Society

What can a school’s infrastructure tell us about the quality of its education?

brazil education inequality enem pisa scores performance
Brazil’s education system reflects country’s inequality. Photo: Suami Dias/ GOVBA

Brazil’s National High School Exam (Enem) was created in 1998 as a way to test the quality of high school education. It has since been turned into Brazil’s main college acceptance exam, and is used by most of the country’s federal universities.

Unsurprisingly, Enem scores reflect deep divisions of class, race, and gender within Brazilian society. Over 70 percent of the exam’s best scores belong to males whose parents have at least a college education. Of course, while it may not be news that a student’s social and economic background plays a large role in educational performance, it...

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