In today’s edition of “Breakfast with the President,” Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that money spent on education should not be treated as an expenditure, but rather as an investment.
He affirmed that there has never been a country in history that has developed without investing in education. “I bear this conviction with me,” he emphasized.
In his biweekly radio program, Lula said that the Constitutional Amendment Proposal (PEC) to create a new fund to finance education – the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education (Fundeb) – will give more people access to public education in the country, as well as improving teachers’ training and salaries.
The bill to establish the Fundeb, which will substitute the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Fundamental Education and Valorization of the Teaching Profession (Fundef), was submitted by the government last month to the National Congress, where it is being analyzed.
Unlike the Fundef, which only allocated resources to fundamental education, the Fundeb will serve students throughout the basic education system, which includes pre-school, fundamental, and secondary education.
The fund, which is intended to last 14 years (2006-2019), will be implanted step-by-step in the first four years.
Through the Fundef, the President said, it will be possible to reach 48 million students in the fourth year of the program’s existence, with annual government investments on the order of US$ 21 billion (50 billion reais).
Of this total, US$ 1.8 billion (4.3 billion reais) will be provided by the federal government. The rest will come from the states and municipalities.
“We are leaping from US$ 12.6 billion (30 billion reais) to US$ 21 billion (50 billion reais) in investments on education. And we shall even assume young people’s vocational training, to ensure that, 10 or 15 years hence, we have a better structured nation in terms of education, better prepared, with more professionals, because it is this that will transform Brazil into a first-world country,” he added.
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br