After Decades of Neglect Brazil Starts Studies for 150 New Technical Schools

Technical school in Brazil More than 150 technical schools will start being implemented in Brazil, starting January 2008. Also forecasted for the coming months is the inauguration of 25 other schools, already under construction. The data were supplied by the Ministry of Education.

In almost a century, from 1909 to 2002, a mere 140 technical schools were built in Brazil. In the last five years, however, 39 new units were established. The schools to be inaugurated in 2008 will offer, at first, five intermediate-level technical courses. Each will have capacity for 1,200 students.

The aim of the government is to have 354 new technical schools and 500,000 slots by 2010. "The difficulty faced by companies in hiring trained and skilled workforce is a challenge that is being addressed by the federal government with heavy investment in technical education," says Eliezer Pacheco, secretary for professional and technological education at the Ministry of Education.

The new schools cover all the country's regions. They offer courses of qualification, technical education, higher education and postgraduation. The areas vary according to the regional reality.

The schools will count on 12,664 teachers. From these, 4,379 have a master (34.5%); 1,130, a doctorate (8.9%); 4,748, specialization (37.4%); 2.209, graduation (17.4%); 177, advanced courses and 21, post doctorate.

The Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras launched at the end of November, the Development and Citizenship program, which should finance, until 2012, projects turned to reduction of poverty, support to youths and children, and promotion of professional training.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that, by means of the initiative, the company shares some of its profit with society. "The company is sharing some of the money it earns. This means that there is going to be more bread on the tables of poor people in this country," he said in a press conference.

According to Petrobras, 1.2 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 671 million) will be invested in the program, which aims to cater to approximately four million people directly, and other 14 million indirectly.

The president at the company, José Sérgio Gabrielli, claimed that the state-owned company wants to include into the economy the part of society that is left out of the country's development.
 
Some of the company's goals are for 50% of the selected proposals to prioritize youths from 15 to 29 years of age, for 20% of the participants in the professional training projects to enter the labor market, for 60% of the children and adolescents to improve their performance at school, and for the income of those contemplated to increase by more than twofold.

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