Hydro is a partner & nbsp; of the municipal administration of Barcarena, in Pará, in a program aimed at increasing the frequency and school performance of children and young people in the region. It is in Barcarena that the largest alumina refinery in the world, Hydro Alunorte, operates.
Education as the greatest challenge
Brazil has been introducing important reforms in the education sector in recent years. However, the quality of schooling & nbsp; is still a concern and school dropout levels remain high. According to IBGE, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 44% of Brazilians over 14 years of age, in the northern region, do not complete high school, which places the region in the penultimate place in the national ranking.
Recent data on younger students, however, are more optimistic. In Barcarena, where Hydro introduced its program, Semed - Municipal Secretary of Education reveals an important reduction in the level of school dropout in elementary school. While in 2002 the dropout rate in primary education (6 to 14 years old) was 14.7%, in 2013 that rate dropped to 4%.
Cizídio Ricardo Costa, coordinator of Semed's Environmental Education Program, says that the educational program sponsored by Hydro is a positive contribution. “We realized that students start to work harder to excel in and out of school, with the hope of being chosen to participate in the program. Parents also get involved and give us the necessary feedback. The result is positive for everyone involved: school, students and families. ”
The soccer team Alunorte Rain Forest (ARF) & nbsp; is just one component of the educational program "Bola pra Frente, Educação pra Gente", which is much more comprehensive, & nbsp; acting as a motivating element for thousands of students to work hard at school, hoping to be selected for the team.
To be selected for the team that will play in the Norwegian Cup, players must show good results in three areas: skills with the ball, good behavior and good school performance. Students from Barcarena who demonstrate excellent results at school also have the chance to go to Norway, as the winner of the educational award of the year travels with the football team to that Nordic country.
This year, 40 schools with a total of three thousand students signed up to participate in the program. Throughout the year, students from partner schools attend lectures on topics such as the environment, drug prevention and school violence.