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Brazil

National Program for Strengthening School Councils (BR0042)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Brazil Second Action Plan

Action Plan Cycle: 2013

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Education

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Education, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Brazil End-of-Term Report 2013-2016, Brazil Progress Report 2013-2014

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

to carry on capacity-building courses, in both in-site and distance learning modalities, with the aim of training education professionals to serve in state and municipal education secretariats. These professionals shall disseminate the activities of the National Program for Strengthening School Councils in their respective education system, as well as train school councilors in effective exercise, through a mentoring network. The program actions are aimed at assisting education systems in the establishment and strengthening of school councils, so as to enhance the participation of school and local communities in school administrative, financial and pedagogical management and the development of a culture of monitoring and evaluating school activities and policies, thus ensuring high quality education.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 1.6 National Program for strengthening School Councils

Commitment Text: To carry on capacity-building courses, in both in-site and distance learning modalities, with the aim of training education professionals to serve in state and municipal education secretariats. These professionals shall disseminate the activities of the National Program for Strengthening School Councils in their respective education system, as well as train school councilors in effective exercise, through a mentoring network. The program actions are aimed at assisting education systems in the establishment and strengthening of school councils, so as to enhance the participation of school and local communities in school administrative, financial and pedagogical management and the development of a culture of monitoring and evaluating school activities and policies, thus ensuring high quality education.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Education

Supporting institution: None

Start date: Not specified                          End date: 14 January 2014

Commitment aim

School councils have been part of the Brazilian regulatory framework in education since 1996, and are well-established throughout the country.[Note 9: Ministério da Educação, Conselho Escolar, https://goo.gl/f7JGKu.] They are formed by school members (such as teachers and administrative staff), government officials, and civil society representatives (including students and parents), and are responsible for overseeing such areas as internal school rules and the budget.

The commitment planned to support a program, begun in 2004, to strengthen school councils. Specifically, the government would train education professionals and school council members, and expand training (previously offered only to professionals of the Education Secretariats) to civil society representatives.

Status

Midterm: Completed

Forty thousand council members — 22% from civil society — were trained online and in person through the National Program for Strengthening School Councils. Topics included guaranteed rights, political and pedagogical factors, and budgets. It should be noted that the government presented the numbers above to the IRM researcher during interviews. They are not available publicly (data are available at the Ministry of Education’s website for registered users only).

Did it open government?

Access to information: Did not change

Civic participation: Did not change

Public accountability: Did not change

School councils are well-established mechanisms of civic participation in Brazil. They are responsible for participatory budget supervision, making access to information requests, and organizing educational activities. In addition, the councils are a formal means of public accountability. For example, they formally approve school spending. To illustrate the importance of the councils, a study by UNESCO found that 20 Brazilian schools in high-risk areas and with exceptional student performance all had strong school councils.[Note 10: Aprova Brasil, “O Direito de Aprender,” 2007, https://www.unicef.org/brazil/pt/aprova_final.pdf. ] As a result, the commitment focused on training school council members. However, there was no change in the status quo, since the commitment only sustained programs (the National Program for Strengthening School Councils) that were already in place prior to the OGP action plan.

Carried forward?

The commitment was not carried forward to the next action plan. If carried forward in the future, the IRM researcher recommends educating the councils on the newly-developed open government tools, such as the Transparency Portal and Participa.br. These tools of accountability are essential to the councils’ work, and guarantee timely information. Another suggestion is to document the councils’ work and increase transparency by publishing their meetings and decisions online in an organized and open data format.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership