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Page history last edited by Marcia Lima 6 years, 6 months ago

The Brazilian Educational System

Brazil has both public and private schools. The private schools are of a far superior nature, but are expensive, while the public sector schooling is free. School is compulsory for all children between 7 and 14 years of age. However, in general Brazilians start nursery school at the age of 3.
Elementary school (taken from the age of 6-7 to 13-14 years old) is divided into two parts: Elementary school I, from 1st to 5th grades and Elementary school II, from 6th to 9th grades. The curriculum of elementary school consists of a common core and a diversified part. The common core, as defined by the Federal Council of Education, is compulsory in the whole country so as to ensure national unity, and comprises Portuguese, Social Studies, including History and Geography, Physics and Biology Science and Mathematics. Therefore, we could broadly say that Elementary School II subjects are Portuguese, Writing, English (or Spanish), History, Geography, Math, Sciences (in the 9th year it is divided into Biology and Chemistry), Philosophy, Arts, PE and Physics (generally in the 9th year only).
Elementary school is followed by 3 years of high school, called 1st to 3rd grades. Its mandatory subjects are almost the same as in the 9th year, the difference being the inclusion of Literature and the fact that the most important subjects are divided into up to 3 sub-areas with a different teacher for each one.
In Brazil classes happen either in the morning (most commonly chosen and only option after the 6th grade) or in the afternoon. Morning school is from 7 am to 1 pm and afternoon school from 1 to 6 pm. However, this does not mean that students have the rest of the day off. They have to go to other classes, such as English (unfortunately, because of the difference in the level of the students and approach chosen, very few students really learn English at elementary/high school), sports (ballet, football, muay thai) or exercising at the gym.
School life is not easy, is it? But it gets worse when they face the 3rd year of high school and have to take university entrance examinations, but that's a topic for another post.


Here's a chart comparing the Brazilian and American educational systems.


Picture source and further information: http://www.fulbright.org.br/content/view/68/97/

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