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Brazilian government revisits technology education program

After suffering a series of budgetary cuts, the Pronatec project will now be expanded

The Brazilian government is relaunching one of its flagship schemes, the National Program for Access to Technical Education and Employment (Pronatec).

Pronatec is focused on low-income young Brazilians and has played an important role in creating entry-level skills to fill the country's existing expertise gap in the IT sector.

According to Education minister (and former Science and Technology minister) Aloizio Mercadante, the intention going forward is to allow participants to study the technical curricula at the same time as high school.

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The program thus far has been available only to students who completed adult education at a later date, so uptake has been lower than expected.

Some 26,000 public schools across the country will have modules of the program available. Since 2015, Pronatec has had 1,3 million registered students.

With the relaunch, the intention is to offer 2 million places this year, out of the total 5 million to be made available for the period 2016-2019.

The initial aim for Pronatec - one of the cornerstones of the campaign of president Dilma Rousseff and a program that suffered significant budgetary cuts as a result of recent major reductions in government spending, was to make 12 million places available by 2018.