Improving the quality of education in the world. This is the objective of the 4th Meeting of the High-Level Group on Education for All (EFA), which began today in BrasÀlia and runs through Wednesday, November 10.
This is the first event of its kind in Latin America. It was organized by the United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO), in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
The encounter will discuss steps to attain the goals adopted by around 160 countries during the World Education Forum, held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000, related to advances in the quality of public education, literacy instruction, and teacher training.
The UNESCO representative in Brazil, Jorge Werthein, said that Brazil has raised and improved its literacy indices among young people and adults.
According to him, Brazil recognizes the need to combat the poor quality of fundamental education.
The event brings together around 30 Ministers of Education from developing countries, Ministers of Development and International Cooperation from developed countries, heads of multilateral and bilateral agencies, and representatives of civil society.
The Ministry of Education’s (MEC) Literate Brazil program plans to increase the number of students by 20% next year.
“We have 1.65 million literacy students, and in next year’s budget we are already projecting a 20% increase. Therefore, in 2005 we shall have over two million literacy students in the MEC’s programs, through associations with schools, non-governmental organizations, and state and municipal secretariats,” affirmed Minister Tarso Genro.
Launched by the federal government in 2003, the Literate Brazil program is aimed at educational inclusion.
Besides the programs funded by the MEC, other institutions, such as non-governmental organizations and society also administer literacy projects. In all, 3.2 million people attended literacy classes in 2003.
US$ 39.9 million (R$ 113.3 million) were spent in 2002 on youth and adult education. Most of these funds, US$ 35.8 million (107 million reais) went to the Solidary Literacy program.
The Literate Brazil program is investing US$ 56.3 million (168 million reais) this year in approximately three thousand Brazilian municipalities.