Initiative: Jaboatão Prepara
Institution: Prefeitura Do Jaboatão Dos Guararapes
Problem: Evidence had shown that there was a very low approval rate for district middle school students into secondary level technical schools. Professional technical schools have a highly competitive admission criteria, and district students, who tended to be from vulnerable backgrounds or/and have low educational achievement levels, were at a notable disadvantage experiencing very low acceptance rates. Not gaining a place in such technical schools had the potential to have lifelong negative impacts on their continuing education and future job opportunities. In addition, there was a high dropout rate of school students after completion of middle school.
Solution: In 2015 the Jaboatão Prepara Programme was established to encourage middle school students’ access to and attendance in secondary level technical schools, by offering professional guidance and a free preparatory course for low-income students with extra classes on Saturdays, including with online options for learning. The programme targets students in their last year of middle school and offers didactic-pedagogical support to navigate the selection and federal processes to access technical schools that are otherwise out of reach. It particularly targets students who live in situations of social vulnerability, coming from extremely poor families with low education levels.
Impact: The initiative has significantly boosted the number of district students selected by technical schools (more than 1,500 between 2015 and 2018). In 2018, of the 2,000 students enrolled in Prepara, 781 submitted applications to the vestibular test, where 88% were approved, 631 being approvals to State Technical Schools and 60 to Federal Technical Institutes. In addition, the drop-out rate of young people after middle school fell by 27% to be now below Brazil’s national average.