By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Data on the 2015 National Secondary Education Examination (Enem) test given to high school students show the urgent need to reform Brazil’s high school system, said government officials on Tuesday after announcing the results of the nationwide test given to students in October of last year.
“The data show that the higher the socioeconomic level, the better the performance. This reveals the enormous inequality of high school (in Brazil). The reform is precisely to reverse this, to promote equity,” stated executive secretary of the Ministry of Education, Maria Helena Guimarães Castro, during the press conference.
The non-governmental educational entity Todos Pela Educação (All for Education) agrees with the need for a nationwide educational reform in Brazil. “The results emphasize once more the urgency of placing education as a priority. The data show that the performance is lower for those with fewer (economic) conditions, even in a context where those who take the Enem (test) are already a select group of students who arrived at the end of high school and have some motivation to obtain a higher education degree,” said the organization in a released statement.
The group added, “We can no longer accept that socioeconomic status is a justification for the lower results – we need to ensure that education is able to overcome this obstacle.”
The Enem is a standardized national exam that evaluates students who have already finished or are finishing high school. According to government officials, more than 1.2 million students from almost fifteen thousand schools took last year’s exams.
According to the results of the one thousand schools with the best scores only 49 were public schools. The data shows a direct correlation with between high test scores and the economic situation of the students. The top public schools to rank on the Enem, for example, registered a relatively high socio-economic level for its students.