Brazil’s Ministry of Education (MEC) announced that this year the Literate Brazil program will give priority to teaching illiterate youth between the ages of 15 and 20.
According to the MEC secretary of Ongoing Education, Literacy Instruction, and Diversity, Ricardo Henriques, the plan is to form partnerships with organized youth movements to eliminate the illiteracy of around 3 million young people in this age bracket in Brazil.
"The program will establish an agenda together with organized youth social movements to direct young people to the Literate Brazil program. The biggest dilemma is dealing with the problem of the shame and lack of self-esteem felt by youngsters who, despite the fact that we’re in the 21st century, remain totally illiterate," he explained.
According to Henriques, "many of these youngsters belong to the world of hip-hop, rap, informatics, and telecommunications and have cell phones, but they are unable to read the minimum necessary for a citizen to enjoy a decent life."
The secretary went on to say that the MEC, in conjunction with the National Youth Secretariat, will establish "veins of connection on the national level, in the countryside, in urban outskirts and shantytowns, and in socially vulnerable communities, to transmit a medium and long-term message to these young people that, in a period of three years, they can advance from the stage of total illiteracy to completing eighth grade."
Henriques also declared that in its three years of existence, the Literate Brazil program has provided literacy instruction to 5.5 million people. This year’s goal is to provide literacy instruction to over 2 million youth between the ages of 15 and 29.