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Horta ,  April 01, 2009

School marks and schooling levels rise in the Azores

School marks and schooling levels have been rising in the Azores; while early school leaving decreased dramatically, said the Regional Secretary for Education and Training, today, at the Legislative Assembly, in the city of Horta.
Lina Mendes spoke at the debate of the Plan and Budget for 2009, stated that statistic data showed that schooling levels for 15-year-old students “increased in the last decade from 82 to 94%.”
Furthermore, school marks, at the level of basic education, “is placed at an average of 90%, stated the Secretary, adding that; however, the most accentuated augment occurred in secondary education, from 42%, in 2000/2001 for 68.5%, in 2006/2007.
Early school leaving, “declined significantly, it is expected to drop from 1% to 0,5% in a short-term,” stated the Secretary.
Lina Mendes underlined the importance of education and training, as well as sports, “for the development of modern society” and; therefore, she defended that “the best investment is in human capital.” However, she said to be aware that “the effects are only noticed in long-term,” despite “the already evident evolution.”
In this context, it is also fundamental, “the emphasis on vocational training which generated the change of paradigms, being responsible for an increase, year after year, of young people professionally qualified.” The Secretary stated that the number of students in this sector increased more than 100% in eight years, reaching 2,596 students in the school year 2007/2008.
With regard to sports, the Regional Secretary praised the effort that has been developed in the creation of favourable conditions for sports practice, which allowed the duplication of the number of federated athletes in several kinds of sports, already surpassing 20,000 athletes. In order to continue to encourage this practice, the investment, in this area, will be reinforced.
As investment priorities, in short and medium-term, the Regional Secretariat for Education and Training chose to continue the renewal of schools and equipments, the training of human resources, vocational training, information and communication technologies, as well as the development of educational projects.
“In terms of the development of educational infrastructures, several schools will be built and renewed,” said Lina Mendes, announcing the completion of the schools of Vila Franca do Campo and Ponta Garça, on S. Miguel, and the Ferreira Drumond School, in São Sebastião, on Terceira Island.
Alongside, the construction of the schools of Velas, Água de Pau, Rui Galvão de Carvalho, in Rabo de Peixe, and Lajes das Flores will begin. Furthermore, there will be made other interventions in other seven school buildings.
It is also foreseen, the construction of an auditorium in Vila do Porto School, on Santa Maria and the construction of sports pavilions in Maurício de Freitas School, on Flores Island, and in S. Roque School, on Pico. The spaces of Antero de Quental School will also be renewed.
The Secretary also announced the renewal of several schools on several Islands in a joint cooperation with town halls.
The investment in construction and equipments represents about 59.6% of the total budget for the education sector, reaching 35.5 million Euros, which represents an increase of 34.7% relatively to the previous year, “demonstrating the effort of this Government in the improvement of educational infrastructures,” stressed Maria Lina Mendes.
Regarding the training of human resources, the Secretary announced that it will be developed “dynamic training for teaching staff and non-teaching staff, mainly in the use of information technologies and the development of evaluation processes.”
In terms of social support, the public school, “as a means for equal opportunities and for the desired social cohesion, has sought to offer to students a set of supports, ranging from school supplies, meals and transportation.”
For these two areas, the budgeted investment involves an amount of 11.6 million Euros, an amount similar to the one that is intended for vocational training.
Lina Mendes also announced that an investment of half a million Euros for the creation of software “capable of contributing to the improvement of the quality of the services and to the simplicity of the educational and administrative processes of schools.” There will also be another investment of 675 thousand Euros for special schooling, enhancement of artistic education, implementation of the regional curriculum, and the evaluative processes of schools.
“In summary, the value of the investment in the education sector represents a growth of 65% in relation to the previous year, making almost 60 million Euros,” stated the Secretary.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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