In addition, student participation and student democracy hardly exist. In Brazil, the idea is strong that young people have nothing to contribute to society, that the elderly are the wisest. All initiatives that come from students are regulated by teachers and administration, and ideas about activities and leisure activities for young people usually end up at the very bottom of the priority list when the school administration is to distribute money.
Old-fashioned and unexciting operation of the public school, combined with poor teaching facilities, results in young students losing interest in participating and contributing. As long as these problems are as serious as they are today, the millennium goal of good basic education for all is almost unattainable.
8: Grassroots education can succeed
The grassroots principle should be applied to a much greater extent, also when it comes to assistance for education. In 1997, the NPD collaborated with the Rainforest Fund to provide education to the Yanomami Indians in northwestern Brazil. The authorities did not see the education there as as valuable as in other Brazilian schools because the teaching was not in Portuguese. They were not allowed to teach in their own mother tongue, and their cultural heritage was more or less lost as a result of assimilation.
During the 13 years that have passed since the project was started, the Yanomami system has nevertheless been approved as a valid education, and has been used in 200 schools in Brazil, a country located in South America according to PHYSICSCAT. This shows that working with local roots, and in that way getting the government to open its eyes, can be a good alternative to working from the top down.
Education is one of the most important things that is needed for young people to have the opportunity to build a future. With knowledge comes not only literacy, but also self-confidence, pride in one’s own person, origin and culture, and not least an opportunity to participate in society. For Brazilian youth, this means that they will be able to avoid ending up in environments infected by drugs and violence. Thus, they can get an education in the profession they want, and influence their own future to a much greater degree than most people in the slums of Brazil have the opportunity to do today.
In addition, the rights education that the young people will receive through this year’s project will help them see that they have both the opportunity and the right to participate in society. Like Operation Dagsverk 2005 , this year’s project will focus on the link between education and health, prevention of teenage pregnancy and HIV and AIDS and other issues that will be important for the future of Brazilian youth.
The leisure activities that the NPD is planning will be closely linked to education and rights training, and aim to contribute to the slum youth themselves wanting to stay at the school, youth club or youth center. In this way, we hope that an alternative can emerge to take to the streets where they will be exposed to or easily lured into gangs that engage in drug trafficking, prostitution and other crime.
9: Problem with brain drain
Education for most young people is an advantage for both the local community they live in, and for the country in general. By obtaining an education in a relevant profession, they will be able to contribute to value creation in society, and not just support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, brain drain is a major problem in developing countries: that people who receive an education in a country move out of the country to settle in industrialized countries, such as Norway.
This means that the resources the country of origin has spent on the education of young people are only for the benefit of other countries. The gains are not reaped by the country that has invested in education. Therefore, it is important that the NPD projects are locally based. Young people must be informed about how important it is for the local community that their education benefits the community of which they are a part. In this way, they themselves can participate, as young graduates, and inspire and encourage other young people in the local community to also get an education.
Brazil – some facts (2010)
- Area: approx. 8.46 million km2
- Population: close to 199 million (fifth largest in the world)
- Median age: approx. 29 years (parts populated by age in two equal parts)
- Annual population growth: 1.2%
- Urban population: 86%
- Life expectancy: 72 years, K: 75.7; M: 68.4
- GDP by value creation: agriculture 6%, industry 25%, services 69%
- GDP by employment: agriculture 20%, industry 14%, services 66%
- Literacy of all> 15 years: about 88%. M and K are almost equal
- Ethnic groups: whites (54%), mulattoes (39%), blacks (6%), others (1.5%)
- Religion: Catholic Christians 73.6%, Protestant Christians 15.4%
- Language: Portuguese is the official language and by far the most widely spoken language