Chapter 3

Education, Culture and Sports


Section 1: Education

Article 205. Education, which is the right of all and duty of the State and of the family, shall be promoted and fostered with the cooperation of society, with a view to the full development of the person, his preparation for the exercise of citizenship and his qualification for work.

Article 206. Education shall be provided on the basis of the following principles:

  1. equal conditions of access and permanence in school;
  2. freedom to learn, teach, research and express thought, art and knowledge;
  3. pluralism of pedagogic ideas and conceptions and coexistence of public and private teaching institutions;
  4. free public education in official schools;
  5. appreciation of the value of school education professionals, guaranteeing, in accordance with the law, career schemes for public school teachers, with admittance exclusively by means of public entrance examinations consisting of tests and presentation of academic and professional credentials;
  6. democratic administration of public education, in the manner prescribed by law
  7. guarantee of standards of quality
  8. a nationwide professional minimum salary for public school teachers, under the terms of a federal law.

The law shall provide for the classes of workers to be considered basic education professionals, as well as for the deadline for the preparation or adaptation of their career schemes, within the sphere of the Federal Government, the States, the Federal District, and the Municipalities.

Article 207. The universities shall have didactic, scientific, administrative, financial and property management autonomy and shall comply with the principle of non-dissociation of teaching, research and extension. (CA No. 11, 1996)

Paragraph 1. The universities are permitted to hire foreign professors, technicians and scientists as provided by law.

Paragraph 2. The provisions of this article apply to scientific and technological research institutions.

Article 208. The duty of the State towards education shall be fulfilled by ensuring the following:

  1. mandatory basic education, free of charge, for every individual from the age of 4 (four) through the age of 17 (seventeen), including the assurance of its free offer to all those who did not have access to it at the proper age
  2. progressive universalization of the free high-school education;
  3. specialized schooling for the handicapped, preferably in the regular school system
  4. infant education to children of up to 5 (five) years of age in day-care centers and pre-schools
  5. access to higher levels of education, research and artistic creation according to individual capacity
  6. provision of regular night courses adequate to the conditions of the student
  7. assistance to students in all grades of basic education, by means of supplementary programmes providing school materials, transportation, food, and health care.

Paragraph 1. The access to compulsory and free education is a subjective public right.

Paragraph 2. The competent authority shall be liable for the failure of the Government in providing compulsory education, or providing it irregularly.

Paragraph 3. The Government has the power to take a census of elementary school students, call them for enrollment and ensure that parents or guardians see to their children’s attendance to school.

Article 209. Teaching is open to private enterprise, provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. compliance with the general rules of national education;
  2. authorization and evaluation of quality by the Government.

Article 210. Minimum curricula shall be established for elementary schools in order to ensure a common basic education and respect for national and regional cultural and artistic values.

Paragraph 1. The teaching of religion is optional and shall be offered during the regular school hours of public elementary schools.

Paragraph 2. Regular elementary education shall be given in the Portuguese language and Indian communities shall also be ensured the use of their native tongues and their own learning methods.

Article 211. The Union, the states, the Federal District and the municipalities shall cooperate in the organization of their educational systems.

Paragraph 1. The Union shall organize the federal educational system and that of the Territories, shall finance the federal public educational institutions and shall have, in educational matters, a redistributive and supplementary function, so as to guarantee the equalization of the educational opportunities and a minimum standard of quality of education, through technical and financial assistance to the states, the Federal District and the municipalities.

Paragraph 2. The municipalities shall act on a priority basis in elementary education and in the education of children.

Paragraph 3. The states and the Federal District shall act on a priority basis in elementary and secondary education.

Paragraph 4. In the organization of respective educational systems, the Federal Government, the States, the Federal District, and the Municipalities shall establish forms of cooperation, so as to guarantee the universalization of mandatory education.

Paragraph 5. Public basic education shall give priority to regular education.

Article 212. The Union shall apply, annually, never less than eighteen percent, and the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities, at least twenty-five percent of the tax revenues, including those resulting from transfers, in the maintenance and development of education.

Paragraph 1. The share of tax revenues, transferred by the Union to the states, the Federal District and the municipalities, or by the states to the respective municipalities, shall not be considered, for purposes of the calculation provided by this article, as revenues of the government which transfers it.

Paragraph 2. For purposes of compliance with the head paragraph of this article, the federal, state and municipal educational systems, as well as the funds applied in accordance with article 213 shall be taken into consideration.

Paragraph 3. In the distribution of public funds, priority shall be given to the providing for the needs of compulsory education, as regards universalization, assurance of quality standards, and equality, as set forth in the national education plan.

Paragraph 4. The supplementary food and health assistance programmes provided by article 208, VII, shall be financed with funds derived from social contributions and other budgetary funds.

Paragraph 5. Public basic education shall have, as an additional source of financing, the social contribution for education, a payroll tax levied on companies, as provided by law.

Paragraph 6. State and municipal quotas of the proceeds from the collection of the social contribution for education shall be distributed in proportion to the number of students enrolled in basic education in the respective public school systems.

Article 213. Public funds shall be allocated to public schools, and may be channelled to community, religious or philantropic schools, as defined by law, which:

  1. prove that they do not seek profit and that they apply their surplus funds in education
  2. ensure that their assets shall be assigned to another community, religious or philantropic schools, or to the Government in case they cease their activities.

Paragraph 1. The funds provided by this article may be allocated to elementary and secondary school scholarships, as provided by law, for those who prove insufficiency of means, when there are no vacancies or no regular courses are offered in the public school system of the place where the student lives, the Government being placed under the obligation to invest, on a priority basis, in the expansion of the public system of the locality.

Paragraph 2. Research and extension activities at university level may receive financial support from the Government.

Article 214. The law shall establish a ten-year national education plan, with a view to organizing the national education system with the cooperation of states and municipalities, as well as to defining implementation directives, objectives, targets, and strategies so as to ensure maintenance and development of teaching, at its various levels, grades, and modalities, by means of integrated federal, state, and municipal government actions leading to:

  1. eradication of illiteracy;
  2. universalization of school assistance;
  3. improvement of the quality of education;
  4. professional training;
  5. humanistic, scientific and technological advancement of the country;
  6. stipulation of an amount of public funds to be invested in education as a proportion of the gross domestic product.


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