With the lowest illiteracy rate in the country, DF is a reference in education

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“Going back to school opened my view that while there is life, there is hope.” This is how Elzenir da Silva Gonçalves, 52 years old, describes the experience of completing a year of studies at Centro Educacional 2 de Taguatinga, one of the Education for Youth and Adults (EJA) units of the Government of the Federal District (GDF).

She left the classroom as a teenager, in the interior of Maranhão, to work alongside her father in rural activities. She moved to DF, and got married here and dedicated her days to her husband and two children. At 51, she felt an awakening to pursue her own dreams, after going through a process of mental and physical illness.

Elzenir da Silva Gonçalves, 52 years old, is a student at Centro Educacional 2 in Taguatinga | Photo: Geovana Albuquerque/Agência Brasília

“I am very proud to wear this school uniform. I’m proud because I want people to look at me and see that I’m not 17 anymore, but I study at a GDF school. Studying for me is synonymous with freedom, and now I can have a vision and open new horizons for my life”, reports the student.

Elzenir is one of thousands of people who help the DF position itself as the unit of the Federation with the lowest illiteracy rate in the country (1.7%). The data comes from the most recent Continuous National Household Sample Survey (Pnad), released on March 22 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The indicator also places the DF well below the national average, of 5.6%.

Furthermore, the result also represents progress towards the goal of eradicating illiteracy in the federative unit. Between 2022 and 2023, the index fell, and decreased from 1.9% to 1.7%. A reflection of the effectiveness of the Federal District Government’s (GDF) policies aimed at literacy, both in childhood and among young people and adults.

The Federal District is the unit of the Federation with the lowest illiteracy rate in the country (1.7%), according to data from the most recent National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) Continuous

Reference in the country

According to the director of Youth and Adult Education at the Federal District Education Secretariat (SEEDF), Lilian Sena, education in the capital of the Republic has differences that contribute to positioning the federative unit at the top of the country’s literacy ranking.

The first of these is the decentralization of education and the ease of finding an educational institution close to home. In total, there are 97 EJA school units, distributed throughout the 14 teaching regions, meeting the demand of the administrative regions and students in the surrounding area.

Another important point is that enrollment can be done at any time, even after the start of the academic year. “All they have to do is arrive at school and, if they don’t have proof of education, we apply a diagnosis to identify which stage they will be included in”, explains the director.

Education in the capital of the Republic has differences that contribute to the DF being at the top of the country’s literacy ranking. One of them is the decentralization of education and the ease of finding an educational institution close to home. In total, there are 97 EJA school units, distributed throughout the 14 teaching regions, meeting the demand of the administrative regions and students in the surrounding area.

“Another difference is that we work with continued training of education professionals so that they can work from the perspective of andragogy [ensino para adultos]. She considers that literacy in adulthood is different from that in childhood. The professional needs preparation to carry out this work without infantilizing the offer”, highlights Lílian Sena.

This is the constant care of professor Silvana Leite, who also works at CED 2 in Taguatinga. In addition to teaching aimed at adults, teaching after the age of 15 also demands flexibility. “When students are absent because of work, or because they need to be with their children, we provide activities for them to do at home, call them when they are absent, do our best to ensure they don’t give up”, she admits.

According to her, most adults who seek out EJA are not looking for a professional replacement, but to make a dream come true. “Learning to read and write is a symbol of freedom and dignity. It also represents self-esteem, and is an act of citizenship”, highlights the educator.

Traditional literacy

In addition to training for young people and adults, the Department of Education carries out integrated work focusing on adequate education for children of literacy age, a structuring element for a successful learning trajectory.

The Literacy and Literacy Program in the Federal District (Alfaletrando) aims to guarantee the right to literacy for children up to 7 years of age, and is the priority of the Department of Education this year for the 383 institutions in the DF that offer 1st and the 2nd year of elementary school

One of the highlights is the Literacy and Literacy Program in the Federal District (Alfaletrando), established by SEEDF in February this year. The initiative aims to guarantee the right to literacy for children up to the age of 7.

According to the ministry, this year the priority will be to implement the program in all 383 institutions in the DF that offer the 1st and 2nd year of elementary education, concentrating efforts on the initial years of schooling.

For the following years, the proposal is to extend the program’s actions to other grades of elementary school. The program has an innovative pedagogical approach, using modern educational resources and practices to stimulate student interest and participation.

According to updated data from the Federal District Education Department, 56 thousand students are in the literacy phase in the capital’s educational units. Another 18 thousand are enrolled in Education for Youth and Adults, of which 1.2 thousand are studying the 1st and 2nd segments, the initial stages of the learning process in this format.

Strengthening teaching

In the assessment of the director of Escola Classe 314 Sul, Bruno Louredo, projects from the Department of Education aimed at the literacy stage are fundamental in a post-pandemic context, while students are still experiencing the effects of the period away from face-to-face classes.

“This direction from the Government of the Federal District is very important because we still suffer some consequences of remote teaching. Despite the efforts, there was a lack of daily monitoring with the teacher, and the chance to reorient the student during the activity”, details the professional.

Louredo explains that the result is a more effective educational trajectory. “Providing literacy at the right time, in addition to filling this gap that has occurred, begins to remedy difficulties increasingly earlier. As a result, the following years become just a review, a consolidation of what the child has learned. And the gains are countless, including the initiative helping students have a better 5th and 6th year.”

Little Miguel, aged 7, is one of these students. He is in the 2nd year of elementary school, at Escola Classe 314 Sul. He has shown ease in learning to read and write and an interest in studies, according to his mother, Gisllaine Azambuja.

She praised the availability and attention of the institution’s educators towards families and students. “This stage is very important, because it will be greatly missed up front. And the school has been excellent, access to them is very easy, they are always careful and willing to help. It’s been a great partnership.”

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: lowest illiteracy rate country reference education

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