Linking School Attendance to Welfare Payments
UN numbers show that the number of children attending school has increased dramatically. In 1991, just 15% of the children eligible for secondary school turned up. By 2003 that has grown to 75% and to make sure that this trend continues, the president of
Housing Problems for the Poor in Sao Paolo, Brazil
Host: The pressure of the urban housing movement is having its
effect on the authorities. The 84 families who occupied this
building nearby have just been given possession. With the
help of a Federal government loan, it’s been completely
restored and the occupiers have become co-owners.
Female: We fought for two years while the negotiations went on
with the Federal authorities. In the end, we won and the
building was sold to us with the help of a loan.
Host: But there’s a catch, to pay the loan on the building, they
have to be earning at least three times the minimum wage,
that’s roughly $390.00 a month.
Only 10% of people in the housing movement can afford it.
It’s certainly well beyond what Pedro can afford.
Pedro: The colors, the excluded ones, all of us who live in the
favelas, we all dream about having a house so I make them
and one day, who knows.
Host: Just outside the walls of favela Coliseu is one of Sao
Paulo’s favorite night spots. In the shadow of the Daslu
Department store, the rich kids go to clubs while the poor
ones go to work. 13-year old Barbara sells sweets on the
Barbara: I work to help my mom out because she is an employee and
she needs help, it’s hard but I try my best.
Host: Barbara’s 16-year old brother Oswaldo has already given
up on school and works as a parking attendant on the same
Oswaldo: Future? I don’t see a future. I stopped school very early.
Host: Barbara is regarded as bright, but because she has to work,
she constantly fails her course work. One expert says
there’s still a long way to go before the quality of schooling
Marci Pochman: Nowadays, we need a revolution in education. It will be
similar to the abolishment of slavery in terms of the
opportunities, equality, and getting a sense to good jobs and
a better quality of life.
Host: That revolution may well have started. UN figures shows
the number of children attending school has increased
dramatically. 1991, just 15% of the children eligible for
secondary school turned up.
By 2003, that had grown to 75%. To make the trend
continues Lula has linked school attendance to family
welfare payments. You only get your welfare payment if
your child has a full school attendance register.
So welfare payments have doubled in the last year and a
half. 3.6 million Families were on welfare in December
2003. By July 2005, it was 7.5.
Patrus Ananias: For the first time in our history, President Lula has
prioritized poverty or education. We are integrated family
programs and eradicating child labor, and we are bringing
into the fold all these people who have been historically
Host: But former ministers say Lula’s done little for education
and he’s riding on the achievements of the previous
Luis Mendonca de Barros: The rulers directing educations is very, very poor because
you know that the former president changed a lot, the
education, the public education system in Brazil and
increased sharply the number of Brazilians going to the
school. But the former government starts from the bottom.
They start from the basic education and the ruler ought to
start dealing with the medium level education and they
didn’t. The ruler record in education it’s - the government
keep the old programs inherited for the former government.
Linking School Attendance to Welfare Payments
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