,000 students graduated from college that year. Elementary school enrollment was 27 million. The biggest problem, says education expert Guiomar Namo de Mello of the University of Sao Paulo, is that "there are enough places for everyone, but the children stay in the system for more than eight years and can't finish," she says: "Schools are becoming warehouses for repeaters." The good news, says Ms. Namo de Mello, is a growing consensus for action. The country's 1988 constitution set aside 4 percent of Brazil's Gross National Product, or $14 billion, for education. The government plans to build 700 new, low-cost prefabricated schools next year and remodel existing ones.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK