After being back in Boston for more than a week, I thought I would provide a quick summary of some of things that stood out from our study tour in Brazil. One of the early highlights of the trip was the Innovations in the Business of Education event presented by MIT Sloan in one of Sao Paulo’s art museums. We had an amazing line up speakers including MIT Sloan Deputy S.P. Kothari who flew all the way to Brazil for just this event. I don’t know the official attendance number but it seemed like there was at least 200 people, all packed into the auditorium to listen to more than 3 hours of lectures and panel discussions about the education system in Brazil. Pretty impressive for a Wednesday night!
Another highlight from the trip was our visit with Fundacao CERTI in Florianopolis, where we saw many of the interesting technologies that have come out of the organization. Examples included an electronic voting machine used throughout the country to calculate election results and a portable device that combines a projector with a computer to reduce the amount of time it takes a teacher to setup a classroom.
However, the most notable aspect of the trip was the broad agreement surrounding the importance of improving the quality of education in Brazil from nearly everyone we spoke with. This is especially true when you consider the fact that we spoke with individuals from a variety of different backgrounds ranging from federal and state government officials, teachers and business leaders.
Finally, I would just like to thank the four student organizers and the two MIT faculty advisors who put together such an amazing trip. Thanks again!