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News > Latin America

Brazil to Provide Aid to Poor Students to Finish High School

  • Presidente brasileiro Lula da Silva (C), 26 de janeiro de 2024.

    Presidente brasileiro Lula da Silva (C), 26 de janeiro de 2024. | Photo: X/ @PedroRonchi2

Published 26 January 2024

President Lula da Silva stated that investment in education will prevent many young people from ending up in organized crime.

On Friday, President Lula da Silva announced a program through which the Brazilian government will provide assistance of up to US$1,880 to low-income students completing the three years of high school.


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The Brazilian leader stated that this investment in education would prevent many young people from ending up in organized crime, leading to a reduction in prison spending.

"What we are trying to do is to prevent the money we are currently allocating to education from being invested in prisons in the future to rehabilitate young people who lacked opportunities and fell into crime," Lula said.

The scholarship will benefit around 2.5 million youths aged 15 to 17 who, due to a lack of opportunities, "fall into drugs and become zombies in the streets, walking without any respect for society and without prospects."

The program involves opening a savings account for the students, with the government initially depositing US$41 when the student enrolls in each of the three years of high school.

Each year, the recipient will receive nine installments of US$41, provided they demonstrate an 80 percent attendance rate in classes. At the end of the cycle, they will receive US$203 for completing their studies and an additional US$41 if they take the university entrance exam.

Savings can only be withdrawn when the student completes each year of high school and fulfills all requirements. The government's goal is to encourage young people to stay in school and take the exam that could open doors to university.

Currently, 9 out of 100 students enrolled in the first year of high school drop out before completion. This means that there are approximately 480,000 Brazilians of high school age who left school, largely because they need to work to support their families.

"What we want is education that everyone has access to and that everyone stays in," said Education Minister Camilo Santana, who estimates that the program will require an annual investment of US$1.4 billion.


Lula da Silva
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