At least 15 million Brazilian youths should already have completed basic education, but they are unable to wrap up this stage of schooling due to the high failure and repetition rate in the country’s schools.
This observation was made by the president of the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research (Inep), Eliezer Pacheco.
According to Pacheco, Brazil has around 55 million students enrolled in basic education, which includes nursery school, kindergarten, fundamental school, and secondary school. This figure could be much smaller, were it not for so much repetition, he said.
"These 55 million could probably be 40 million, if we didn’t have such a large number of young people in Brazil who, for example, instead of spending eight years in fundamental school, stay there nine or ten years, due to repetition," said the Inep president.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), around 64% of the students who are 14 years old, the usual age for finishing fundamental school, are lagging behind in their educational progress.
The Brazilian system of basic education is divided into three stages, each with an appropriate age group. Pre-school education is considered ideal for students between the ages of 0 and 6; fundamental school, for students between 7 and 14; and secondary school, for students between 15 and 17. Any discrepancy in these pairings is considered retarded progress.