Idea of ​​creating 4th year of high school in Brazil is resumed – 03/16/2023 – Education

Idea of ​​creating 4th year of high school in Brazil is resumed – 03/16/2023 – Education

The creation of the 4th year of high school is being discussed by educators as one of the strategies for recovering learning in Brazil after the Covid-19 pandemic. The new series was offered to students from the São Paulo state network in 2021 and 2022, as a way of mitigating the losses caused by the prolonged closure of schools.

Linked to the MEC, the National Education Council will suggest to public education networks that they implement the 4th year with optional enrollment for students. This recommendation had been made to the education departments during the pandemic and will now be resumed, according to Luiz Curi, president of the body.

The extra step was part of a series of guidelines defined by the council throughout the pandemic, at the time considered emergency and exceptional in nature, and which should be resumed this year, restructured for the reality of face-to-face teaching.

Another pandemic guideline that will be reinforced for networks is the continuous curriculum. This means that the content of one grade must be taught even if students move on to the next grade.

A 5th grade class, for example, may have to continue learning the content of that grade when it is in the first semester of the 6th grade. The 6th grade subjects would start in the second semester, and so on. With this, in theory, learning deficits can be recomposed throughout school life.

The problem is precisely in high school, when the student finishes basic education with no time to recover the accumulated losses. The 4th year would then be a way to increase the possibility of recovery, as well as to better prepare students for the Enem, for other entrance exams and even for the job market.

Creating a new school grade, however, requires more investment, something beyond the reach of most public education networks in the country. Even in São Paulo, the idea ran into problems of lack of structure and planning and did not take off.

At the end of 2020, the Secretary of Education of SP reported that 31 thousand students had chosen to attend, in 2021, the 4th year of high school, which represented 10% of all students who would graduate at the time. consulted by Sheet, however, the agency’s advisory stated that only 1,800 enrolled. In 2022, there were only 77, which led the government to extinguish the 4th year.

Initiative of the then secretary Rossieli Soares in the Doria government (former PSDB), the 4th year of high school is not in the plans of the Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans) administration. “With the return to face-to-face classes, we understand that there is no longer this need and we are studying other forms of recovery, such as continuous reinforcement and control of school attendance”, said Renato Feder, the new head of the secretariat.


Nicole Agda Vieira Mascarenhas, 20, was one of the students who enrolled in the 4th year in 2021. A resident of Jardim Helena, on the outskirts of the east side of the capital, she says that, until 2020, her class studied in the morning and that she was surprised with the fact that the 4th year was placed as full time, from 2 pm to 7:20 pm.

“When I found out that we would have to stay at school for more than seven hours, I ended up giving up. I took a pound language course in the afternoon, also thinking about a profession, and many were already working or had to work after the pandemic”, he says.

Nicole says she was disappointed with the initiative “due to the state’s lack of preparation”. “The school received an incredible renovation and new materials, such as computers and book collections, from Percy Jackson to Vinicius de Moraes”, she says. “But there was a lack of humanization. We were young adults who had stayed at home for a year, without seeing friends and teachers, and faced with a disadvantaged financial situation.”

For Nicole, the 4th year of high school, in order to function, cannot fail to consider that most students need to work. “It has to be thought of for young adults who want to improve their lives, work, attend technical education, get their driver’s license [carteira nacional de habilitação]”, he states.

The student enrolled in a private college of social sciences, dropped out and is now graduating from a technical nursing assistant course.

The creation of the 4th year of secondary education was also announced by the governments of Rio Grande do Sul and Maranhão. In RS, a recovery program was designed that can be compared to a 4th year, aimed at students who had graduated during the pandemic (2020 and 2021). Called the Escolha Certa Program, it ran from May to December 2022, with classes in mathematics, Portuguese, English, life projects and digital literacy.

In Maranhão, the plan was abandoned. The reason, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Education, was that “there was no adherence by the school community”.

Curi, from the CNE, states that the measure, as well as the expansion of full-time schools, must take into account the different realities of the country and, in particular, the fact that young people need to work. “There must be support policies for all those who have difficulties. Offering a scholarship is a way to keep the student in school and to leave the family calmer”, he says.

According to him, it is also possible to create a version of the scientific initiation scholarship, offered in higher education, for high school students, with the participation of CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development). “Various ideas can help. We cannot give in to the social chaos we inherited, we have to overcome it.”

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