The educational system in Brazil is compulsory for children ages 7 to 14. Brazil has both public and private sectors in education. Public education is free to all Brazilians. Private schooling is not free. The government gives 25% of its revenue to the public schooling system and some to the private . Significant changes have been made in Brazil's education structure in the past 25 years, however, there is still a long battle to fight for the educational development in Brazil. Public schools in Brazil are not well cared for. The building structures, plumbing, and heating are usually in terrible condition. Many schools lack equipment needed and resources. In the Northeast region of Brazil, teachers are not well educated to teach. Many of them have not completed primary school themselves. Poverty and lack of schooling contribute to a vicious cycle of illiteracy in Brazil. Some areas of Brazil have more than half of the population that cannot write their own name. The country's private schools, however, are in a much better state as more money is given to them and educated teachers work for these institutions.
Children are required to attend school, however, many of them do not. In the major city centers children do attend public school, however, these are not all the children. Usually, children of rich or middle class families attend school. Most children from well off families attend private schools unlike the children from poor families. Poor children have to work and cannot go to school because they have to support their families. Others, living in remote areas have to travel a long distance to get to school and therefore, usually do not attend. The dropout rate in Brazil is very high; 33 out of every 100 students who enter grade one make it to grade six. The numbers continue to drop in high school as well. Another issue that prohibits children from receiving an education are the availability of facilities. Many children want to go to school, however, there is not a school they can go to. Sometimes schools are too far to travel to or there are not enough classrooms in a school for all children to attend. School hours are sometimes divided into three sessions during the day so that all children have an opportunity to attend for at least part of the day. Usually, this sharing of the classrooms happens in the cities. The more affluent regions provide better education for their people.
Today, the government is trying to improve the education system of Brazil. Brazil still has a huge foreign debt. Much of the country's money goes to pay off the national debt, leaving little for the education systems. Since 1998, reform efforts have made high school free and they are allocating 18% of the countries total budget to education. These efforts are made in hopes that the literacy level will increase. The future of Brazil is dependent on the development of their education system.