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Table 19 – Changes in enrollments in pre-school programs by location – Brazil - 1987-1998

Year

Total

Location

Urban

%

Rural

%

1987*

3,296,010

2,918,724

88.6

375,130

11.4

1988

3,375,834

2,944,690

87.2

431,144

12.8

1991

3,628,285

3,112,857

85.8

515,428

14.2

1993

4,196,419

3,453,326

82.3

743,093

17.7

1996

4,270,376

3,623,025

84.8

647,351

15.2

1997

4,292,208

3,624,515

84.4

667,693

15.6

1998

4,111,120

3,526,359

85.8

584,761

14.2

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC

* Including 2,156 enrollments not specified by type of institution.

By comparing the data provided in Table 17 with those provided in Table 18, we see that despite the negative 4.2% reduction in the percent difference registered in the 97-98 period, there was a positive recovery of 2.9% in the variation of initial enrolments in pre-school programs in the 98-99 period. These data can be analyzed in the light of changes that have been taking place in primary education and, more specifically, in the light of the more regular school flow registered after Fundef was established and the discussions proposed by the PRNS were held.

On the one hand, the allocation of funds to Fundef has forced states and municipalities to ensure the enrolment of students over 7 in primary schools, leading them to discontinue various reading and writing classes that were being offered as part of early childhood education efforts. This positive fact has contributed to eliminate a pre-retention and pre-failure process that hampered the educational development of children over 7 who were being unduly retained in the early childhood education stage.

On the other hand, as a result of the learning goals proposed by the PCNs, reading and writing classes have been discontinued based on the consideration that the process of learning how to read and write begins much before one reaches the age of seven and continues along the whole schooling of a student.

Therefore, the difference in the percentage of the covered population reveals a negative rate that follows the growth registered in primary education as a result of the inclusion of older children in the grades they were supposed to be attending, just like the recovery in the following period reveals an increase in the coverage provided by early childhood education programs, particularly municipal programs.

These efforts to expand the coverage were made in response to an increasing demand, which in turn was brought about by the increasing awareness of poorer segments of the population of the importance of a quality education in the early years of a child’s life, which did away with the custody-oriented, cosmetic and compensatory approaches that prevailed in the history of this coverage in Brazil.

Table 20 shows that, despite a slight preponderance of male children in pre-school programs, gender equity has been practically ensured in all regions of the Country.

Table 20 – Pre-school enrollment by gender – Brazil and regions - 1998

Brazil and Regions

Enrollment by Gender

Total Enrollments

Male

Female

Brazil

2,076,175

2,034,945

4,111,120

North

150,383

148,626

299,009

Northeast

644,330

639,183

1,283,513

Southeast

921,906

899,156

1,821,062

South

250,816

242,452

493,268

Mid-West

108,740

105,528

214,268

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC

In terms of type of institution, Tables 20 and 21 show that pre-school programs are basically run by the municipalities. Between 1988 and 1998, the participation of municipalities soared from 39.15% to 66.30%. In state-run institutions, on the other hand, there was a drop from 25.87% to 9.64%. This growing municipalization, as in the case of day-care programs and literacy classes, results from the legislation that makes municipalities responsible for early childhood education. Both here and in primary education, the participation of the Union is residual, due to the very decentralized structure of the educational system.

There was one important federal initiative in 1998, namely, the preparation of curricular references for early childhood education. This is a most positive contribution to better adjust these establishments to the real needs of the lower-income population and make them more effective in promoting the development of the skills and abilities of children in their early years. In this regard, special mention must be made of the preparation and distribution of a document called "How to open and accredit early childhood education institutions", which, as mentioned above, was prepared in partnership with UNDIME, CONSED, CNE, the Forum of State-Level Education Councils and the National Association of Municipal Education Councils, and which has been used as a reference document for the definition of municipal and state-level Resolutions for early childhood education in states and municipalities.

Table 21 – Pre-school enrollment by type of institution – Brazil –1987/1999

Year

Total

Type of Institution

Federal

%

State

%

Municipal

%

Private

%

1987*

3,296,010

29,068

0.88

852,568

25.87

1,290,446

39.15

1,121,781

34.03

1988

3,375,834

28,415

0.84

891,924

26.42

1,414,201

41.89

1,041,294

30.85

1991

3,628,285

15,058

0.42

872,730

24.05

1,711,032

47.16

1,029,465

28.37

1993

4,196,419

7,228

0.17

967,323

23.05

2,203,569

52.51

1,018,299

24.27

1996

4,270,376

2,477

0.06

759,187

17.78

2,489,225

58.29

1,019,487

23.87

1997

4,292,208

2,025

0.05

606,858

14.14

2,695,893

62.81

987,432

23.01

1998

4,111,120

1,380

0.03

396,361

9.64

2,725,755

66.30

987,624

24.02

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC

* Including 2.147 enrollments not specified by type of institution.

Table 22 – Pre-school enrollment by type of institution – Brazil and regions – 1997/1998

Year

Brazil and regions

Type of Institution

Total

Federal

State

Municipal

Private

1997

Brazil

4,292,208

2,025

606,858

2,695,893

987,432

North

325,400

534

127,159

144,782

52,925

Northeast

1,407,013

641

210,198

820,702

375,472

Southeast

1,840,383

196

86,845

1,378,625

374,717

South

493,218

614

104,768

276,558

111,278

Mid-West

226,194

40

77,888

75,226

73,040

1998

Brazil

4,111,120

1,380

396,361

2,725,755

987,624

North

299,009

549

87,716

161,642

49,102

Northeast

1,283,513

259

119,510

789,499

374,245

Southeast

1,821,062

219

52,017

1,389,755

379,071

South

493,268

353

83,551

296,373

112,991

Mid-West

214,268

-

53,567

88,486

72,215

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC

With regard to the training of pre-school teachers, Table 23 indicates that in 1998 a considerable number lacked the required minimum qualification, which is complete secondary education. Approximately 66.6% of teachers fulfilled this requirement, while only 20% had a college degree, which is more than the minimum requirement.

Table 23 – Pre-school – teachers by qualifications – Brazil 1991-1998

Year

Qualifications

Incomplete primary education

Complete primary education

Complete secondary education

Complete higher education

Total

1991

Absolute Figure

9,734

21,851

106,846

28,489

166,920

%

5.8

13.1

64

17.1

100.0

1996

Absolute Figure

16,198

19,069

144,189

40,061

219,517

%

7.4

8.7

65.7

18.2

100.0

1998

Absolute Figure

13,474

15,984

146,205

43,930

219,593

%

6.1

7.3

66.6

20.0

100.0

% Growth 91/98

38.4

-26.9

36.8

54.2

31.6

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC.

Note: The same teacher may be active on more than one educational level/modality and in more than one establishment.

To satisfy the required minimum qualification corresponding to complete secondary education, it is necessary to train in service or replace 29,458 teachers, that is, 13.4% of the teaching staff, which is in itself an enormous task. The new LDB nonetheless rules that by the year 2007 all teachers must have higher education status. To meet this stipulation, it would be necessary to re-train 80% of the pre-school staff, which is virtually impossible in such a short space of time. In various municipalities from the South to the North of the country, municipal initiatives have been reported, as a result of UNDIME’s action, to improve the education and training of teachers through remote training in primary and secondary education and agreements with Universities.

2.3 Reading and Writing Classes

The difficulty in providing regular pre-school education to all children led many states and municipalities to create reading and writing classes aimed to anticipate and facilitate entry to compulsory primary education.

The reading and writing classes nevertheless presented many problems. First, they delayed entry to primary education, since they tended to admit and retain children aged 7 and over. Another serious problem, and the reason why this practice had to be reviewed, is that most of these classes employed poorly qualified personnel with little qualification for teaching children how to read and write properly.

Table 24 indicates the level of qualification of the teaching staff, while Table 24 proved their inadequacy for the task of teaching the basic reading and writing skills. In fact, the teaching staff on this level is less qualified than teachers on the pre-school level, which serves younger children.

Table 24 – Reading and writing classes – teachers by qualifications – Brazil – 1991-1998

Year

Qualifications

Incomplete primary education

Complete primary education

Secondary education

Higher education

Total

1991

Absolute Figure

12,164

8,130

65,628

3,369

89,291

%

13.6

9.1

73.5

3.8

100.0

1996

Absolute Figure

19,758

11,412

39,865

4,514

75,549

%

26.2

15.1

52.8

6.0

100.0

1998

Absolute Figure

7,107

6,059

28,743

4,217

46,126

%

15.4

13.1

62.3

9.1

100.0

% Growth 91/98

-41.6

-25.5

-56.2

25.2

-48.3

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC

Obs.: The same teacher may be active on more than one educational level/modality and in more than one establishment.

Table 25 – Comparison of qualifications of pre-school teachers and teachers of reading and writing classes (%) – 1998

 

Teaching Level

Qualifications (%)

Incomplete/Complete Primary Education

Secondary Education

Higher Education

Pre-school

13.4

66.6

20.0

Reading and Writing Classes

28.5

62.3

9.1

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC

Because of these problems, from 1993 on there has been a tendency to close down reading and writing classes and insert 7-year-old children directly into primary education. This trend gained force after FUNDEF stimulated enrollment in primary education for children aged 7. One does note a very sharp decline in enrollment between 1996 and 1998. Reading and writing classes should become extinct with the definitive incorporation of all children aged 7 and over into primary education. The evolution of enrollments shown in Table 25 underscores this tendency. But, as in pre-school, in this case too one can see an adjusting of the system stimulated by FUNDEF rather than a decrease in the supply of schooling to this portion of the population.

Table 26Change in enrollments by age group – Brazil – 1987-1998

Year

Total

Under 6 years (%)

6-7 years

(%)

Over 7 years

(%)

1988

1,350,757

7.7

51.5

40.7

1991

1,655,609

7.5

49.5

43.0

1993

1,584,147

7.6

53.4

39.0

1996

1,443,927

5.9

55.7

38.4

1998

806,288

11.5

76.3

12.2

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC

Obs. : Age was obtained based on the year of birth given in the School Census, that is, consideration was given to the age that the student turned in 1998.

Even with these deficiencies, reading and writing classes offered a relevant educational opportunity to an important portion of those children who had not joined primary education, especially in rural areas and regions of critical educational deficiencies.

Finally, Table 27 shows the evolution of enrollments and their distribution between urban and rural areas, indicating the important - albeit now superseded - role played by this initiative in serving the rural population.

Table 27 – Reading and writing classes – Change in enrollments by location - Brazil – 1988-1998

Year

Total

Location

Urban

%

Rural

%

1988

1,350,757

761,313

56.4

589,444

43.6

1991

1,655,609

931,454

56.3

724,155

43.7

1993

1,584,147

927,385

58.5

656,762

41.5

1996

1,443,927

811,003

56.2

632,924

43.8

1997

1,426,694

860,595

60.3

566,099

39.7

1998

806,288

579,393

71.9

226,895

28.1

Source: Ministry of Education/INEP/SEEC


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