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What does the latest PISA tell us about Brazil?

Insights from the Latest PISA Report

The latest findings from the International Student Assessment Program (Pisa) 2022, unveiled in December 2023, sounded an alarm for Brazil’s education landscape. The nation’s performance in reading placed it 63rd among 79 participating countries, with an average score of 410 points. The situation was grimmer in mathematics, where Brazil ranked 75th with 379 points. The science domain fared marginally better at 58th place, garnering 403 points. These statistics paint a troubling picture, indicating that Brazilian students are grappling with acquiring the requisite skills and knowledge demanded by the contemporary job market in the 21st century. In an era marked by globalization and intense competitiveness, nations with a skilled and dedicated workforce hold a distinct advantage.

The repercussions of Brazil’s PISA results directly impact the employability of its citizens. Young individuals lacking the essential skills sought after by employers encounter significant challenges in securing employment. Even when they manage to secure a job, their advancement prospects are hindered, limiting their opportunities for professional growth and leadership roles. Additionally, these results cast a shadow on Brazil’s competitiveness in the global economic arena. Countries with a skilled workforce demonstrate higher productivity and innovation levels, rendering them more competitive on the international stage. Conversely, Brazil risks lagging behind, potentially ceding its competitive edge to nations prioritizing robust investments in education.

A young male teaching PISA in Brazil with curly hair, wearing glasses and a beige shirt, writes mathematical equations on a whiteboard using a black marker.
A young male teacher in Brazil with curly hair, wearing glasses and a beige shirt, writes mathematical equations on a whiteboard using a black marker.

Addressing the shortcomings revealed by PISA demands substantial investment in education across various fronts. This encompasses bolstering education funding, enhancing teaching quality, and ensuring universal access to quality education for all children. Equally critical is investing in teacher training programs and modernizing school curricula to align with the evolving demands of the 21st-century job market. It is imperative that school curricula integrate the essential skills and knowledge requisite for thriving in the contemporary employment landscape.

The adoption of these strategic measures holds the key to enhancing Brazil’s PISA performance, thereby augmenting the employability of its populace and fortifying the country’s competitiveness globally. The Wadhwani Foundation underscores the significance of addressing the plight of disillusioned youth, viewing it as a social challenge that requires urgent resolution. The foundation advocates for substantial investments in foundational education and vocational training for young individuals, enhancing their prospects of securing gainful employment.

Furthermore, the FUNDACIÓN WADHWANI places significant emphasis on developing soft skills essential for professional success. These include effective communication, collaboration, relationship-building, productivity, self-management, creativity, autonomy, and more. By equipping young Brazilians with a robust blend of technical expertise and soft skills, the foundation aims to empower them for success in the ever-evolving job market of the 21st century.

Lúcia Rodrigues Alves is an educator, teacher trainer, content creator, and developer of educational projects. She serves as the Director of New Business and Partnerships at the Wadhwani Foundation in Brazil.

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