Brazil’s Ministry of Education plans to install 108 schools in the so-called “civic-military” model across Brazil by 2023 under the National Commitment for Basic Education, an initiative unveiled in Brasília on Thursday (Jul. 11).
In addition to these schools, the government plans to speed up the construction of over 4 thousand nursery schools by 2022, provide broad band internet connection to 6.5 thousand rural schools across all Brazilian states, and offer distance courses on teacher training.
Efforts are directed at elementary education, a period comprising all grades up to high school under Brazil’s system.
“Less Brasília, more Brazil”
The plan aims to expand the role played by the government at state and municipal level, Education Minister Abraham Weintraub said, in accordance with President Bolsonaro's motto, “Less Brasília, more Brazil.” Brazil, he argued, has good initiatives and resources that may be directed towards improving education.
The goal is to make the country's education standards stand out in Latin America by 2030. “As Brazilians, we are as good as any other nation in the world,” he said.
Among the highlights in the National Commitment for Basic Education is the implementation of civic-military schools, one of the president’s flagships from his electoral campaign.
The model is set to be implemented in 27 new schools every year—one in each state. The plan is expected to reach 108 thousand students.
The ministry also plans to strengthen 28 civic-military schools every year in collaboration with state governments, serving 112 schools by 2023 and 112 thousand students.
Civic-military schools are non-militarized institutes with a team of retired military agents as tutors. The goal is to increase Brazil’s average IDEB—Basic Education Development Index, an indicator created by the Brazilian government. Military schools are reported to have a 6.99 IDEB, compared to other schools’ 4.94.
“The schools should be built in underserved locations, as was the case with full-time high school regime. If they’re not implemented in underserved areas, the education gap in the population would be even wider,” said Jânio Carlos Endo Macedo, secretary for Basic Education with the ministry. Altogether, the government plans to invest approximately $10 million a year.