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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The targets scheduled be met in Brazil’s ten-year National Education Plan (PNE) by June 24th are unlikely to be achieved, due to lack of revenues, according to entities that work with education. Representatives of Brazil’s largest education entities, at hand in Brasilia on Tuesday to discuss the second year of the ten-year plan, stated that the overall budget restrictions expected for the country as a whole is likely to hinder Brazil’s public education system.

More than 2.8 million school-aged children are out of the classrooms in Brazil.
More than 2.8 million school-aged children are out of the classrooms in Brazil, photo by Marcelo Horn.

“In fact, the situation is worse than last year. In 2015, one of the most important provisions of the PNE, which was the construction of state and local education plans, was not finished, but had advanced. This year, nothing has advanced,” Daniel Cara, coordinator for the National Campaign for the Right to Education, told Agencia Brasil. The group encompasses two hundred entities linked to education in Brazil.

Although the PNE runs until 2024, fourteen intermediary targets were set to be attained between 2015 and 2016. Among the targets for this year was the inclusion of all youths, between the ages of 4 and 17, in school. Currently according to education entities approximately 2.8 million school-aged children do not attend school in Brazil. The halt of education programs and the limited resources given by the federal government to state and municipal school systems has made the compliance to the target extremely difficult.

During the meeting, however, Maria Helena Guimaraes de Castro, executive secretary at the Education Ministry, said that the federal government has plans to review the basic education programs and authorize more revenues for states and municipalities. According to Castro the inclusion of more than 700 thousand pre-school children (4 to 5 year olds) out of school due to lack of openings, is a priority for the Ministry.

In July 2014 Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed into law the country’s new ten-year National Education Plan. Among the PNE’s goals are investments of ten percent of the country’s GDP in education by 2024. Critics at the time called the PNE an ambitious goal for a country that in 2012, according to data from the World Bank, was spending a little over six percent of its GDP on the sector.

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