By Izabela Murici, partner at FALCONI
I’ve just returned from a mission to China, where I was able to get to know the educational model that, in addition to excelling in international evaluations – such as PISA (Shanghai results in the Programme for International Student Assessment¹) – is one of the proven pillars of economic growth and the foundation for its plan as a country.
One aspect that impressed me the most during the trip, while visiting schools and universities – both public and private – and talking with different students, teachers, principals and parents, was the value assigned to education, considered by all as the means for individuals to prosper and live a decent life, achieved through developing a successful professional career. The value attributed to education is seen in the efforts of parents to provide their children with access to good schools and universities. Children reciprocate, in turn, with discipline, commitment and dedication to their studies from early life all the way through to high school and university.
The model may seem restrictive, rigid and tough for young people, especially the pressure to obtain good grades, but it led me to reflect that, if one of the main priorities of Brazilian families was the educational success of their children and young people, we would be a more critical society in terms of education, generating demand and pressure for better quality education. This would not only raise the country’s educational level, but also its productivity.
We still have a high dropout rate in Brazil, which affects basic education completion rates. At present, around 75% of students who graduate from primary school go high school, which is completed by 57% of this total. When you look at university education, the figures are even more disastrous: only 14% of our young people go to university.
This situation has a direct impact on the country’s development. According to studies, nations that raise the educational level of their labor force have higher productivity and socioeconomic development.
Shifting the focus from macro to micro, i.e., moving from the idea of nation to consider individuals, the importance, as well as urgency, of investing in quality education is clear –from basic education to university, professional training and improvement courses, such as postgraduate studies, whether a specialization, MBA or Master’s degree. This investment is the basis for developing more complete professionals and building successful careers.
According to the 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring report, every additional year of schooling raises individual income by up to 10%. In addition to the impact on wages and income, the OECD study “What are the social benefits of education?” shows that people with a higher level of education report being happier than those who studied less or did not have the means for more. The personal satisfaction of those who went to university is higher than those who stopped their education after completing high school.
Whenever you talk about career development, the following question arises: how do you plan educational development that is tied to future aspirations? To achieve this, some basic steps (presented below) can help you plan, implement and monitor your educational trajectory.
1. Define your vision as a future professional – where you would like to be in five or ten years;
2. Based on your vision for the future, set annual development goals so that you can assess and monitor your results;
3. Identify the necessary competencies for the desired position;
4. Perform a self-evaluation in terms of each necessary competence, noting those that need to be developed (interesting sources for this stage are performance appraisals, as well as formal and informal feedback);
5. Build a matrix linking the competencies to development sources (in this stage, consider educational programs, in-company courses and refresher courses, among others);
6. Prepare a development plan distributing the activities over time according to the annual goals set, so that in the set period for achieving your vision of the future it is possible to develop the necessary competencies for the desired position.
Returning to the macro perspective, just as every individual should value and pursue their educational and professional development, the Brazilian State must be attentive to educational needs, in order to provide quality education to all, as is the right of every citizen. FALCONI Education, an arm of FALCONI in the segment, has helped educational networks improve their results through management approaches that address critical aspects of student performance.
In our over two decades of experience, we have helped different states improve their results. In this recent experience, witnessing how a nation so clearly understands the role of education in its development, it is evident we are on the right path, with the mission to transform education so that education can transform Brazil.
¹ Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA): a comparative evaluation applied to students who are 15 years old, an age where basic compulsory education is generally completed in most countries. The 34 OECD member countries and various others that have been invited currently participate in the PISA.
IDEB: Basic Education Development Index
Text published in the November 2016 edition of O Papel magazine.