Brazilian public schools are challenged. Denise Aguiar, director of the Bradesco Foundation, said that Brazil is essentially decades behind the United States, and who is happy with American schools? Finding qualified worker is one of the biggest challenges facing the country that has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
The Brazilian media is full of stories about weaknesses in education and Brazilians are aware of the situation. Brazil is a big, diverse continental sized country, like the U.S. It cannot just copy the lessons of homogeneous boutique countries such as Finland, Singapore or South Korea. Like the U.S., Brazil has some excellent schools and many horrible ones. And as in the U.S., non-public schools seem to be one of the roads to improvement.
The Washington Post ran an article today about how Brazilian private firms and foundations are sponsoring schools. The article opens with a scene like one from the documentary “Waiting for Superman” with the parents of poor kids waiting in line to get into one of the private-charter style schools in an attempt to escape the ruined public system and get a better chance in life.
Education is important to a modern economy. Most people recognize this, but making it happen is a bigger problem. It clearly is not something government can handle alone. A response by the nation is required.