Brazil’s educational system must contend with the country’s high levels of poverty and income inequality. Over 60 million Brazilians, or nearly one third of the population, can be defined as poor. Brazil’s educational challenges include:
- Poor educational quality: Brazil (GNI per capita $5,910) ranks 117th out of 134 countries for the general quality of its educational system. India (GNI per capita of $950) ranked 37th (World Economic Forum).
- Science: 61% of Brazilian 15-year-olds scored below a critical level of science literacy on the 2006 PISA exam, compared to 24% of students tested in the U.S. (OECD).
- High drop-out rates: In the most recent OECD survey, only 30% of Brazilian adults between the ages of 25 and 64 had obtained a high school degree, versus 88% in the U.S. (OECD).
Escola Estrela do Mar
Location: Maceió, Alagoas
Number of Students: 150
- Located in the state of Maceió, Santa Amelia is an impoverished community where many school-age children do not have access to education.
- Escola Estrela do Mar was founded to provide the most complete education possible, including an emphasis on health and personal development in addition to academics, for the children of Bebedouro.
- The school, which opened with 27 preschoolers, offers a preschool through fourth grade education to 150 students, and will expand each year with the long-term goal of providing preschool through high school education.
- Escola Estrela do Mar’s curriculum includes English and computers courses and monthly field trips and professional days. In addition, it has established a relationship with Instituto do Meio Ambiente and teaches care for the environment on a regular basis.
- The school also provides highly nutritious meals, including fresh fruit and vegetables, wheat grass juice, soy protein, fish and whole grain rice, which have had a noticeably positive impact on student performance in the classroom.
Albert Einstein Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Current number of students: 412
- The Albert Einstein Israeli Institute of Teaching and Research was founded in 1987 to train nursing assistants to help meet the great demand for health care professionals in Brazil.
- Recognizing the shortage of skilled professionals due to rapid scientific and technological advances, the Institute created a technical nursing degree program in 2000 and lab technician, pharmacy and hospitality technical degree programs in 2003.
- Scholarships from Worldfund are enabling students at the Institute with the greatest financial need to acquire valuable technical skills that will help them secure gainful employment.
The Albert Einstein Israeli Philanthropic Society was founded in the 1950's with the mission to make high-quality health care more readily available. In 1971, it opened the Albert Einstein Israeli Hospital, and since then, has expanded the scope of its mission, which now includes education and charitable projects in the local community. Thousands of individuals in São Paulo have benefited from the Society's programs.