Natal Brazil

Information about the city of Natal, in Brazil.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Two news: low quality education and high income concentration

Two news which are likely related.

On April 26th, the Federal Government published the results of Ideb (Index of development of Basic Education), which assess the quality of all schools (public and private) of the basic education in Brazil, which, at the time of the survey, was composed of eight years on elementary cycle (currently, it's nine) and three years of intermediary cycle.
From 1st to 4th grade, the State of Rio Grande do Norte had the worst results of all 27 States, tied with the States of Piauí and Bahia; the average grade of these States was 2.6, whereas the national average (which itself reflects the low level of Education in Brazil) was 3.9.
From 5th to 8th grade, the State was in 24th position, better than Pernambuco, Alagoas and Paraíba; the State average was 2.6, the national average was 3.3.
In the intermediary cycle, the average was also 2.6, against a national average of 3.0; the State was in 25th position.
When only the capitals are considered, Natal finished 26th in the elementary cycle and 21st in the intermediary cycle.
The city of Acari had the best score in the State, with an average of 4.7.
Newspaper Tribuna do Norte published more details about this survey on Education in Rio Grande do Norte.

On May 1st, another survey showed the other side of the coin: Rio Grande do Norte has the third worst index of income concentration in the country; only the State of Piauí and the Federal District (comprised of a rich nucleus, Brasilia, and a very poor periphery) are worse than RN.
The Gini Index, an attempt to turn income concentration into a number, is 0.578 (the higher, the worse); the average for Brazil, known for its high income concentration, is 0.552.
The 430,000 people in the poorer classes have an average income of R$ 160 per month; the 110,000 people in the richer classes have an average income of R$ 3.014 per month, nearly 19 times as much.
This same survey showed that 21.5% of the population of RN are officially illiterate, and other 32.3 are functionally illiterate (can only read and write little more than their own names).
More detailed article is here.

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