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• Education begins in the day-care center

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It is in early childhood when the bases for physical, intellectual and emotional development are formed — and the roots of inequality begin to be attacked. To tackle the problem right from the start, the Lula and Dilma governments invested in construction of daycare centers and kindergartens and the creation of new vacancies in existing units.

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Investments expand enrollment rate and quality of teaching

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Lucrécia Lourenço Coutinho, medical training with a scholarship from ProUni:

"I came from a lower class family. My father is a stonemason, he has a fourth grade education, and my mother is a cleaning lady. I am proud that I have now become a physician, the first in the family. And I tell people it is possible, I believed in my dream and succeeded. And if you believe in it and fight for it, your dream also can come true."

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Marcos Romansini, on the new daycare center inaugurated by President Dilma in Novo Hamburgo (RS:

"My son will have a great opportunity that I never had. He'll be in a daycare center, he’ll be with his classmates, he’ll learn from the teacher. Lots of things I didn’t learn he will learn at the center."

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"The education covenant has already secured 75% of the royalties and 50% of the Pre-Salt Social Fund for education. This will be a major legacy of our government for present and future generations. And it will bring permanent benefits to the Brazilian population for a minimum period of 50 years."

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"There were people who governed Brazil and who thought that the market could solve the problem of the universities and the schools. (...) And then we created 18 new federal universities, 165 university extension campuses, then President Dilma created the Science without Borders program, to send thousands of young people to study abroad and next she created Pronatec for vocational training. It is important to remember all this is due to a decision that we made: education is investment." 

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Brazil was the country that improved the most between 2003 and 2012, according to a ranking published by the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa). The worldwide test is applied every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and evaluates 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance in math, reading and science. All of Brazil’s grades evolved positively. The OECD noted Brazil’s growth was due to a combination of greater investment, improved assessment tools and better teacher salaries.

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In only 12 years, Lula and Dilma created 422 technical schools — three times more than all previous governments combined over one century of history (140 schools). They created 18 federal universities, 173 campuses and programs such as ProUni and Fies, which made access to higher education more democratic. Result: the country that took five centuries to have 3.5 million young people attending universities needed only 12 years to reach the current level of 7.1 million Brazilian university students.

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