26 Jul 2013
News : A leading Brazilian developer has launched its own school to help construction workers to read and write.
The EcoHouse Group has opened the Elilde Armstrong School in north east Brazil to provide a basic education for those staff who have missed out on schooling.
The school, which is free to attend and has elementary and middle school levels, is being run in partnership with the Rio Grande do Norte state government’s education body, Serviço Social da Indústria (SESI).
Illiteracy levels in Brazil are at around 12% and more than half of over 15-year-olds who cannot read and write live in the North East region.
EcoHouse Group, which builds Minha Casa, Minha Vida government-backed affordable home communities, serviced offices and other residential units in Brazil,which are marketed to overseas investors, wants to help improve the lives of employees.
CEO Anthony Armstrong Emery, says, “We will improve the lives of many people who have not previously had these opportunities. EcoHouse has always prided itself on offering a better quality life of to its employees.”
The school, which is named after Mr Armstrong Emery’s wife Elilde, holds reading and writing classes before and after work and at lunchtime and there has been a strong demand from workers. Students are provided with a school T-shirt and all the books they need.
At the end of the course, successful students will be presented with official Ministry of Education certificates.
Lorraine Violet, of EcoHouse, has told OPP Connect, “Elilde is involved in the community and works in the community and wanted to start a project that would help the workers.
“It is open to everyone who wants to attend. A lot of people in Brazil have not had the opportunity to finish their high school diploma.”
Many Brazilians have been prevented from attending school as they were forced to begin working at an early age, their family could not afford to buy books and the uniform or they had to drop out.
“It is very exciting for people to be given the opportunity to finish high school education. It opens up future opportunities, the possibility of university or other options.”
SESI provides all that is needed in the classroom, including the teachers. EcoHouse looks after the administration and registration requirements.
EcoHouse employs more than 1,000 staff around the world in eight countries. Its head office is in Natal, Brazil.