The Brazilian Federal Constitution (1998) determines that education is a right of all and that the State and the family have a duty to provide it. Established as a human and social right, the goals of education are to fully develop individuals, prepare them for the exercise of citizenship and ensure their qualification for work. In order to meet such goals, the Constitution specifies that education will be provided based on equal conditions for access and permanence in school; on freedom to learn, teach, research and disseminate thought, art and knowledge, and on a variety of ideas and pedagogical concepts, at all levels, stages and modalities. For historical reasons, the concept of inclusive education has been strongly connected with only one of the teaching modalities: special education. Restricted to students with disabilities, general developmental disorders, and high abilities/giftedness, it has been revisited to associate it with the idea of education for all. The synthesis of this movement resulted in the provisions of the National Education Plan (2014), ensuring an inclusive educational system at all levels, stages and modalities of education. Also mentioned in the Statute of Persons with Disabilities (2015), this new concept draws attention to the need to eliminate barriers to guarantee the right to learn for all students. Its alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) highlights the merging of special education and general education and the pursuit of educational inclusion as an improvement of the country's educational system.
The establishment of the principles and goals of Brazilian education by the 1988 Federal Constitution prompted the updating of the Law of National Education Guidelines and Bases (LDBEN) in 1996, with the main purpose of defining the specific responsibilities of each of the federated entities – the Federal Union, the States, the Federal District and the Municipalities – in the organization of their respective education systems. Highlighting the need to consolidate the collaboration among the federated entities to ensure that the constitutional precepts are fully met, the LDBEN determines the organization of school education into 2 levels of education: basic education – comprised of early childhood education, primary education and secondary education – and higher education; and by the modalities of special education, rural education, quilombola education, indigenous education, youth and adult education, and professional education. The introduction of these modalities indicates the effort to universalize basic education in the country. In a continuous process aimed at ensuring access, permanence and learning for children, adolescents and young people between the ages of 4 and 17, the Ministry of Education (MEC), based on widespread needs detected from statistics on repetition and dropout of students representing historically excluded segments, consolidated structures such as the Secretariat for Continuing Education, Literacy and Diversity (SECAD), created in 2004, with a view to establishing policies and programs aimed at illiterate youth and adults with little schooling, Afro-descendants and quilombolas, rural populations, indigenous peoples, at risk and socially vulnerable children and adolescents, prison population, adolescents and young people deprived of liberty. In 2012, SECAD became the Secretariat of Continuing Education, Literacy, Diversity and Inclusion (SECADI) by incorporating the Secretariat of Special Education, as a result of considering students with disabilities, general developmental disorders and high abilities/giftedness from a human diversity perspective. SECADI was closed in 2019 after a process of restructuring of the Ministry of Education.
In addition, in view of the organic administration of the national education system, the LDBEN establishes that the Federal Union, in exercising its redistributive and supplementary functions, has an obligation to provide to other federated entities technical and financial assistance primarily aimed at compulsory education. The Federal Union should also establish the competencies and guidelines for early childhood education, primary and secondary education, which will provide a framework for the curricula and their minimum contents, to ensure common basic education in the national territory. The other federated entities are tasked with designing and executing educational policies and plans, in line with the national guidelines, integrating and coordinating their actions. This structure entails a rigid hierarchy among the educational laws relating to the federated entities. Municipalities, for example, in addition to having to comply with federal and state laws, cannot legislate on certain topics. Public policies and local educational programs also follow this logic, resulting in a concentration of attributions and power at the federal level, which is generally responsible for the financing and evaluation of the educational system.
This profile will present some of the goals and targets of the Multi-Year Planning, linked to the targets and strategies of the National Education Plan (PNE), providing the basis for actions aimed at promoting the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the Brazilian educational system.
The LDBEN, as mentioned, establishes that special education is a type of school education provided primarily in the regular education network to students with disabilities, general developmental disorders and high abilities/giftedness. It requires that, when necessary, specialized support services should be provided to meet the specific needs of these students, in alignment with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, it establishes that education will be provided in specialized classes, schools or services, whenever the specific conditions of a student make it impossible to integrate him or her in common regular education classes. By allowing this possibility, it came closer to the perspective of integration that was prevalent in the period prior to the Convention. As of 2008, this effect was diminished by the National Policy on Special Education from the perspective of Inclusive Education, which strongly induced the state and municipal education systems to carry out concrete actions, notably in terms of funding and continuing education, to ensure access, permanence and success of students who are the target audience of the special education modality in the common regular education classes. Ten years after the establishment of this Policy in the national territory, the 2018 school census results show that the number of enrollments in special education (either in common classes or in exclusive special classes) reached 1.2 million in 2018, a 33.2% increase compared to 2014. The percentage of enrollments of students included in the common classes has also been gradually increasing, from 87.1% in 2014 to 92.1% in 2018.
The National Education Plan (2014), sanctioned as a constitutional requirement for a ten-year period, unlike the previous one, which was a transitory provision of the LDBEN, reinforces education as a social right, through its public funding and the establishment of objective conditions for the provision of quality public education that respects diversity. Therefore, this law echoes the Convention by mentioning the target audience of the special education modality and establishing their right to education in the general educational system. It is also noteworthy that, in terms of legislation, the Statute of Persons with Disabilities (2015), better known as the Brazilian Law of Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, ensures the legal means to implement the Federal Constitution’s provisions on the rights of this segment of the population throughout the Brazilian ordinary legal system. In its Art. 27, this document highlights that education is a right of people with disabilities, who are ensured an inclusive educational system at all levels and lifelong learning, in order to achieve the maximum possible development of their physical, sensory, intellectual and social talents and abilities, according to their characteristics, interests and learning needs. In its Art. 28, the law establishes that public authorities must ensure, create, develop, implement, encourage, monitor and evaluate the inclusive educational system at all levels and modalities, in order to guarantee conditions of access, permanence, participation and learning, by offering accessibility services and resources that eliminate barriers and promote full inclusion.
This noticeable improvement, which points to the need for changes in the educational system to make it inclusive, is in complete alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006). In Brazil, the term “special educational needs” became known after the signing of the Salamanca Declaration (1994) and was adopted in the LDBEN (1996), which is the main legal organizational framework of Brazilian education. With the adoption of the social concept of disability by the CRPD, disability was established as a concept in motion, which shifts the search for educational solutions exclusively based on the impairments of students with disabilities and focuses on the barriers that make learning impossible, moving away from the notion of individual need or special requirement. With this change of perspective, the possibility of convergence of the requirements of special education and general education was established in the country. Inclusive education is now postulated as an expansion of the quality of education for all and no longer as education aimed at the educational needs of a specific group.
In 2013, the expression "special needs" was removed from Law 9394/1996, which establishes the national education guidelines and bases, being replaced by the expression "students with disabilities, general developmental disorders and high abilities or giftedness", which is the complete designation of the modality’s target audience determined by the National Policy on Special Education from the perspective of Inclusive Education (2008). Thus, the term “special educational needs” is gradually falling out of use in Brazil. With a view to increasing the rate of access, permanence and school achievement of the target audience of special education, more than 90 thousand public basic education schools received funds until 2019 under the Direct Money at School Program.
Attention should be drawn to the growth in the last decade of restrictions on the use of the term “gender” in Brazilian legislation. As a striking example of this, all mentions of the term “gender” were removed from the final wording of the National Education Plan (2014) (PNE), as well as the feminine inflection of nouns, based on arguments related to “gender ideology”. In the State Plans, as in the PNE, the issues of gender and sexual minorities are superficially mentioned in targets established for the continuing education of teachers. The Mato Grosso State Education Plan is a step forward in relation to the PNE, as it combines the targets related to the theme with administrative, pedagogical and organizational measures necessary to guarantee students' access and permanence in school without discrimination on grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Ethnic and linguistic groups
Brazil adopts self-declaration as a criterion for defining race and ethnicity. When carrying out the Demographic Census, a national survey conducted every ten years, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) applies the basic questionnaire to investigate, among other things, information about the characteristics of household members (sex and age, color or race, ethnicity and language in the case of indigenous people, possession of a birth certificate, literacy, monthly income, etc.). As the main source of reference on the population's living conditions in its internal territorial areas, the survey’s results are used for the establishment, for example, of national educational policies and educational policies in the different federated entities.
According to article 2 of Decree N. 4,887, of November 20, 2003, quilombos are "ethnic-racial groups according to self-attribution criteria, with their own historical path, endowed with specific territorial relations, with a presumption of black ancestry related to resistance to the historical oppression they have suffered". Quilombola communities in Brazil are multiple and varied and are distributed throughout the national territory, both in rural areas and in cities.
Legislative Decree 143/2003 and Decree N. 6.040/2007 introduced the National Policy for Sustainable Development of Traditional Peoples and Communities.
The data show a gap in average schooling level of the Brazilian population between black and non-black groups. To bridge the gap, the National Education Plan reinforces the need to implement Law N. 10.639/03, amended by Law 11645/08, which calls for mandatory inclusion in the official curriculum of the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous history and culture in all public and private schools, from primary to secondary education, as part of the school curriculum. Law N. 12711/12, known as the Quotas Law, which aims to promote equity in access to higher education by reserving vacancies, is another instrument to bridge the gap between the level of education of blacks and non-blacks. The Law provides for reservation of 50% of vacancies at federal universities for students who have completed secondary education in public schools, and 50% of these vacancies must be reserved for students from households with income equal to or less than 1.5 minimum wage per capita. The reservation of vacancies must also observe the proportion of black, brown, and indigenous people in the population of the federation unit where the institution is located. The Quotas Law standardized the treatment of the matter, establishing an affirmative policy applicable to all universities and federal institutes.
The 1988 Federal Constitution promoted significant achievements regarding the rights of indigenous peoples. The chapter on “Indigenous people” acknowledges their social organization, customs, languages, beliefs, traditions, and original rights over the lands they traditionally occupy. In addition, in the chapter on “Education”, the constitutional text determines that “regular primary education shall be taught in Portuguese, with indigenous communities also guaranteed the use of their mother tongues and their own learning processes”. The purpose of the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), created in 1967, was reformulated. Its social assistance nature gave way to the responsibilities of promoting and implementing public policies that guarantee to indigenous people the maintenance of their customs, traditions, culture and lands. As previously mentioned, the National Education Plan reinforces the need to implement Law 11645/08, which makes the teaching of indigenous history mandatory and includes in the mandatory curriculum various aspects of indigenous history and culture that characterize the formation of the Brazilian population, thus restoring their social, economic and political contributions. It indicates the need to encourage the provision of primary education, especially in the early years, for rural, indigenous and quilombola populations in their own communities.
In order to expand this specific provision, the Permanence Scholarship Program was introduced to provide financial aid to students enrolled in Federal Education Institutes. The growth of these institutions until 2015 enabled the delivery of professional education in all areas of the country and, alongside degree courses, they expanded the training of professionals. In addition to being contemplated in several targets of the State Education Plan (PEE) of the State of Tocantins, indigenous education is established in a specific target on universalization of basic education for all inhabitants of the various indigenous lands. In addition to the PEE, there are also regulations from the Legislative Assembly and the State Council of Education for the operation of indigenous schools, which cover everything from the structure to the curricular proposal. The Pro-Indigenous Commission of Acre maintains the Indigenous Education and Research Program together with the Secretariat of Education, the Organization of Indigenous Teachers of Acre (OPIAC) and the Federal University of Acre. This program is important for the coordination of social oversight over educational policies specifically aimed at indigenous peoples. The same effort is made in Mato Grosso, the first state to create the State Council for Indigenous School Education (CEEEI). It currently has representatives from civil society, universities, Funai and the 43 ethnic groups present in the state. It should be noted that the University of the State of Mato Grosso was the first to provide training of indigenous teachers, starting in 2001.
In its PEE, the state establishes strategies to guarantee education to the indigenous population, ensuring transport, structure, materials in their language and in Portuguese, as well as training of native teachers. Indigenous Education in Maranhão is also characterized by the diversity of peoples. In addition to the aforementioned Decent School program, another action aimed at ensuring equal opportunities is the simplified recruitment process for temporary hiring of indigenous teachers from the community. The proposal for the construction of the indigenous school curriculum in Maranhão considers that the indigenous mother tongue is the first language in the school curriculum for this segment of the population, in addition to being a political strategy for the survival of indigenous cultures in the country. The state curriculum recognizes the Common National Curriculum Base (BNCC) as another reference for indigenous education in indigenous communities. In São Paulo, indigenous issues are also addressed in several of the PEE targets, and, in the state’s curriculum, competences and skills will be developed in accordance with the knowledge of each ethnic group.
People living in rural or remote areas
According to the 2010 Demographic Census, 84.4% of Brazil’s population live in urban areas and 15.6% in rural areas. For the 2020 Census, other types of classification are being studied to expand the understanding of the Brazilian territorial dynamics and thus provide more consistent inputs for public policies. In 2015, IBGE defined the 104 Brazilian Rural Regions. The main index that reflects the inequalities between the schooling of children and adolescents living in rural areas and those living in urban areas are the years of schooling. There is a historical issue of interruption of schooling from the 5th to the 6th year. Even in rural areas, in terms of inputs, the differences between the various modalities of rural education are significant. To address this situation, the National Education Plan (2014) established the expansion of student assistance, at all stages of basic education, through supplementary programs that provide teaching materials, transport, meals and health care.
With this goal, the programs of the Ministry of Education are divided into two major fronts: specific programs and specific actions within general programs. The National Rural Education Program (Pronacampo), for example, which exclusively targets this segment of the population, ranges from management and pedagogical practices and initial and continuing teacher education to physical and technological infrastructure. Pronacampo implements degree courses in rural education in public higher education institutions with a view to training educators for teaching the final years of primary and secondary education in rural schools. These two programs aim to implement the PNE's strategy of expanding specific assistance to rural populations and indigenous and quilombola communities as regards access, permanence, completion, and training of professionals to work with these populations. The Path to School program, which aims to renew and standardize the school bus fleet, and thus contribute to the reduction of school dropout, developed an action to deliver rural school buses with resources from the National Education Development Fund. Another example is the National Textbook Program (PNLD) with the implementation of the Rural PNLD to reach this segment of students by means of funds allocated for this purpose. The Land School program aims to improve access, permanence and learning conditions for rural and quilombola students in their communities, by supporting the training of teachers who work with multiage classrooms in the early years of primary school, and in community schools.
Within the scope of the PDDE, attention should be drawn to the PDDE Rural School and the PDDE Water and Sanitary Sewage at School programs, which allocate financial resources and capital to rural and quilombola schools to ensure the necessary connection to the network of drinking water supply and sanitary sewage in school units that have declared the absence of such infrastructure in the Census and have not yet benefited from such financial assistance. The Degree course in Rural Education, created in Maranhão thanks to a partnership initiated in 2008 between the State Secretariat of Education, the State Committee of Rural Education and the Federal University of Maranhão, is part of the teacher qualification policy and is aimed at providing higher education to teachers who work in rural education. It is based on alternation between training times/spaces: university-time with community-time/professional environment. Rural education is also addressed in the State Plans of Acre, Santa Catarina and Mato Grosso, which provide for infrastructure, transport and teaching materials for the rural population. Santa Catarina has established a Rural Education Nucleus composed of staff from the Secretariat of Education, representatives appointed by government and non-government bodies and institutions that work directly or indirectly with the target population and thematic area of Rural Education. Its role is to formulate, disseminate and monitor the implementation of guidelines, programs and public policies for Rural Education in Basic and Professional Education in the state.
The National Education Plan, in the context of the universal education target, establishes strategies for coordination with social assistance programs aimed at the poor population. An example of this is the monitoring of enrollment and attendance of students whose families receive the Bolsa Família grant and active search actions aimed at placing in school children and adolescents who do not have access to this right. Bolsa Família is a direct income transfer program, aimed at families in poverty and extreme poverty throughout the country, so that they can overcome their situation of vulnerability and poverty. The program seeks to guarantee for these families the right to food and access to education and health. All over Brazil, more than 13.9 million families are reached by Bolsa Família.
The right to a Continuous Cash Benefit (BPC) was established, specifically targeting children and adolescents with disabilities whose families have an income of up to ¼ of the minimum wage per capita. The Ministry of Education has based its active search for this segment of the population on the list of BPC beneficiaries. The state of Santa Catarina has set the target of providing full-time assistance, primarily in poor communities and with children in a situation of social vulnerability, as well as student assistance policies for the economically deprived population, offering undergraduate scholarships and access and permanence policies to include students in socioeconomic vulnerability in post-graduate programs. The state also conducts active search for out-of-school children and adolescents and follow-up and monitoring of access to and permanence in school, in partnership with the areas of health and social assistance, family and child, adolescent and youth protection agencies. In Mato Grosso and Acre, actions aimed at supporting and monitoring beneficiaries of national income transfer programs have been planned, but without specific programs. By joining the Child Labor Eradication Program (PETI), which aims to eradicate all forms of work to which children and adolescents under 16 years of age are subjected in the country, the government of Maranhão has implemented identification and active search for children and adolescents who have their rights violated in order to ensure that they attend school and socio-educational activities.
Other vulnerable groups
In the state education plans of Acre, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Maranhão and Mato Grosso, there is a clear effort towards implementation of policies to prevent dropout driven by prejudice or any form of discrimination through the creation of a protection network against discrimination associated with exclusion, revealing a real concern of education systems to ensure quality education for all. The PEE of Santa Catarina stands out in relation to its scope, as it mentions in most of its targets the population of the prison system, the homeless, those in assisted freedom, the migrant population, beneficiaries of income transfers, the poor, and other historically excluded social segments. In Acre, the PEE stands out for its commitment to the education of the elderly and drug users. The PEE of Mato Grosso provides for alternative forms of primary education delivery for the children of itinerant workers, in addition to prison education.
Constitutional Amendment N. 59/2009 altered the situation of the National Education Plan, which changed from a transitional provision of the Law of National Education Guidelines and Bases (LDBEN) to a constitutional requirement with a ten-year periodicity, which means that multi-year plans must take it as a reference. The PNE is the basis for the formulation of state, district and municipal plans, which, when approved by law, must allocate budgetary resources for their execution. The alignment of education plans in the states, in the Federal District and in the municipalities constitutes an important step towards the construction of the National Education System. In terms of governability, investing in early childhood education is a priority task for municipalities. Ensuring full access to primary and secondary education for children and youth from 6 to 17 years of age and expanding the supply of professional education requires collaboration between state and municipal networks.
The Federal Constitution determines that the Federal Union allocate at least 18% of its tax revenue to education, while the States, the Federal District and the Municipalities should allocate 25%. It is the federal sphere that provides the greatest sum of resources for higher education, while the States and Municipalities allocate them primarily to Basic Education. The main financing mechanism for Brazilian education is the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and the Acknowledgement of Education Professionals - FUNDEB regulated by Law 11.494/2007. By law, the FUNDEB ends in 2020, and discussions are underway for its improvement. In simple terms, the states have their own funds based on percentages of the taxes they collect. If the amount does not reach what is needed to fund their education networks, the Federal Government is obliged to supplement those funds. In other words, the poorest states receive a greater supplement than less poor federated entities, and the richest states do not receive any supplement. This equity mechanism has proven to be effective in reducing inequalities between states. The FUNDEB is based on the number of students enrolled and the levels and modalities of education. Thus, a student enrolled in the early years of primary school has a weight of 1, whereas a student with a disability enrolled in Special Education has a weight of 1.20. Within this logic, it is important to note that students enrolled in Rural, Indigenous, Quilombola and Full-Time Education also have higher weights. However, students in Early Childhood and Youth and Adult Education have lower weights. The use of weights addresses the issue of student cost (average) and attempts to correct distortions through the allocation of more funds to specific areas to allow for greater equity. Another form of federal financing is the engagement of municipalities and states in programs created by the federal government, ranging from large programs, for example, literacy by a certain age, to programs more focused on vulnerable populations, such as the “Right to diversity” training program.
In 2007, with the creation of the Articulated Action Plan (PAR), greater transparency was given to the funding request system, the Integrated Execution Monitoring and Control System (SIMEC). In order to request funds for the programs created by the Ministry of Education, states and municipalities had to join the SIMEC and prepare a detailed diagnosis of the state or municipal educational system, based on which they can request technical or financial support. Through this mechanism, all programs created to support actions aimed at equity were registered by the PAR.
Infrastructure and services
The National Education Development Fund - FNDE is the federal agency responsible for the execution of educational policies of the Ministry of Education. The FNDE funds infrastructure programs to improve schools and educational centers.
The Path to school program seeks to renovate the school bus fleet, ensure safety and quality in the transport of students and contribute to the reduction of school dropout, improving, through daily transport, access and permanence in school for students enrolled in basic education in rural areas of the state and municipal networks. The program also aims to standardize school buses, reduce vehicle prices, and increase transparency in these acquisitions.
Under the Thematic Program: Basic Education, attention should be drawn to the Multifunctional Resource Room Implementation Program which provides equipment, furniture and pedagogical and accessibility materials to support specialized educational services for students who are the target audience of special education enrolled in regular classes. From 2012 to 2015, 17,500 multifunctional rooms were implemented in 4,785 municipalities and 30,000 existing rooms were renovated. In addition, 62 thousand schools received software to enable access to curriculum content.
The Common National Curriculum Base (BNCC) establishes the knowledge, skills and abilities that all students are expected to develop throughout their basic education. The formulation of a common national base is provided for in Article 210 of the 1988 Constitution and in Article 26 of the Law of National Education Guidelines and Bases 1996. Furthermore, the 2014 law that instituted the PNE explicitly mentions the BNCC as a strategy for reaching targets 2, 3 and 7 of the Plan. Therefore, the formulation of the BNCC, as determined in the constitutional charter, is largely supported by the country's educational legislation. In 2018, the minister of education ratified the document of the Common National Curriculum Base for the Secondary Education stage.
Guided by the same ethical, political and aesthetic principles of the National Curriculum Guidelines that underpinned the learning and development rights proposed in previous versions of the BNCC, the final version consolidates a competence-based curriculum, a focus already present in Articles 9, 32 and 35 of the LDBEN and most of the curriculum development initiatives in Brazil, curriculum reforms in different countries and international assessments. Thus, undertaking a commitment towards full human development and the construction of a fair, democratic and inclusive society, the final version defines general competencies to be developed by all students throughout schooling and establishes the essential learning in each area and curricular component that needs to be ensured for the development of such competencies.
In addition to ensuring discussion in the State Education Plan, there is a specific law to fight sexism and to improve women's status in the state public network - Law 10760/2018; and a booklet on "Curriculum Guidelines for Educational Diversities", whose first chapter is “Curriculum guidelines for education on human rights, gender and sexual diversity”, which addresses issues within the scope of social movements’ call for equal rights. There is a curriculum guideline in Maranhão calling for the teaching process in schools to be based on the acknowledgement of regional and local identities, the secularity of the State, religious diversity, gender equality, cultural and social diversity, based on the perspective of valuing culture and the concrete reality that surrounds us, emphasizing the need to fight prejudice, racism, sexism, homophobia and any type of intolerance and hatred.
The National Curriculum Guidelines for Quilombola School Education represent a victory for social movements, as they were created at the base, out of the struggle of the black population, more specifically the quilombola movement. The guidelines define that Quilombola School Education requires its own pedagogy, respect for the ethnic-racial and cultural specificity of each community, specific training of its teaching staff, and specific instructional materials. It must also observe the constitutional principles, the common national basis and the principles that guide Brazilian Basic Education and must be provided in quilombola schools and in schools that receive quilombola students outside their communities of origin.
Law 11645/08 makes it mandatory to include in the official curriculum the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous history and culture in all public and private schools, from primary to secondary education, as part of the school curriculum.
In the State Education Plans, the goal of reducing schooling inequalities between blacks and non-blacks is reaffirmed. In Acre, the secondary education target envisages adoption of affirmative policies, among others, and inclusion of issues related to human rights, citizenship, and diversity as part of the content of the continuing education policy. In the State Education Plans of São Paulo and Santa Catarina, race and ethnicity issues are included in several targets. In Santa Catarina, the State Department of Education (SED) approved a new curriculum matrix for primary and secondary education based on political-pedagogical concepts and practices and methodologies that guide Youth and Adult Education (EJA) and Quilombola School Education.
In Mato Grosso, there is a specific target with the purpose of addressing average schooling inequality by means of affirmative actions, flow corrections, and studies on dropout and repetition among this segment. Quilombola education is also mentioned in another target, with the guarantee of an adequate structure and specific teacher training.
Learning materials and ICTs
Since 1997, the National Educational Technology Program (Proinfo) provides computers, digital resources and educational content to schools. On the other hand, states, municipalities and the Federal District must ensure adequate structure to receive the IT laboratories and train educators in the use of the hardware and technologies.
The Broadband in Schools Program (PBLE) was launched on April 4, 2008 by the federal government, through Decree 6424, which amends the General Plan of Targets for the Universalization of Switched Fixed Telephone Service Provided in the Public Regime (PGMU). The program provides assistance to all urban public schools at primary and secondary levels that participate in the E-Tec Brasil programs, in addition to public institutions that support teacher training: Open University of Brazil Hubs, State Technology Center (NTE) and Municipal Technology Center (NTM).
There is also the One Computer per Student Project (UCA) and the One Computer per Student Program (PROUCA), implemented with a view to increasing the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in schools, through the distribution of portable computers to students in the public school system. Established by Law N. 12,249 of June 14, 2010, the PROUCA aims to promote pedagogical digital inclusion and the development of teaching and learning processes for students and teachers in Brazilian public schools, through the use of portable computers called educational laptops.
In addition, the National Textbook Program (PNLD) contributes to guaranteeing the right to quality teaching materials, including assistance to students with disabilities.
In Brazil, more structured training actions are made available to teachers. In recent years, managers from both education secretariats and school units have come to be considered an important audience. As for the other categories/functions, the training actions are sparser. The National Education Plan establishes three targets with a view to the so-called acknowledgement of education professionals. Targets 15 and 16 determine the establishment of a national policy for the training of education professionals, ensuring that all basic education teachers have specific higher-level training, and that half of the basic education teachers are trained at postgraduate level. In addition to investing in professional training, acknowledging education professionals involves increasing their average income to match that of other educated professionals and establishing career plans based on the national professional wage floor. To this end, the PNE highlights that career plans, attractive salaries, adequate working conditions, initial and continuing education processes and criteria-based recruitment are requirements for improving the quality of public basic education. In 2015, the National Council of Education approved a resolution establishing the National Curriculum Guidelines for initial training at higher level and for continuing education. This document, however, did not comply with the provisions of the PNE and was prepared without discussion with the segment of Education professionals and their representative entities. Despite the importance of resolution 02/2015, due to the way it was established, this legal protocol was not widely accepted by the federated entities or among civil society. This resolution is being rediscussed, and it is expected that by the end of the year the National Education Council will launch a new Training Policy for Basic Education teachers, which will follow the guidelines of the Common National Curriculum Base, approved in 2017 (early childhood and primary education) and 2018 (secondary education). The Common National Base for Initial Teacher Education came into force in 2019. Since 2009, the Ministry of Education has maintained a platform with continuing education courses - the Freire Platform. Managed by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the platform aggregated the curricula of teachers, managers and other professionals working in Basic Education. In 2019, CAPES altered the platform created for teachers to seek professional improvement courses and removed the homage to educator Paulo Freire from the name. The "Platform Freire" was renamed "Basic Education Platform".
Since then, several regulatory frameworks have been established to provide transparency to the actions and results of policies carried out by public agents. In 2011, the Access to Information Law, was sanctioned. This is a major milestone, as it allows any citizen to request information.