Monday, September 06, 2010

Educational Gaps Limit Brazil’s Reach - NYTimes.com

Educational Gaps Limit Brazil’s Reach - NYTimes.com: When Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as Brazil’s president in early 2003, he emotionally declared that he had finally earned his “first diploma” by becoming president of the country.

One of Brazil’s least educated presidents — Mr. da Silva completed only the fourth grade — soon became one of its most beloved, lifting millions out of extreme poverty, stabilizing Brazil’s economy and earning near-legendary status both at home and abroad.


But while Mr. da Silva has overcome his humble beginnings, his country is still grappling with its own. Perhaps more than any other challenge facing Brazil today, education is a stumbling block in its bid to accelerate its economy and establish itself as one of the world’s most powerful nations, exposing a major weakness in its newfound armor.


“Unfortunately, in an era of global competition, the current state of education in Brazil means it is likely to fall behind other developing economies in the search for new investment and economic growth opportunities,” the World Bank concluded in a 2008 report.

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