The Skills for Prosperity has a global strategy focused on gender and social inclusion (GSI) in an active effort to ensure that activities carried out under the programme promote equity, are accessible to the most disadvantaged groups and do not reproduce inequalities and stereotypes.
In the country, the UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity program benefits school communities in general, but there is a recognition that it is necessary to break patterns of discrimination and reduce educational and social inequalities, which affect certain groups more severely, for the teaching of English in Brazil to be more inclusive and equitable.
Thus, the programme’s GSI strategy has black female teachers and students as the main audience, given the overlapping disadvantages for this population (see box below).
- Representativeness in English teaching: only 32% of teachers declare themselves black or brown versus 56% of the country’s total population; 28% did not declare their color or race; women total more than 80%.
- Education: in general, white women (25 years or more) have an average of 9.1 years of formal education, while for black and brown women this average is 7.1 years. Black and brown students (girls and boys) present higher dropout rates, which has implications for their insertion in the world of work. Early pregnancy is one of the reasons: in Brazil, 1 in 7 babies are generated by teenagers.
- Income: in the world of work, in general, black women’s salaries correspond to less than half the salaries of white men with the same level of education.
- Employment: black women represent the largest portion of the unemployed population, a situation that is aggravated in times of crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity programme GSI strategy has the following objectives:
– Supporting the removal of barriers to access education and training for black girls and women;
– Supporting black girls and women to make choices and make informed decisions about education and employment;
– Supporting the creation of an enabling environment for black girls and women to benefit from inclusive economic growth;
– Continuous identification of gaps in available data about the programme’s target audience and search for data collection and analysis to inform decisions made during the course of the programme.
The premise of inclusion permeates the programme’s actions from start to finish — from its conception and construction to reaching disadvantaged groups. The UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity programme is based on inclusive approaches to teacher training, production of teaching materials, development of online platforms and all other actions, which are sensitive to the diversity of students and teachers in relation to race, color, gender , conditions of access to school and online media. Naturally, the GSI issues covered by the programme also cut across the Observatory for the Teaching of the English Language.
Check out some GSI actions already carried out within the scope of the UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity programme:
Internal training for S4P teams
- Racial Literacy Workshop with Professor Aparecida Ferreira, February 2021
- Training on gender issues with Zeenia Faraz and Gillian Cowell, British Council staff, April 2021
Digital Accessibility Guide
- Internal programme content, coordinated by the British Council.
Inclusive Communication Guide
- Developed from research with focus groups carried out with teachers and students from the GSI target audience, coordinated by the Lemann Foundation.
Events and Campaigns
- Webinar “Race, Gender and the Teaching of English in Brazil: for a more inclusive teacher education”, conducted by the British Council
- Communication actions in celebration of the National Day to Combat Racial Discrimination (07/03) and the Latin American and Caribbean Black Women’s Day and the National Day of Tereza de Benguela (07/25)
- Guides produced by Instituto Reúna, took into account GSI issues in the production and review of materials.
- Books produced by Nova Escola took into account GSI issues in the production and revision of materials.
English course for teachers
- LIFT (Language Improvement for Teachers): a course produced by Nova Escola takes into account the needs of public school teachers.
You may want to read more about Gender and Social Inclusion
Teaching English to girls and black students: problems faced even before the pandemic
The crisis of the new coronavirus made access to education difficult for black and poor students. In English teaching, it is necessary to consider issues that have already distanced this group from learning the language.
Brazilian indigenous people and the English language
Teaching English as a language of intercultural relations requires respect for the cultural identities and linguistic realities of each people
Webinar addresses the English language as a skill to reduce inequalities
Online event will take place on October 28th, from 9am to 1pm; sign up
ELT Observatory Podcast
Six-episode series brings content about teaching and learning English in Brazil