Instituto Fernand Braudel de Economia Mundial - Associado à FAAP

The debate about education sounds hollow

Members of parliament want to rise the education’s budget to 10% of the GDP; the fundamental point, how to best spend the money, has been forgotten

Source: Veja | Author: Keila Cândido | Published: 07/22/2012

In the beginning of July, the Minister of Finance Guido Mantega made a declaration that aroused all sort of protests. When talking about the National Plan of Education, currently in Congress and that proposes to elevate the spending on education to 10% of the GDP, he sentenced: “If it goes like this, the Education Plan will break the state”. The revolt it caused in social network and circles is comprehensible. After all no one has ever heard the Minister of Finance to sound so opposed to the country’s others wastes of money such as high salaries and gratifications to the National Congress, the high maintenance levels of the public engine or the size of the civil service.

But despite the consensus about the need to better the education system, one must admit that the Minister’s analysis is not all faulty. To simply double the current spending on education (5% of the GDP) would imply in allocating another 200 billion reais in the public debt chart until 2020. Where would the money come from? How does that sum affect the country’s fiscal situation? This questions remain unanswered.

Notions that could elevate the levels of discussion of the National Education Plan also remain obscure: how much money the system needs, where to get it and how to make sure it’s applied efficiently in day care centers, schools and universities.

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