Reading the local newspaper this morning, I found this piece of news that made me think yet again about the skills/characteristics of a 21st century educator IN BRAZIL. I love the discussions on #edchat every Tuesday, ideas and opinions are diverse, and discussions are really thought-provoking. However, nothing can be done unless we think globally without losing sight of local issues and particularities.
If you’re reading this and you can read Portuguese, here’s the link to the article.
If you can’t read Portuguese, here’s a quick summary:
1. Three criteria were considered unsatisfactory: a) teachers’ education; b) students’ performances; and c) lack of standardised curriculum.
2. Brazil invests meagre US$ 1500 per student YEARLY. This is less than other countries such as Mexico and Chile.
3. Despite the fact that 95% of children go to school, their performance is very weak both in national and international examinations.
The article finishes by saying that the divide between the rich and the poor in Brazil is only getting bigger due to the lack of standardised criteria of curriculum organisation. While the rich and educated are aware of what their kids should be learning, the poor haven’t got a clue. Shouldn’t education be inclusive instead of exclusive?
My concern about the use of technology in previous posts regards this specific problem. Outside twitter-ville and blogosphere, there are many children who simply haven’t got access to any technology at all apart from a TV set. In addition to that, rarely do public schools have a computer lab, and when that happens, the computers get stolen within weeks. If we do not invest in teacher training, how can we expect teachers to change this portrait of educational gloom? At least in Brazil, no one wants to ‘steal’ a teacher (nor do they want to rob them – with a paycheque like that? Why bother…).