By Wilson Risolia, leader of FALCONI Educação
Do we in Brazil understand education as a strategic asset?
The answer to this simple question is: No!
Recently we were confronted with yet another result of Pisa. As if the embarrassment caused by the results of the Ideb (Basic Education Development Index) was not enough, we still have to assume our total inability to deal with a matter of such importance.
Perhaps society has not realized the seriousness of the problem, after all, newspapers and TVs focus mainly on political-police newscasts, which is even more embarrassing.
But perhaps this explains many of the problems we face in Brazilian education.
Has anyone heard any parliamentarians commenting on the results? Has anyone seen any embarrassed parliamentarians, on the TV, with the results of Pisa?
Has anyone seen or heard of demonstrations against or in favor of the results?
Has anyone seen any manifestation of the right, center or left parties? The answer is also no!
Let’s see what we were able to do with our children and youth.
Among 70 countries, we are in the 59th position in reading. In science, 63rd. In mathematics, 66th.
The education budget has been growing year after year for more than a decade; In contrast to this spectacular investment, the results are at least staggering.
We are behind countries like Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Uruguay.
Let us better understand what we have produced?
Over 50% of students are below the basic level of learning in relation to reading, science and mathematics.
Seven out of ten students in the 15-year old age range are below proficiency level 2 in mathematics…
In science, just over 40% achieved level 2 at least.
In reading, 51% are below this level.
In the time period from 2012 to today, the differences are statistically irrelevant, but not to say that we did not do anything new, we got worse in mathematics.
It is difficult to believe that in the middle of the 21st century and with the problems that insist on plaguing our country, we still do not have a state project for education.
It is hard to imagine that we are incapable of projecting a better future for our children and youth, while we are still a country of young people.
Good measures to reform education were announced, but they just became idle talk.
Today, for example, anyone dares to discuss the new high school education – which seems to have turned out to be a panacea, while what one really wants is to apply the obviousness of corrective actions to a stage of teaching that is notably broken and not comparable to any other system in the modern world.
That’s what we call jabuticaba (an expression for something only found in Brazil)! One more…
Finally, what remains as a certainty in this world of folly is that either the country treats education as a strategic asset or we will see a society in an advanced state of deterioration.
Cases of rape, violence against women, homophobia, increasing prison population, high rates of child pregnancy, corruption, reversal of values, attacks against property, violation of rules and laws …
Any similarity is purely coincidental.
Published on Dec. 27, 2016 in Folha de S. Paulo.