Education System in Brazil


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryEnsino Fundamental (Elementary School)196149Ensino Fundamental I (years 1-5) and Ensino Fundamental II (years 6-9)
SecondaryEnsino Médio (High School)101215183 
TertiaryHigher Education- Ensino Superior      
TertiaryBacharelado, Licenciado, Profissional (Undergrad.)1316  4Four to five-year first university degree program, offered by institutions of higher education, or universities. Some Bacharel programs can be three years.
TertiaryEspecialização (Graduate)    1 
TertiaryMestre (Graduate)    1 
TertiaryDoutor (Doctoral)    2 

Primary Education

Education is compulsory in Brazil between ages 7 and 14, and free at state schools too. Children under 6 may attend optionaleducação infantil before enrolling for 5 years at elementary school known as ensino fundamental – 1.  Following a year achieving literacy they turn their attention to learning Portuguese, geography, history, maths, science, arts and physical education. This core curriculum may be extended to meet local needs, and abilities of individual students.

Middle Education

The curriculum is similar for ensino fundamental – 2, which lasts for a further 4 years, except that 2 foreign languages (usually English and Spanish) are added. 800 hours of activities are prescribed. Each class is usually still served by a single teacher.

Secondary Education

Completion of ensino fundamental phases 1 and 2 are a necessary condition for entering ensino médio high school. Core subjects include Portuguese, Brazilian and a third language - usually English, plus a wide spread of academic subjects too. In parallel during years 2 and 3 professional training courses such as agriculture may be added.

Vocational Education

Brazil understands that its competitiveness depends to a large extent on the quality of its vocational training. In April 2011, the government announced a bold plan to create 8 million more vocational training opportunities by 2014.

Tertiary Education

Brazil EducationHigh school education is a prerequisite for entering tertiary institutions, as is a competitive vestibular entrance examination. Undergraduate bachareladodegrees require 4 year’s study. School teachers must follow a separate 4 yearlicenciatura. Others prefer to follow 2 to 4 years of technology training. The normal range of graduate education is offered too. 

The country has a fine spread of over 2,600 state and private universities and colleges. The oldest in continuous operation is the Academia de Artilharia, Fortificação e Desenho, founded in 1699 and illustrated on this page.


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