Archive | March, 2013

Which future for Yolanda Queiroz School’s children?

24 Mar

After getting a quality education at the Escolinha during seven years, children have to continue their schooling in a new establishment. Indeed, when they reach 11 years old, they have no choice than leave Yolanda Queiroz School. Since they were 4 years old, they have been taught many subjects such as Portuguese, mathematics, history, geography, English, sports and music. Thus, Monica GALEAO, the Escolinha‘s headmistress (read her interview here), told us that illiterate children leaving the school were very few. This education provides them with essential bases for their future life.

 

             However, their education may not have to stop here: thanks to a partnership with another university, UNIFOR offers them a prestigious opportunity.

Indeed, each year, the top two pupils of the last class promotion are allowed to continue their schooling in a renowned private school: the Colégio Ari de Sa Cavalcante. However, they have to take an “entry test” to finally be enrolled in this school. Afterwards, the Edson Queiroz Foundation will entirely finance their schooling in this establishment until they get to university. This process gives them the key to apply for the best universities all over the world later on.

Which future for them?

             Unfortunately, only two pupils out of about 70 are concerned. What happens to the rest of the class, we can genuinely wonder?

When they choose or can afford to continue their schooling, they usually go to a public secondary school, in their neighborhood. But compared to Yolanda Queiroz school, financial and staff means, here, are sadly lacking. Therefore, they can’t expect the same standard of education as they used to have at the Escolinha.

Besides, the teachers in La Escolinha told us that when former children came back to visit them, they said they missed their affection and attention a lot. Indeed, at the Escolinha, the educators try to be patient and kind to their pupils and really aware of their needs. They always take time to talk with the parents whenever their kid has a problem and do their best to find the appropriate solution.

“The children learn playing and playing they are happy”

 

To put all in a nutshell, regarding those children’s future, there is definitely a wide gap.

On one hand, only two of them will be offered the opportunity to reach a prestigious university while another minority will try to complete its educational cycle in a basic university unable to take all its students into account.

On the other hand, for the great majority of them, many have already dropped their high school studies and often get into trouble such as drug traffic, according to the Escolinha’s Headmistress.

SMILE

17 Mar

A smile costs less than electricity, but it gives more light !

English Class at La Escolinha

8 Mar
English exercises for 5 years old children

English exercises for 5 years old children

 

When we went into the classrooms for the first time, the children kept asking us: “Você fala inglês?” – which means: “Do you speak English?”- even if they already knew we were French. Afterwards, they wanted us to chat in English with Liliane, their English teacher, and to recite and translate some sentences into English, in order to listen to a real conversation in Shakespeare’s language. They only asked for our names after this, and also questioned us about where we lived in France. They were entirely lost in admiration at seeing people speaking English.

 

6 years old kid learning the colors in english class

6 years old kid learning the colors in english class

 

Indeed, we believe English is a universal and international language, which helps to communicate with nearly everybody and allows anybody to have a basic conversation. But, for the time being, in Brazil, it is not really the case: most Brazilians can only speak their native language.

For instance, when we arrived at the international airport of Sao Paulo, we discovered that all the Brazilians who were working in snack bars, inside the airport, were not able to translate their own menu and even indicate a direction in English! Furthermore, at Fortaleza University, everyday, we meet many students who do not speak a single word of English. The main reason for this situation is that languages remain optional in Brazil. Consequently, the Educational First (EF) Organization ranges Brazil 46 out of 54 in the ranking about the level of English skills.

However, there are many reasons to think that the situation is going to improve shortly. First of all, there is the organization of the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic games in 2016. Besides, the need of English speaker workers has been increasing for one decade, as multinationals have started to settle down in Brazil. Still, according to the EF, Brazilian primary schools have been obliged to teach their fifth year pupils at least one foreign language, since 2010. As the pupils are free to choose the language they are going to learn, most of them generally opt for English.

More informations about the project to expand English language in Latin America on the EF website : click here

Therefore, the pupils of Yolanda Queiroz School receive English courses and are very proud and enthusiastic to show us their basic knowledge of how to start a conversation or count in English.

 

English Room

English Room

As far as we are concerned, we are glad to see that La Escolinha allows its schoolchildren to have a very complete education. Teaching these pupils English, even if it is only the basics, can contribute to give them a real chance for their future; a chance they will surely build on later.