Supporting Educational Improvements in Brazil: Public Affairs Best Practice Programs

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09BRASILIA310 13 March 2009 Solo uso oficial Embassy Brasilia

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FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3785
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RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS

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SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

SECSTATE FOR WHA/PD-PETERSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO, OEXC, SCUL, ECON, PREL, PGOV, BR
SUBJECT: Supporting Educational Improvements in Brazil: Public
Affairs Best Practice Programs

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SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGTLY.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Several international comparative measures
demonstrate that Brazil’s education system lags behind that of most
of its Latin American neighbors, global competitors such as the BRIC
countries, and more developed countries, which is causing a shortage
of skilled labor and could be a drag on Brazil’s efforts to reduce
poverty and inequality. Brazil’s Ministry of Education has
formulated ambitious plans to improve the quality of public school
education, but only time will tell how successful these efforts will
be in the long run. Both as a way of supporting improvement to
education in Brazil and to meet our goal of reaching out to younger
and disadvantaged audiences, Post has developed several "best
practice" educational programs. Post is also identifying new ideas
for programs and is seeking creative ways to implement these ideas
given budget and human resource constraints. END SUMMARY.
Why Brazil Needs to Improve Public Education: It’s An Economic
Necessity
2. (U) A long history of educational neglect in Brazil results today
in a severe shortage of skilled labor and persons with university
degrees, particularly in the area of engineering and science, and is
a factor in preventing Brazil from reaching many development goals.
The lack of skilled labor is so severe that many large Brazilian
companies are opening their own training and educational centers to
train workers in the skills they need to run their companies. The
U.S.- Brazilian CEO Forum has designated technical and English
language training as one of their priorities for cooperative action
because the need for training is so great. Although Brazil has made
incredible progress in recent years in reducing poverty and moving
an estimated 20 million people into the middle class through steady
growth and innovative social programs such as "Bolsa Familia", until
it provides all of its citizens with quality educational
opportunities, it will be very difficult to make significant
progress in further reducing poverty and inequality. Of course, the
current economic crisis could hinder progress as well.
3. (U) According to OECD educational statistics from 2008, only 8
per cent of Brazilians aged 25-34 had completed university-level
education, and only 13 per cent of Brazil’s university graduates
obtained degrees in science and science-related fields such as
engineering and computing, almost half the OECD average of 24 per
cent. In math, reading and science proficiency among 15-year-olds
as measured by 2006 OECD statistics on 57 countries, Brazil ranked
only 54th in math, 50th in reading, and 52nd in science, behind
Latin American neighbors Chile, Uruguay, and Mexico in all three
areas. In terms of overall literacy, among BRIC countries, only
India’s literacy rate is lower at 61 per cent, with Brazil’s rate 89
per cent, while China’s is 91 per cent and Russia’s is 99 per cent.
Compared to its South American neighbors, only Peru’s and Bolivia’s
literacy rates are lower. An encouraging sign, however, is that
among young people ages 18-24, illiteracy fell from 3.6 per cent in
2002 to 2.2 per cent today, which bodes well for the literacy rate
steadily increasing in the future. Another bright spot is that
younger people are staying in school, perhaps because school
attendance is a requirement for families with children to receive
"Bolsa Familia" benefits. In 2007, 97.6 per cent of children ages
7-14 were enrolled in schools, versus 86.6 per cent in 1992, and for
children ages 15-17, the rise is even more dramatic - 82.1 per cent
were enrolled in school in 2007 versus just 59.7 per cent in 1992.
4. (SBU) A cruel paradox that hinders educational opportunity is
the fact that the free, public education at the primary and
secondary levels is of such poor quality that parents who can afford
to almost always send their children to private schools. Free,
high-quality tertiary education is available through Brazil’s public
universities, but the entrance exam scores needed to enter these
universities almost require private school preparation. So the rich
invest heavily in their children’s primary and secondary education
so that their child can enter a free public university, while the
poor receive poor quality primary and secondary education, leaving
them little chance of entering a free university and with little
means to pay for a private university education. Recently there
have been some attempts to remedy the situation in various ways, for
example by establishing quotas based on race for some federal
university entrances, given that Afro-Brazilians are extremely
under-represented in federal universities, but these have been
controversial. In November of 2008, the Chamber of Deputies, the
lower chamber of Brazil’s Congress, approved a bill that reserves to
public high school students 50 per cent of the slots offered by
public universities (25 per cent based on race and 25 per cent based
on socio-economic background). This bill is currently under
discussion in Brazil’s Senate and, if approved, the universities
will have four years to implement it. The bill is also highly
controversial with arguments swirling over quality of education vs.
the quantity of spaces offered to the disadvantaged.
Brazil’s Ambitious Goals For Improving Public Education
5. (U) Brazilian Education Minister Fernando Haddad has set
ambitious goals for improving public education in Brazil and

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launched an Educational Development Plan, known as the PDE by its
Brazilian acronym, which aims to have Brazil’s education system on
par with developed countries by 2021 through 40 different areas of
action. It includes an evaluation of children ages six to eight to
catch reading problems early so they do not hinder future education,
as well as literacy programs for older children and adults. Other
measures planned include establishing a national minimum teacher
salary, getting more computers into classrooms, improving
electricity access in public schools, improving transportation
to/from schools, and better teacher training to address the problem
of poorly qualified teachers, some of whom are barely literate
themselves. The program identifies poorly performing schools and
provides funding, professional expertise and management tools
associated with monitoring and evaluation. In 2007, the Ministry
of Education established the Brazilian Index for the Development of
Basic Education, or IDEB, an indicator that measures the quality of
education through a combination of grade fluctuation and student’s
performance in exams. The Ministry of Education has developed a
target plan for bi-annual performance of Brazilian schools based on
the IDEB through 2022. Using data from 2005 as the base year, the
IDEB national average was 3.8 on a scale of 1-10 in 2005 and grew to
4.2 in 2007, surpassing the target of 3.9 for that year and already
reaching the goal for 2009. If it continues improvements at this
pace, Brazil should reach its goal of 6.0 by 2022, which is the
current average of 30 developed country members of the OECD.
6. (SBU) According to Brazilian Educational Consultant Heloisa
Luck, accountability is one of the most important features of the
PDE, which publicizes educational results in the media so that
"parents and society as a whole are stimulated to play an active
role in a national movement for the improvement of education in
Brazilian schools." Mariana Migliari, International Affairs Advisor
to Brazil’s National Council of State Secretaries of Education
(CONSED), pointed out to post that each Brazilian state has to make
its own implementation plan for the PDE, and that a problem is that
"some states are better equipped to analyze what is needed in terms
of identifying appropriate projects." Overall, Migliari believes,
however, that implementation of the PDE is going well and offers
states "good opportunities to improve education and the federal
government better control of how educational funds are spent." Both
Luck and Migliari agree that some of the biggest challenges to
pre-university public education are poor teacher training, low
teacher salaries, and lack of accountability among teachers and
school principals as evidenced by how difficult it is to fire a
teacher or principal. Yet as Luck pointed out, "For the first time,
we have a program geared to the development of an accountability
culture in our schools and educational systems. However, it will
take some time until people who work in education adopt as their own
such practices."
7. (SBU) Another aspect of the PDE is a dramatic reform of
vocational/technical education, which has just been approved by the
Brazilian government and which consolidates existing federal
vocational/technical schools and increases spaces at these schools
from 215,000 to 500,000. These schools will specialize in
scientific and technical education with half of the spaces allotted
for technical education integrated with secondary education, 30 per
cent of spaces allotted for bachelor’s degrees in engineering and
other technical fields, and 20 per cent of spaces allotted for
teacher certification in the natural sciences and other technical
fields which, according to Marcia Moreschi, Senior Advisor for
vocational/technical education at the Ministry of Education, is
aimed at addressing Brazil’s severe shortage of qualified teachers
in math and science. According to Moreschi, providing teacher
training in this area is one way that these technical schools differ
from U.S. community colleges and technical schools. Moreschi also
pointed out to post that these schools aim to cater to both "the
adult already in the job market, with no qualifications, and the
youth who needs qualifications to enter the job market," and that
the reorganization of these schools also aims to better tailor
educational programs to the current needs of the economy and job
market.
Mission Brazil’s "Best Practice" Education Programs: Reaching the
Young and Disadvantaged
8. (SBU) Over the last several years, Mission Brazil’s Public
Affairs Section has attempted through its programs to support
educational reform in Brazil as a way of fulfilling the Department’s
overall public diplomacy goal of improving outreach to younger and
disadvantaged audiences. One of post’s MSP’s goals is "Developing
Human Capital and Promoting Partnership," and beginning with this
fiscal year post chose as targets in meeting this goal measures such
as Brazil meeting its target scores for the IDEB, increasing the
pool of technically and English-language qualified workers,
expanding joint and cooperative research activities, and
implementing programs under the Joint Action Plan for Racial and
Ethnic Equality (JAPRE), which is discussed in more detail below.
Post’s educational programs also seek to highlight good examples of
educational improvement efforts and provide opportunities for those

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involved to expand their knowledge, often through exchanges with the
U.S., and thereby stimulate others to seek excellence and quality in
education - i.e. the multiplier effect. Post is also using new
technology and social media to continue to engage with participants
in our programs. The following is a list of post-designed programs
that post believes are "best practices" in achieving these goals.
This list is limited to those programs that specifically involve
public secondary and vocational/technical education in Brazil. A
future cable will focus on other "best practice" programs in
university education and other areas.
9. (SBU) Youth Ambassador Exchange Program: When former Ambassador
to Brazil Donna Hrinak saw television images of young people from
Venezuela burning American flags, she called a meeting with PAS to
discuss developing a program to better acquaint Brazilian youth with
the U.S. to prevent such actions from ever occurring in Brazil. The
resulting brainstorming gave birth to the Youth Ambassador Program,
which in 2006 became a recognized WHA best practice model program
and in 2007 began to be replicated in other Latin American
countries. This program is our most popular and best known program
in Brazil, bar none. The first Youth Ambassadors traveled to the US
in 2003 and now 35 students are chosen annually from an applicant
pool of about 3,000. Students travel to the US for a two-week,
life-changing exchange program, with one week spent in Washington,
DC together as a group and the second week the students are split up
into smaller groups and they spend one week living with an American
family and attending an American high school in various parts of the
US, during which time they act as "ambassadors" for Brazil. The
participants must attend a Brazilian public high school, be 15-18
years old, have excellent grades, speak good English, have
leadership potential and be involved in community service
activities. To implement the program, Post works in partnership
with the National Council of State Secretaries for Education
(CONSED), Bi-National Centers, the Brazilian Ministry of Education,
and various U.S. and Brazilian corporate sponsors. The program
generates significant positive press each year - the send-off for
the 2009 Youth Ambassadors resulted in over 30 articles in
newspapers and magazines, two television interviews with Embassy
officials and Youth Ambassadors and several short television news
items with images, and a four-minute special on Brazil’s number one
Sunday evening entertainment and variety show. It is worth noting
that when the program first began, many Brazilians told Post they
thought we would have a very difficult time finding public high
school students who met the requirements of the program. Instead,
post has been overwhelmed with qualified applicants to the program,
demonstrating that there are many outstanding, self-starting
students in Brazil’s public high schools who need to be provided
more opportunities like the Youth Ambassador Program in order to
reach their full potential.
10. (U) Youth Ambassador Follow-up Activities: As with all exchange
programs, post’s contact with Youth Ambassadors does not end with
the exchange program. Through the assistance of the network of the
Fulbright Commission and Education Advising Offices in Brazil, post
has assisted Youth Ambassadors with ECA Opportunity Grants to assist
them with applying for university education in the U.S., as well as
with obtaining scholarships for short-term study and for
undergraduate degree programs. Youth Ambassador alumni have received
full or near full scholarships to top-notch U.S. universities, such
as Stanford, the Universities of Pennsylvania and Chicago, Smith,
Mt. Holyoke, and others. In 2008 alone, the total amount of
scholarships offered to former Youth Ambassadors to study in the US
surpassed Dols 1.6 million. Also, in May of 2007, post signed an
agreement with the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil to assist
with identifying internship and job opportunities for former Youth
Ambassadors. Finally, the Ambassador regularly meets with Youth
Ambassadors when he travels, and Youth Ambassadors are often invited
to speak at Embassy-sponsored events and write articles for the
Embassy’s alumni newsletter about their experiences and current
activities. The Youth Ambassadors have also formed their own alumni
association, which they plan to register officially. Last year they
organized relief assistance for flooding in southern Brazil and they
plan to organize programs focusing on youth empowerment and
employment.
11. (U) English Immersion Program: Due to the overwhelming excess of
highly qualified applicants for our Youth Ambassador Program, post,
in partnership with several bi-national centers, created the
"English Immersion USA" program in 2006. The week-long program
offers approximately 100-150 runners-up in the Youth Ambassador
selection process an immersion experience in the English Language
and U.S. culture. The program, conducted each July, includes
classes on such topics as U.S. history, culture, society, geography,
government, English Language, etc. Students also participate in
U.S. sports activities, such as baseball games, eat U.S. style food,
and upon conclusion of the program, take part in a "4th of July"
style picnic, and receive certificates of completion. Over 235
students have participated in the program to date and 92 are slated
to participate in July of 2009. Grants are provided to the BNCs to

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implement the program and provide most of the classes, though Post
sends at least one officer to each program to also take part and
teach a class or two. Post also assists the BNCs with recruiting
locally resident Americans to serve as volunteer teachers and sports
instructors for the program. Recent immersion program participants
have said the following about the program: "English Immersion USA is
a new and fun way of learning English" and "The Embassy provided me
with a unique opportunity for academic growth, at the same time as
it allowed me the opportunity to make several new friends from all
over Brazil."
12. (SBU) Fulbright Public School Principals Exchange: As part of
Brazil’s National Award for Excellence in School Management and
Leadership, post has since 1999 sent winners of the award from each
of Brazil’s 26 states plus the Federal District to the U.S. for a
two-week exchange program. This awards program has become the most
important self-evaluation tool used by Brazilian public schools, and
the exchange program aspect of the prize is a huge motivator.
Brazil’s award is a result of a Voluntary Visitor program and was
partially modeled after the U.S. "Principal of the Year" program. It
is an initiative of CONSED, which is also a key partner in the Youth
Ambassador program. Several state secretaries of education who had
participated in Voluntary Visitor programs learned about the U.S.
Principal of the Year program and decided to create something
similar for Brazil. The awarded schools receive some extra
financial support, educational materials, and a certificate of
excellence. They are also highlighted in their communities and in
the media for their innovation and success and serve as models for
other schools. According to Luck, who serves as a consultant to
CONSED for this program, the public recognition these schools
receive is one of the most important aspects of their continued
success - as she put it, once they get the award, they realize they
cannot go backwards, as their communities and surrounding schools
are now watching them more closely. Luck explained also that the
schools must perform a "self-evaluation" process in order to apply
for the program, which really helps them to assess where they are
and how to improve, and builds continual assessment into their
normal program. Luck added that the exchange "changes these
principals’ lives forever," especially as most of them have never
before left Brazil. Post began initially by funding this exchange
through Voluntary Visitor and other post funds, but in 2003 the
Fulbright Teacher Exchange office took over most of the funding of
the program, which is also partially funded by Post and CONSED, and,
in 2004, added a reverse program that has since brought groups of
award-winning U.S. principals for a similar program in Brazil,
during which they provide regional seminars on excellence in school
management and leadership. The program has also been the subject of
three publications distributed to 74,000 Brazilian public schools
and an article in a book published by CONSED on challenges in
Brazilian public education.
13. (U) U.S. - Brazil Partnership for the Strengthening of
Vocational/Technical Education (Voc/Tech): As a result of the
Government of Brazil’s request for support to strengthen the
country’s workforce development program, the U.S. Embassy’s Public
Affairs Section in Brazil and the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) received funding from USAID’s EGAT FY 07
Matching Grants Program for a three-year partnership between Brazil
and the United States to support Brazilian efforts to elevate
national and state, public and private dialogue on postsecondary
education and workforce development in Brazil. The Partnership
promotes the exchange and collaboration of vocational education
professionals among educational institutions in both countries. The
various activities include:

a) The development of a comprehensive and practical study on U.S.
and Brazilian vocational and technological education, on the current
legislation in the field of vocational education, major
accomplishments, challenges and future plans. Through this initial
research and analysis, two emerging themes of common interest were
identified for the initial phase of the partnership: (1) Policies
to strengthen equity, access and opportunities for the
underprivileged and (2) Linkages/partnerships with the labor market
and employers.

b) The organization of targeted two-way exchanges of specialists for
short-term programs abroad based on the results of this comparative
study and the identification of convergent points in both systems;

c) The establishment of a strong bilateral network of experts in
vocational and technological education;
d) Wide dissemination of successful experiences in both Brazil and
the U.S. through a "Best Practices" publication to foster
broad-based improvements in the practice and policy of voc-tech
education;

e) Discussion and selection of key areas for mutual collaboration,
development of joint projects and identification of potential

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sources of resources for project implementation;
f) Implementation of bilateral initiatives to strengthen voc-tech
education.

14) (U) Five U.S. community colleges that have had a long-term
interest in international education are contributing to the program:
Alamo Community College District, Houston Community College, Macomb
Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and San
Diego Community College. On the Brazil side, in order to promote
nationwide impact and dissemination of this Partnership, the
Ministry of Education selected ten federal institutions (two in each
of five Brazilian geographic regions) to serve as converging poles
responsible for sharing/ multiplying the knowledge acquired. The
participating Brazilian and American institutions have just
submitted proposals for joint projects that will be reviewed by a
bi-laterals committee. Two examples included: biotechnology
curriculum training for Brazilian instructors in Paraiba by San
Diego Community College and sharing best practices in the area of
fresh water issues and hospitality tourism between the participating
institution in Amazonas and Macomb Community College.
15. (U) Public School English Teacher Training Programs: Each
year post funds programs to provide additional training to public
school English teachers through grants to BNC’s and this year also
through a grant to two alumni as part of our Alumni Small Grants
competition. Many public school English teachers barely speak
English themselves and/or use outdated teaching methods. As overall
lack of proper training for public school teachers has been
identified as one of the major hurdles to improving education, post
believes that providing additional training to English teachers is
where we can make a contribution to addressing this problem.
Although several BNCs have done this type of training for public
school teachers, one in particular, the Casa Thomas Jefferson (CTJ)
in Brasilia, has developed an outstanding and cost-effective model
that some other BNCs are using as well, including the one in
Salvador. CTJ’s program provides 120 hours of classroom instruction,
including books, for just Dols 400/participating teacher. This year
CTJ was able to reduce the cost to post by convincing a book
publisher to sponsor part of the training. English Language Fellows
in Brazil also often get involved in the training of public school
teachers. For example, one Fellow this year is serving as the
primary trainer in a project sponsored by the City of Belo
Horizonte’s school system to improve the teaching of English there
as part of their preparations in anticipation of being a host city
for the 2014 World Cup.
16. (U) Post Implementation of ECA-Initiated Programs supporting
Education in Brazil: Post makes use of existing ECA programs to
support educational improvements as well. Brazil has the fourth
largest Fulbright exchange program in the world. Regularly
International and Voluntary Visitor programs have an educational
focus, including an upcoming Voluntary Visitor program that will
bring nine state secretaries of education (including CONSED’s
President) to Washington, DC and New York City to look at innovative
programs those school systems have implemented. Post is
implementing ACCESS scholarship programs in Salvador, Sco Paulo,
Porto Alegre and Recife and has plans to expand ACCESS program to
the other parts of the North and Northeast of Brazil, which are the
countries’ poorest areas. Brazil was invited last year, for the
first-time ever, to participate in ECA’s International Leaders in
Education Program (ILEP), a semester-long exchange program for
secondary-level educators that combines academic study and practical
experience. Post worked with CONSED to announce this program to
public schools throughout Brazil and, out of the 77 participants
worldwide in this year’s ILEP, seven are Brazilian teachers.
17. (U) Use of New Media: Post is continually searching for ways to
expand the reach of our programs using new technologies and social
media. We have provided laptops to grantee organizations to loan to
exchange participants so they can blog and skype while in the U.S.
This year’s Youth Ambassadors blogged about their experience in the
US on Globo’s internet site, the number two internet portal in
Brazil. The Youth Ambassadors also regularly use MSN, Yahoo groups
and Orkut - a social networking site more popular than Facebook in
Brazil - to keep in touch with each other and friends. PA has
established a Mission "New Technologies" Working Group that will
bring together members from across the mission to brainstorm ideas
for the best uses of new media to transmit our messages and expand
our programming, especially to the young and tech-savvy.
Opportunities for New Educational Programs and Challenges to
Implementation
18. (SBU) Through the strong partnership post has developed with the
Ministry of Education, CONSED, BNCs, and other partners, many
opportunities exist to expand current programs which are supporting
improvements to public education in Brazil and develop new ones.
Obstacles to new initiatives include PAS budget and human resource
constraints, as well as the lack of English language ability on the
part of most potential exchange or training program participants,
requiring costly interpretation. However, Post has identified the

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following areas for potential expansion, pending available funding
and human resource capabilities:
- Programs developed as a result of JAPRE: During the March, 2008
visit of former Secretary Rice to Brazil, the U.S. and Brazil signed
the Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality (JAPRE).
The Mission is working closely with Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (Itamaraty) and Special Secretariat for the Promotion of
Racial Equality (SEPPIR) to implement the plan. This bilateral plan
pledges ongoing collaboration to promote equality of all racial and
ethnic groups by sharing best practices, resources, and information.
Both governments have instituted legislation and policies to
provide social justice and social inclusion for all members of
society. The Embassy is working with Itamaraty, SEPPIR, and
relevant USG interagency offices, to establish a bi-national
Steering Group comprised of government, civil society, and private
sector representatives. The Steering Group will meet regularly to
identify ways to promote equal access to quality education/training,
justice, employment, housing, health care, credit, etc. The U.S.
and Brazil will also seek ways to promote relevant cultural
exchanges in the arts, history, sports, and communication.

Post has prioritized education-related programs as the number one
goal for programs that fall under the JAPRE. Post is working with
Brazilian counterparts and various Department of State offices to
secure resources for training and exchange programs to create and
strengthen partnerships between universities, cultural institutions,
democratic institutions, and civil society organizations. In
addition, SEPPIR has noted that there is a Brazilian law that
requires the teaching of the history of Afro-Brazilian and
indigenous populations in Brazil in Brazilian public schools, but
most schools do not do this. SEPPIR would like to use the JAPRE to
promote implementation of this law. Programs that develop as a
result of the JAPRE could also have an impact on the quality of
pre-university public education to the extent that they include
educators at this level and that they "shine a light" on the
existing problems. It is important to note, however, that no
additional funding nor human resources has been provided to post to
implement the JAPRE though post is currently working with the
Department to identify existing sources of funding that can but used
for development of these programs.

- Continued Development of Youth Ambassador Follow-On Activities:
Post is making continued development of follow-on activities for
Youth Ambassador alumni a high priority, especially where their
voices can be amplified to reach a broader audience. These
activities include Youth Ambassador alumni association development,
assistance with securing internships and through advising centers
providing ECA Opportunity Grants and assistance in applying to U.S.
universities. As the Youth Ambassador program matures, former
Youth Ambassadors who begin entering the workforce in Brazil can
perhaps be asked to serve as mentors for new Youth Ambassadors and
also assist with internships and job training. These young people
are tremendous role models and are truly "ambassadors" for
U.S.-Brazil relations (they are uniformly a uniquely inspirational
group who talk about the "life changing" experience of the Youth
Ambassador Program and the doors to the future it opens for
participants), and we continue to seek ways to connect them to other
young people.
- Possible Expansion of School Principal Exchange: In recent
meetings Post has had with CONSED, two ideas for expansion of the
School Principal Exchange have been raised. One is a prize for the
state coordinators of the award program which CONSED plans to
institute that would be an incentive for coordinators to work toward
both a higher quantity and quality of applicants for the award.
CONSED has asked Post if an annual exchange for award-winning
coordinators could be developed and post is currently considering
the idea, possibly as a pilot at first through the Voluntary Visitor
program. Those who coordinate the award in their state work in the
mid-level of their state secretariat for education and are potential
future leaders in educational policy-making. The other idea,
suggested, in a meeting with Ms. Migliari, is facilitation of a
"sister schools" program among schools that win the principal award
in Brazil and with a school that the principal then visits during
the exchange. This idea requires much further consideration and
development before post decides to pursue it, but these ideas
demonstrate the enthusiasm of partners such as CONSED to develop new
educational partnerships with Post.
- Expansion of Voc/Tech program: Public Affairs has provided
additional funding to this program in order to expand the two-way
exchange program and is discussing with the GOB ways they can also
provide additional financial support to the program.
- Additional public school English teacher training: These programs
are a cost-effective way to improve public school English teaching.
As many BNCs struggle to remain open due to increased competition
from other English-language teaching institutions, developing
expertise in teacher training through post, GOB or private sector

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funding could both improve public school instruction and help to
insure the survival of BNCs and to share their expertise in English
instruction.
- Better follow-up with alumni and inclusion in education programs:
Overall Post recognizes the need to better engage its vast alumni
network. One way to do so may be to recruit appropriate alumni to
participate in our educational programs and provide opportunities
for them to develop their own projects which contribute to
improving the quality of education in Brazil. Post could, for
example, expand a recently established small grants program to
alumni for that purpose.
19. (SBU) Conclusion: In short, there exists no shortage of ideas
and possibilities for Post to work with Brazil in improving public
education, which also meets our goal of reaching out to the young
and disadvantaged. The only constraints are budget and human
resource capabilities, but with creative use of existing resources,
prioritization, on-going assessment of how most efficiently to
implement programs, and continued development of public-private
partnerships, post hopes to continue modest expansions of our
educational programs within current budget and human resource
constraints. With Brazil’s ambitious goals for improving education
well underway and with the solid partnerships Post has developed,
the time is ripe for continued innovative implementation, and where
possible, expansion of these programs, to our mutual benefit.
KUBISKE