Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva affirmed yesterday in his morning radio interview, “Breakfast with the President,” that the government will give continuity to spending on education.
“In 2005 we intend to spend US$ 619 million (1.7 billion reais) more on education,” he said.
President Lula also defined the goals for higher education in 2005. Among them, he cited the creation of the campuses of the Garanhuns University Center in Pernambuco and the Federal University of the Greater ABC Region in São Paulo.
“We shall make the Brazilian university become more a part of the interior, as well as giving the poorest regions of the country the chance to have a university and the adolescents there not to have to spend hours traveling by bus to attend a good university,” Lula affirmed during the program.
He recalled that federal educational institutions will receive 34% more operating funds next year, and six thousand new teachers will be hired. Another of the government’s priorities is to conclude the university reform.
“We are working with the presidents of the universities and society, because we understand that modernization is necessary, for, among other reasons, to ensure the autonomy of our universities,” he said.
Lula called the creation of the University for All Program (Prouni) “the biggest educational advance this year.”
Around 1200 private and philanthropic institutions of higher education have already signed on to the program, which offers partial tax exemption in exchange for free scholarships for low-income students.
“We have a commitment to find 70 thousand new places for youngsters, especially those who attended public high schools, to study.”
Translator: David Silberstein
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