One hundred B.Ed. graduates from Kerala may soon teach English and math in schools in Brazil under a proposed programme of academic cooperation between that country and the State's Education Department.

If the programme metamorphoses into an agreement between Brazil and Kerala, 400 more school teachers may be headed to that country to teach children in the 6-12 age group. M. Sivasankar, Secretary, General Education; and K. Anvar Sadath, Executive Director of IT@School Project, left for Brazil on Saturday to explore the possibility of instituting a programme of academic collaboration.

Current indications are that a pilot version of the proposed programme which would be funded by the federal government of Brazil and by international agencies such as UNESCO may be rolled out in the state of Pernambuco.

Raising standards

“This is in continuation of the visit of Robert Viana Batista, an entrepreneur and philanthropist from Brazil, to Kerala in the first week of February this year. During his visit he had said that they are striving to bring up the educational standards in municipality schools in Brazil for which they are planning to recruit Indian teachers with master's in science, preferably B.Ed., to teach Brazilian children English and Maths through IT,” the Mr. Sadath told The Hindu . Teachers selected to go to Brazil would be given special content-based training. While the content development for such training would be done by the IT@School, the funding would come from Brazil.

During preliminary discussions with Mr. Batista it was resolved that the process of identifying B.Ed. graduates either through a campus placement mode or through direct recruitment had to be co-ordinated by the Higher Education Department here.

Mauricio Rands, Secretary of government, State of Pernambuco and Elected Member of the Brazilian National Parliament, in a recent letter to the Department of Education, had pointed out that Brazil's immediate need was for 100 B.Ed. graduates by the end of June 2012 and another 400, by the end of December 2012. “By developing this project, the States of Kerala and Pernambuco will be leading the most important cooperation ever done between India and Brazil,” it reads.

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