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juny 20 2013

Over-age school enrolment in Brazil

This video is a Spanish summary of  some findings about the drivers of over-age enrolment in Brazil. It is the outcome of a recent article in Education Policy Analysis Archives (written in Spanish too).

Over-age enrolment rates reflect the mismatch between students age and academic year. In this country many youth are still attending primary and lower-secondary schools in their late teens and early twenties. As a rule, this situation is linked to severe academic underperformance due to difficulties in attending classes regularly.

The analysis explores the impact of the Brazilian index of multidimensional poverty on the risk to experience over-age enroment. Four dimensions provoke a very significant effect. Problems in child development are the first one.  It means that children and youth who live with other children and youth suffering from extreme conditions (drop-out, illiteracy, child labour, or over-age enrolment too) are more likely than others to be schooled in years correspoding to a lower age. A second factor is informal labour. The youth are likely to be enrolled over-age when their household depends on insecure jobs which are not supported by a contract and a formal wage. The third factor is family vulnerability, that is, the presence of children or elderly and/or the absence of employed adults in their household. The forth dimension is economic deprivation due to a very low income.

This analysis is helpful to discuss two mechanisms that provoke educational inequalities according to the international specialists. These are the accumulation of material, social and cultural deprivation along people’s life, and opportunity hoarding through social closure.

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