$200 million for Brazilian education program in State of Pará, Brazil


7 May 2013 – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced on 2 May 2011 approval of a loan of over $200 million for school construction, remedial education, teacher training, evaluation and monitoring systems, and other projects in the Brazilian state of Pará.  Hundreds of thousands of students living in Brazil’s second largest state are expected to benefit from the program to improve access to quality basic education.

brailian-educationThe Program is the backbone of the Para Education Compact (PEC), an initiative that brings together municipalities, civil society and the private sector to support the long term effort needed to improve the quality of basic education in the state.

Only 31 percent of 19-year-olds in Pará have completed secondary school.  Academic underachievement precipitated by poor quality education is the leading cause of school dropout in Brazil. The IDB, in partnership with the Secretariat of Education of the State of Pará (SEDUC), aims to increase statewide graduation rates by increasing the availability and quality of secondary and vocational education.

Dangerous and insufficient school infrastructure has also influenced dropout rates in Pará, with 40 percent of educational facilities urgently requiring improvements. The new IDB loan will finance the construction of 30 secondary schools and 2 vocational schools, and the renovation of another 350 schools, opening up quality educational opportunities to over 42,000 underserved students in the state.

Learning acceleration and educational reinforcement programs for students, as well as professional development for teachers, will be implemented to reduce failure and dropout rates. In addition to the academic performance goals set for students, the program is designed to improve young beneficiaries’ self-esteem and socioemotional skills.

In coming years, domestic and foreign investments in mining, transportation and tourism are expected to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Pará, but low education levels among workers threaten potential economic and development gains; only 56 percent of the workforce has completed primary school.

map-brazilEncompassing 15 percent of the country, Pará is Brazil’s second largest state by geographic area. It has a population of 7.6 million, 70 percent of whom live in urban areas. Due to its sheer size and unique geographical features, Pará faces logistical challenges that have compromised education access and quality in the state.

This program responds to the ambitious objectives of the recent Brazilian National Educational Plan and complements the IDB’s existing partnership with Brazil intended to promote social inclusion through the education sector.

More about this program can be found at http://www.iadb.org/en/projects/project-description-title,1303.html?id=BR%2DL1327

Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a source of multilateral financing for sustainable economic, social and institutional development programs and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.  More information about the IDB is at www.iadb.org.  For more about IDB projects, visit http://www.iadb.org/en/projects/projects,1229.html.

Source: Inter-American Development Bank