Petroleum will generate $280 billion for Brazilian education

July 3, 2013
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Last December, the administration of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff announced that 100 percent of all interest earnings on petroleum revenue would be funneled toward education spending. The government submitted that bill in May, and through the legislative process, the interest earnings were adjusted to 75 percent for education and 25 percent for healthcare.

Additionally, until 2022, 50 percent of the interest earnings on all oil contracts that have not yet been executed will go toward education.

The program is expected to generate $280 billion for the Ministry of Education—a figure that will help the government reach the goals of its National Education Plan, which call for education spending to account for 10 percent of Brazil's GDP over the next 10 years.

Primary and middle school education (for students ages 7 to 14) became a right of all Brazilians in 1988, on the grounds that it would help in "fully developing the person, preparing the individual for the exercise of citizenship and qualifying him/her for work."

Since then, education has been a concern of Brazilian lawmakers, including Rousseff, who took office in 2011. In her inauguration speech, Rousseff identified education reform, including an increased focus on teacher training programs, as one of her three primary priorities, along with achieving higher quality health and public safety.

"Quality teaching will only exist if teachers are treated as the real authorities in education, with ongoing training, appropriate remuneration and the solid commitment of both teachers and society to educating children and young people," she said.

Since then, Rousseff has followed through on her promise, through the petroleum interest initiative and separate programs that would extend access to education to the poor

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