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June 1st, 2009
Brazil in Black and White
Video Segment 2

Iolanda dos Santos and her family moved to Brasilia from a poor region of northeast Brazil. She is currently undecided whether or not she should apply to the university under the racial quota system.

  • Adrian MD

    Nine times out of ten, she will get in based on this “quota”, because I’m sure it will be the decision makers creative way of eliminating those whom the law is needed for the most.

  • Eugenio Rodrigues

    The Brazilian education system has been always unfair especially the higher education. Public secondary schools have been known to deliver poor education leading students to became, over all, unprepared to pass admission tests to get in colleges or universities. Strikes by professors are common in public institution and last for weeks, cutting programs short.
    As far as high school system, poor class students are the majority. middle and upper class students opt generally for the private system, where professors have higher salaries and the education system program is better designed in preparing students for passing tests to get in the universities. Good private hight school are expensive and is mostly afforded by the “riches”. Students usually don’t work and therefore have more time to dedicate to studying.
    Now, the higher education system, by contrast is populated essentially by middle class or upper class students. One of the main reason is that this institutions have a more difficult admission tests where the odds to pass them for those who studied in public hight school system are slim. Also public universities and especially most wanted degrees courses, such as medical school, don’t offer part time programs neither flexibility. So, students who work will have disadvantage in keeping up with such program.
    In summary, public universities in Brazil are mostly for the rich, since they are more prepared to pass the admission exams.
    The system is unfair because since public universities are free, they don’t benefit the poor who need most. And also help to pay for this system when they pay government taxes.
    I think that it would be fair if there was a public policy to ease access in the public university for those who don’t have money to pay for private universities. One option would be to eliminate public (free) schools and develop a financial aid system for the poor who are attempting to get higher education. Thus would be unnecessary to have a racial quota system, which could could lead to a segregation status. In addition it would benefit all races.

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