Maria de Sousa Municipal School is located in Água Branca, a small town in upstate Piauí. There are 215 pupils enrolled between the 2nd and 5th grades of elementary school, attending classes from 7a.m. to 3p.m.
In 2013, school principal Thais Cardoso Siqueira recognized that 30% pupils had obtained grades that were lower than those expected for the school year. On top of this, data collected on a monthly basis showed that there was a high level of absenteeism and many pupils were not doing their homework.
School’s administrators subsequently planned a task-force in order to confront these problems and increase pupils performance. Everyone was invited to take part in the activities involved in this process: secretaries, assistants, teachers, coordinators and the principal. Some activities were:
At the end of the third quarter, the rate of students below expected performance had been reduced to 23%, whilst there was a surprise at the end of the year: a 100% pass rate across all the grades. “This result was a victory achieved by all professionals involved in the teaching-learning process,” said Thais. “In order to obtain the trust and engagement of the staff, I had to show commitment, not swerve from the focus, be a true partner and believe in change.”
The actions developed at Maria de Sousa School are a success example achieved when management tools are implemented and when the watchful eye of the principal is equally focused on each one of the pupils. This is how Ayrton Senna Institute has been working over the past twenty years: believing that any child and any young person can recover and increase their knowledge to successfully move forward at school and in life.
A very serious education problem in Brazil is the high level of school failure that leads millions of children and youngsters to increase the age-grade distortion rates. This happens because of an educational system which still fails to deliver quality education to students, especially in the States of the North and Northeast regions, where Piauí is at. This State still features on the 2013 ranking with 34,7% of its students behind in their elementary studies, but has been investing to reduce this percentage. In four years, it achieved an 18% drop, while Brazilian average fell 14%.
This result is a consequence of public policies to improve education, like the partnership with the Instituto Ayrton Senna, whose educational programs have led hundreds of school leaders to believe their students are capable of learning and passing grades. Dropout has been decreasing and more children are moving forward in their studies with enthusiasm. The average passing rate at the municipal public systems that partner Instituto Ayrton Senna surpasses 90% and the qualification of results in external evaluations such as the Prova Brasil (large scale government evaluation) is a goal to be reached.
Thank all of you who contributed to our program so far, and allowed us to invest US$ 12.717 to benefit the children of Piauí. But we still need to raise further resources in order to reach our goal and we are counting on you to improve these children’s lives.
School Newspaper encourages children from Piaui to learn
Students of small town Água Branca, in Piauí, are playing the role of journalists during 2014. The reason is that Instituto Ayrton Senna has taken there the School Newspaper project, which aims to stimulate children to read, analyze and form their own opinion. Writing and editing a newspaper in class allow students to improve their writing and reading, besides boosting cooperation and critical thinking competencies.
In all, 1057 students from 4th to 7th grade of elementary school of 7 schools are taking part of the project. Each school will produce 3 newspaper issues over the year. In the newspaper production the teachers work on specific textual genres (opinion texts, comics, poetry, life story, based note, reader´s letter, etc.) in formats that include editorial, report news, interview, etc. Thus, students will have the chance to learn while having fun, engaged to say what they think and what they know.
“For students to produce good texts they must know what they mean, who they are writing for and which is the genre that best expresses those ideas. Reaching such goals requires hard reading and constant review, aspects that we believe will be covered by building the School Newspaper.” – says Gildon Gonçalves Lima, teacher and pedagogical coordinator of Municipal School Maria do Carmo Ennes Fonseca.
Children are thrilled with the novelty. Schools of Água Branca have been making progress in education but a great deal of work is still needed. Official assessments point out that only 33% of students have learn properly in reading and texts interpretation up to 5th grade in municipal schools system. In the state of Piaui, the index is even low: only two out of ten children of this age group know how to read and write accordingly.
For this reason, you donation is much important. The funds collected through Global Giving help to change the reality of children and young from Piauí so that they succeed in school and in life.
Photos credit: Neyla Siqueira dos Santos Alencar || Education Department Coordinator – Água Branca - PI