Brazilian children attend the state school which is closest to their home. In order to register their children at school, parents have to apply (matriculate) personally at the individual school. To enrol the child, a birth certificate has to be provided. Mandatory vaccination is not required.
Brazil provides the whole range of pre-school education. There are nurseries for children under 2 and kindergartens for children up to the age of 6. Depending on the ability and skills of the child, the school will decide together with the parents which form of pre-school the child should attend. Options include Maternais which are mainly playgroups, and Jardins where the child already receives some academic education.
Primary education in Brazil (Ensino Fundamental)
Until recently the mandatory age for school attendance was 7. This age has now been reduced to the age of 6 whereas children can already attend school at the age of 5 as long as they turn six within the first semester.
During the first part of Brazilian primary education (Ensino Fundamental I) the students usually have one teacher throughout the whole academic year or the whole first part if possible. The mandatory subjects are Portuguese, History, Geography, Mathematics, Science and Physical Education. In the second part of primary education (Ensino Fundamental II) the curriculum is extended by one or two foreign languages, predominantly Spanish and English, and each subject is taught by a different teacher.
Older students who did not attend primary schools at the adequate age are taught together with the younger students. Only if they are older than 18 will they be separated from the younger children.
Secondary education (Ensino Médio)
Secondary education in Brazil lasts 3 years. The students continue to study the subjects present in primary schools but also take up new compulsory subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Philosophy and Sociology. Secondary education is not mandatory.
During the 3 years of secondary education, students can opt for professional training along with the usual Ensino Médio. This is meant for students who do not intend to pursue higher education. The professional training takes place during the 2nd and 3rd year of Secondary school.