The Brazilian education system


In theory, the Brazilian government provides free and compulsory education. In reality, education is one of the main problems in Brazil, despite real progress in the last decades.

Education in Brazil is regulated on different levels. The Federal Government sets the basic guidlines of the educational system. It is then up to the local governments to establish the educational programmes.

Although literacy and school enrolment rates are high, the education system still has deep structural problems and struggles to reach international standards. Many Brazilians send their children to private schools if they can afford it.

School structure

The Brazilian education system is structured as follows:

  • Optional preschool (Educação Infantil) which is divided into Maternal (age 2-5) which focuses on social contact establishments and Jardim (age 3-6) which is aiming at academic skills
  • Obligatory primary school which is divided into Ensino Fundamental I (school years 1-5) and Ensino Fundamental II (school years 6-9)
  • Secondary education (Ensino Medio) for the age 15-18
  • University education (Ensino superior)

Further reading

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