Brazil by PISA

The "Brazilian educational system" has been overcoming a deteriorating situation. The roots of this process have a long history, maybe since the foundation of the country, and discussing it might take a long time. However, regardless of what happened in the past, or the reasons for what is happening in the present, to broach critical aspects of the Brazilian education, and act over that, might bring solutions and improvements; without pointing fingers. In order to accomplish that, I relied upon statistical data presented by the international education assessment, pisa, on its last edition in 2015.

In the following lines, I’ll debate on such data.

Generalized illiteracy

Many countries in the Middle East such as Jordan and Qatar are suffering from war. That situation reasonably affects the student's performance in literacy learning, resulting in the worst reading rank positions. What is not reasonable is how a country like BrazilP, without war conflicts, could be compared to these countries in reading performance? The students in the former countries have concerns about where and how the next bomb might fall, I guess. Nonetheless, neither schools are safe from bellicose attacks. What could be worrying the Brazilian students who cannot learn how to read? Are they being thrown bombs at? Are they at war in the schools?

I don’t believe so. I don't know what's happening, but "the results show in generalized illiteracy." Furthermore, it is worth to mention that economically more disadvantaged countries than Brazil are spending less on educational programs and performing better. As pointed out by the "PISA report", “Other low-spending countries, such as Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay, spent less per student than Brazil did, and performed better ...” In Brazil, money had its chance to change the things up, even though the question remains unsolved: How to teach Brazilian students to read and write?

Notwithstanding, we cannot say that Brazilian students are illiterate; they know how to read to some extent; however the assessment defines “...proficient literacy...” as “... the level of proficiency at which students begin to demonstrate the reading skills that will enable them to participate effectively and productively in life.” We could say that 50% of Brazilians are proficiency illiterate.

Develop its vocation

Not everything is disastrous though; since 2003 the performance in mathematics has been improving. Now, it is possible to compare Brazil with war devastated countries such as Macedonia and Jordan. It’s worthwhile to emphasise that Brazil hasn’t undergone any war in the last 100 years. Up to now, someone could say that I’m a pessimist about Brazil's development, but it’s not true. I do really believe in the "great potential of the Brazilian people to surpass the misleadings" in economics, politics and social fields. What isn't dignified of respect is almost everything done until now by the educational authorities; even though Brazil remains as a great promise to the future, once it has young people with a high clear perception of the scientific fields, without the misunderstandings of ingenuity.

Usually, young people are naive about scientific fields, believing either science generating absolute truths or nothing is feasible of being falsified. Brazilian students have clearly in their minds that, “... ideas in science sometimes change..." and, “... that it is good to try experiments more than once to make sure of [your] findings.” Regarding motivation to pursue a scientific career, once again Brazilian students displayed a remarkable characteristic; even when the performance in science was low, "the pretension to pursue a career in science was significantly present." Another point interesting to salient is the agreement between girls about the following statements, “I enjoy acquiring new knowledge in science.” And, “Studying my <school science> subject(s) is worthwhile for me because what I learn will improve my career prospects.” With all these positive perspectives above, I would only suggest that Brazil starts to develop its vocation on science and stop overrating the agribusiness and the respective elevated investments.

How decrease the performance

Meanwhile, the current situation is unsatisfactory and I believe that keep attending such a failed educational system might be getting only disastrous results. I would recommend that students "stop attending Brazilian classes", claiming for improvements on the overall educational system; providentially, it seems that appropriate conditions to that is already happening. “ In Brazil, 48% of students... reported that they had skipped a day of school or more in the two weeks prior to the PISA test...” says the report, and also, “On average across [high score] countries, 20% of students reported [the same]...”. Regardless all data showing the failure of the educational practices in Brazil, there still have been enhancing the financial investments.

Even with Brazil's GDP remaining low, as emphasised by the report, “less than half that of the... [high score countries] average…” the investments in education have been increasing, according to the follow, “The... expenditure... in Brazil corresponds to 42% of the average... across... [high score] countries, ... compared to 32% in 2012." These enhancing financial investments, perhaps, reflect the higher percentage of the young having access to the mandatory education, even though the overall performance has stood still. Nonetheless, how to decrease the performance once compared to the worst countries? "Maybe there isn’t anywhere to go further worse."

The misled situation of Brazil's education is an ongoing issue, I mean, there isn't any conclusion about it.

There is neither room for hope nor pessimism. Despite alarming statistical data presented by PISA in 2015, the overall situation is an open field to new ideas and creativity. Once Brazil is a low GDP country and couldn't be relying on wealth to improve educational prospects, what remains is the new generation's scientific interest and an open field to "enthusiastic educators", willing to contribute to a new educational system. Furthermore, there is nothing to fear about novelties because getting worse seems unlikely.