Brazil’s Rousseff Announces US$ 14 Bi to Build 208 Professional Education Schools by 2014

Senai In Brazil, this past weekend, the new National High School Exam (Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio – Enem) was used for the third consecutive year. An old Enem dates from back in the late 1990s and was basically an evaluation of high school.

Nowadays, the new Enem is a college entrance exam and a scholarship selection test, along with being a kind of high school diploma.

The first year the new Enem (2009) was used there was a leak of exam content. Last year there were flaws in the exam booklets and answer sheets.

This year the test material did not present any problems.

However, on the first day of the exam, Saturday, eight students were eliminated and on Sunday, the second day, another three, for using cell phones to send twitter messages.

The Brazilian Ministry of Education reported that although there were problems on the first day at entrance gates, on the second day candidates did not have any problems.

The second day of exams had 90 questions on language and math, plus a composition. The theme of the composition was: “Living Connected in the XXI Century: the Limits between the Public and the Private.”

There was some controversy when a television network announced the composition theme an hour before the students were allowed to leave the exam rooms. The ministry said it was looking into how that happened.

This year’s Enem had 5.3 million student enrolled, but, on the first day of testing, there was a large rate of absences, around 25%.

Professional and Technical

Speaking on her weekly radio program, Breakfast with the President, Dilma Rousseff announced the creation of a new program, Access to Technical Training and Employment, calling it the biggest professional education reform ever in Brazil.

Pronatec will offer scholarships and financing for professional qualification courses. The program, with a 24 billion reais (US$ 13.6 billion) budget to be invested between now and 2014, was approved by Congress last week. It is intended to create 8 million jobs.

According to Dilma, 208 new federal institutes of Professional Education will be built, with 35 of them operational by the end of this year. That will make it possible to offer some 630,000 free courses this year in partnership with small business training courses (known as the S System, Senai and Senac).

“Besides all that, we will invest 1.7 billion reais (US$ 961,000) in building 176 state technical schools and improving another 543 of them. Pronatec will also pay for technical training in private schools through student loans,” said the president.

“And the government will ensure that 30% of the funding is used to expand professional and technical education in the North and Northeast regions of the country. We will reserve 5% of the places in the programs for people with special necessities and set aside 1.1 million places for beneficiaries of the Brazil Without Misery program,” declared president Dilma.

Cell Phones

Twenty states in Brazil (out of 26), along with the Federal District, now have more cell phones than inhabitants. Overall, Brazil now has 116.5 cell phones per each 100 persons.

Brasilia (Federal District) has the highest ratio of cell phones to inhabitant, almost two per inhabitant, at 198.7 cell phones per each 100 inhabitants.

The number of cell phones in Brazil passed 227 million in September, with more than 24 million new ones going into operation just this year, an increase of over 12%, compared to 2010.

Most cell phones in Brazil are prepaid (over 81%) and around 67% of all cell phones are 3G.

The mobile phone market in Brazil is run by Vivo (29.49% of the market), Tim (26.04%), Claro (25.3%), Oi (18.84%), CTBC (0.3%) and Sercomtel (0.03%).

ABr

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