In his first weekly radio broadcast of the new year (Café com o Presidente), Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that one of the highlights of his administration’s performance in 2005 was in the area of education where three action plans for higher education were put into place.

    They are the university reform project, decentralizing of federal universities and academic centers by setting up more of them outside large urban centers, and, the University for All Program (ProUni).

    Lula pointed out that the transformation of five schools into federal universities is underway, as well as the creation of another four.

    And last week 18 contracts were signed for the construction of centers in 14 states (Amazonas, Bahia, Ceará, Espí­rito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Paraí­ba, Pernambuco, Piauí­, Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo and Sergipe).

    "We are setting up a total of 32 university extension centers so that the youth in smaller cities can have a chance to study at the university level near their homes," said the President, adding that last year 112,000 youths from low-income families got into federal universities and that it is estimated that in 2006 the number will rise to 140,000.

    Basic Education

    Lula also declared once again that it is important for Congress to approve the government’s basic education and teacher fund (Fundo de Manutenção e Desenvolvimento da Educação Básica e de Valorização dos Profissionais da Educação) (Fundeb) during the special legislative session this month.

    The creation of the fund requires a constitutional amendment that has already been approved in committee.

    "Although this is an election year, I hope Congress will vote on what is good for the country. We do not want to lose another year. That will not be good for Brazilian children, or for Brazil. We need to get funding to day care centers, and elementary and high school education," said Lula.

    The federal government should inaugurate 25 new professional training schools in 2006, declared also the President.

    "I have made it clear that in the area of education we do not spend money, we invest it," said the President. "We spend money to build prisons."

    Lula said US$ 64 million (150 million reais) had been earmarked for expanding federal professional and technological education schools so they can receive an additional 67,000 students.

    Plans are for some 40 new schools to be opened in 2006, including at least five agricultural technical courses.

    Agência Brasil

    • Show Comments (3)

    • Guest

      I know why….
      …Lula wants 2006 to be the year of education !
      This year is election year and the PT party, broke, need a ton of money !

      NO ?

      The proof is today news :
      Ministério da Educação recebe denúncias de mau de recursos do Fundef em 334 municípios.

      In Brazil more money for education just brings more…….corruption !

    • Guest

      And US$ 64 millions for expansion….
      ….is peanuts as it equals to less than US$ 1000.- per additional student.

      Higher education is much more expensive than that.

      And Lula, on purpose, did not say if this amount is for 2006 only or for a longer period !!!!! If for a longer period, the amount should be smoothed accordingly.

      Here is what Mailson da Nobrega, Brazilian political commentator, said on November 9 :

      “South Korea, for example, spends one-third of what it spends on education on pensions. In Brazil, the situation is the opposite, with pensions representing two and a half times the amount spent on education.

      So what Lula is providing is NOTHING !

    • Guest

      the first year of education
      This is nice,

      But it must be expanded to reach every child in hthe nation and it must be continued for 40 years if the Brazilian population is going to be educated enough to become a modern country.

      I´d like to see it happen, but it can´t

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