State of Pará, Brazil Launches Partnership to Improve Education with Synergos Support

Goal is to improve by 30% the Basic Education Development  Index at the primary and secondary level in the next five years.

Belém, Brazil, March 27, 2013 - The Government of Pará, Brazil launched the Pact for Education of Pará, with technical and convening support from Synergos, financial support of the Inter-American Development Bank, and with contributions of an initial group of partners. The Pact is a multi-sector partnership, which seeks to improve the performance of the two-million-students education system by creating an integrated and comprehensive set of interventions.



The data from the last Basic Education Development Index (IDEB) shows that the achievement of public schools in Pará is 3.0 points, below the national average of 3.4. Only 31.7% of students complete high school. This means that seven out ten students will not reach a level which is universally considered as minimum to enter the labor force.


The situation of education in Pará is in stark contrast with the favorable economic outlook in the state - large investments are underway changing the productive profile of the state and creating demand for qualified labor. This demand, if met locally, can translate into improvements of the socioeconomic conditions of the population. “The people of Pará need to be prepared to take advantage of this window of opportunity, and this is only possible through education,” says Wanda Engel, director of Synergos in Brazil.

According to the secretary of education, Claudio Ribeiro, the goal of the Pact is to change the situation and become a national model in transforming an education system. The goal is a 30% increase on the IDEB at all levels of basic public education (preschool-high school) in five years. For that to happen, the participation of the society is essential. “The Pact is the fruit of a collaborative effort, which involved the professionals of the education system, foundations and corporate institutes, artists, and international organizations. In January of 2012 we conceived a strategic plan, which served as a base for the partnership,” explained the secretary.

More than four hundred professionals from the education system were involved in the process of formulating the plan. They represented various parts of the system and diverse geographies of the Amazonian state - in total more than 30 municipalities, including Belém, Marabá, Santarém, and the island of Marajó.

In order to achieve the goal of improving the performance of students and at the same time lower the dropout and grade repetition rates, the partnership proposes to:

  • build the capacity of the teachers, principals and coordinators
  • improve the infrastructure
  • provide educational resources
  • improve the management of the Secretariat and the schools.

Information technologies will be widely used in the various interventions.

To achieve the results the Pact will be implementing a set of programs, which are supported by the investment of US$350 million from the Inter-American Development Bank, in addition to the regular budget of the Secretariat of Education of more than US$5 billion.

The success of the actions will depend on the participation of the society of Pará and on the quality of collaboration used. The partnership already brings together different branches and levels of the government, civil society, private sector and international institutions. They include the Brazilian movement Todos Pela Educação, Fundação Telefônica, Fundação ItaÙ, Instituto Unibanco, ItaÙ BBA, and Instituto Natura.

In the initial phase of the partnership Synergos played the roles of formulating the idea; convening and mobilizing the different stakeholders, facilitating the strategy process and defining actions.