After many years of native indigenous people living off the land in Brazil and all of South America, the Portuguese discovered the new, western land and began to colonize in 1500. The Jesuits were the first group to contribute to the education system. They used religion and prayer in school and the indigenous people converted to Christianity to avoid slavery. In 1760, the Portuguese became more involved in the system and made it more focused on the commercial and industrial aspect of education. The idea was students should learn to serve the system. In 1822, Brazil gained its independence from Portugal, thus leading to educational uncertainty and a highly decentralized system. In 1900, the European philosophy of positivism was implemented. This gave more structure and a centralized system to the elementary sector while giving way to the first Brazilian universities based on the European model. In 1964, a military dictatorship began in Brazil. They re-aligned the educational system to a centralized and controlled model until 1985. From then till present day, Brazil has addressed this complicated history and has begun quality changes. These have included, establishing in 2006 an education for all program, a requirement of entire population literacy, all should be in school, a 7% GDP expenditure on education and adult extension programs. The resources and financing continue to be worked on.
Click here for a BBC documentary called “An Inconvenient History”