NATIONAL REPORTS • ensure that the funds for IT development allocated to colleges of education are spent as effectively as possible for the benefit of all colleges of education • ensure that proposals be prepared for an organisational model which will support an effective and speedy communication of experiences gained from IT development projects, including the coordination of initiatives and funds
5.4 Brasil REPORT ON ICT POLICIES AND IMPLEMENTATIONS IN BRAZIL Raul Sidnei Wazlawick Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina UFSC-CTC-INE Florianópolis, SC – Brazil email@example.com IFIP-TC3 member Some Information about Brazil and its Educational System Brazil is a huge country, with approximately 8,5 million square kilometers, that is, approximately the size of the United States, and with a population of about 170 million. In 1970 this population was about 70 million. This means that Brazil has a great and increasing number of young people who need to have access to education. The education system has been reformulated recently and includes three main levels: a) Basic school (ensino fundamental): it comprises eight years of study and usually begins with 6 to 7-years-old children. This level is supposed to be followed by all citizens but this is not always the case. b) High School (ensino médio): it consists of three years of study and corresponds roughly to the high school concept. c) University (ensino superior): university studies (graduation), usually takes four to five years. Masters course is 1,5 to 2 years after graduation and the Doctor Degree can be obtained in about four to seven years after the Masters degree. Nowadays, Brazilian public schools are free of payment, while private schools usually are too expensive to the average Brazilian worker. The minimum wage in Brazil is about US$75.00 by month (half of the workers in Brazil receive this “salary”), while a course in a private university may charge from US$150.00 to US$500.00 on average. As a consequence, many people in Brazil still depend uniquely on public education in order to become citizens and have a minimum quality of life. Unfortunately, the quality of public schools is much lower than that of private schools. Only in the case of universities we can observe that public schools are much better than the average private ones, because private schools with graduation courses are not yet very interested in developing research activities, which are done almost exclusively in public universities. Today, Brazil has about 65.000 public basic and high schools. Some already use ICT regularly in education, and some do not have even electricity or telephone. Any public project for the dissemination of the use of ICT in Brazilian schools has to consider this enormous number of schools and students and their great differences. A Short History on ICT in Education in Brazil The experiences on using ICT in education in Brazil have at least 20 years. In 1981 the University of Brasilia and the Ministry of Education organized the first seminar on Computers in Education in Brasilia. The first important document on national policies for ICT in education was published also in 1981. In 1983 the Ministry of Education and the Secretary of Informatics created the EDUCOM Project, the first national project to introduce ICT in schools in Brazil. The project implemented a number of research centers in different states of the federation in order to develop qualified people to deal with ICT in Education, and to subside with information and experiences the creation a national policy on ICT in education.