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Programs Improving Education

Fruit of experience

With the knowledge accumulated over two decades, the program enlarged its scope in the training of education professionals and consolidated a strategy of educational technologies

Student of a public school in Suzano (SP): the municipal teaching network is one of the partners of the Improving Education program in the development of educational technologies. Photo: Itaú Social

The significant growth in its scope – which more than doubled in number of participants and people benefited – and the consolidation of the strategy of contents with potential for supporting all the Brazilian municipalities are some of the main realizations of the Improving Education program in the year 2020.

Begun in 1999 with the aim of supporting the response to the process of decentralization and municipalization of public education, the Improving Education program understands that ensuring the right to education also takes place through the valorization and continued training of professionals specialized in pedagogical management and administrative management. This mission has been fulfilled through a combined effort, with municipal and regional activity in initiatives of support to municipal and state secretariats of education.

The accumulated knowledge was essential for articulating the quick response demanded by the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attentive listening among teams of the education secretariats and technical partners guided the shift of the training actions into the digital environments, resulting in a larger audience. The Education in Pandemic course was especially created, with contents concerning relevant themes for municipal managers, such as the offer of online pedagogical activities; school meal programs; special education in the inclusive perspective; and school transportation, among other themes. In 2020, the program enjoys the participation of 8,834 educators and managers from 742 municipalities, which was 140% more than the previous year, the same proportion in which the number of people benefited also grew: 3.7 million children, adolescents and young people.

The increased scope occurred in the same year that the program expanded its complexity. The Improving Education program has already passed through three methodological “generations” since its beginning, 21 years ago, when its focus of activity was the small municipalities. The third and current generation of the program began in 2018, when it was reformulated to obtain a greater impact, acting on two fronts. On the municipal front, it works with cities of up to 550 thousand inhabitants, which had more than 10 thousand enrolled elementary students and an Ideb (Basic Education Development Index) below the national or state average. On the regional front it operates with groups of municipalities – organized in consortia, ADEs (Education Development Arrangements) and systems of state-municipal collaboration.

The year 2020 saw the consolidation of the strategy that gave rise to the development of a series of 14 educational technologies aimed at municipal public education. Some of them were implemented and are in use in five cities participating in the pilot project. With contents concerning pedagogy and school management, the first technologies began to be published on the website, where they can be accessed by the education networks of all the 5,570 Brazilian municipalities. This set of accomplishments creates the conditions for a systemic action of Improving Education with the municipalities and selected initiatives for the period 2021–2024.

Another outstanding development this year was an important initiative in cooperation with Undime (National Union of Municipal Education Directors) and partner organizations: Conviva Educação.

Conviva Educação

As a program co-financed by 10 institutes and foundations, Conviva Educação [Living Education] is a virtual environment aimed at strengthening the municipal education managers. It is an initiative of Undime (National Union of Municipal Education Directors), with the support of Consed (National Council of Education Secretariats) and of UNCME (National Union of Municipal Education Boards), which offers resources for training and for information developed based on the perspective of the educational manager. The idea that this should increasingly be the platform’s perspective is reflected in the plans for its coming years. Undime, which today shares the management of the initiative with Itaú Social, should assume the conducting of this virtual environment in 2023.

Point of support

The Improving Education website is the access portal to online training courses offered free of charge to professionals of teaching networks throughout Brazil. Created to be the point of dialogue with public education managers, the platform’s highlight is the set of 14 educational technologies developed in partnership with the municipalities. The first two, already available, are Strategic Planning and Management of People and Resources. Another 12, also focused on pedagogical content, are being transposed to the digital format and will be published during 2021. To help the education secretariats to define priorities, the program also developed the teaching network Self-Diagnosis, a tool also available on the site.

In numbers


municipalities with participants

3,7 million

children, adolescents and young people benefited


education secretariats


participants in training actions
1,152 Municipal Improvement
7,682 Regional Improvement

Avante – Educação e Mobilização Social

Ceert (Centro de Estudos das Relações de Trabalho e Desigualdades)

Cenpec (Centro de Estudos e Pesquisas em Educação, Cultura e Ação Comunitária)

Comunidade Educativa Cedac

H+K Desenvolvimento Humano e Institucional

Icep (Instituto Chapada de Educação e Pesquisa)

Instituto Avisa Lá

IQE (Instituto Qualidade no Ensino)

Instituto Rodrigo Mendes

Oficina Municipal