For a person to have a complete education, it is necessary to ensure full mastery of three skills involving complementary thought: reading, writing and mathematics. How can we make this encounter happen?

  • We believe that, even in challenging contexts, we need to come up with solutions that add up and multiply these areas of knowledge.


The context

Brazil is a continent-sized country. Its potentials, however, are commensurate with its challenges. There are many examples of this imbalance, and the findings of recent research studies are alarming. According to the index of functional alphabetization (INAF 2018), only 12% of all working-age people in Brazil are considered fully able to understand and to express themselves through letters and numbers. Only 4.52% of high school students are adequately skilled at mathematics, while for the Portuguese language this figure is 1.62%, according to the Basic Education Evaluation System (SAEB 2017). The same index reveals that less than half of the children reach adequate levels of proficiency in mathematics and reading by the end of third grade.

  • For Itaú Social, initiatives that promote the social use of reading, writing and mathematics are strategic investments, since mastery of these key skills provide access to the other areas of knowledge.



The Letters and Numbers program proposes promoting initiatives that approach reading, writing and and mathematics as tools for citizenship, thereby shifting the established view that they are “mere subjects” to an understanding that they are essential elements for living fully in society.