This information is unprecedent in Brazil and is essential to improving the quality of education.
The objective of this project is to create an index that could quantify the number of functional illiterates in the country.
Through establishing a National Functional Literacy Index proposes to supply information to governmental and non-governmental organizations engaged in improving the quality of schooling in Brazil. This is an unprecedent initiative in the country, by which the Paulo Montenegro Institute intends to help quantify the extent of the problem and stimulate public debate about it.
In order to define the methodology to be used to establish the National Functional Literacy Index, the Institute assembled several specialists in education, Brazilians and foreigners, and, in March 2001, promoted the first International Seminar on Functional Illiteracy.
In December of the same year, the first results of the project were presented, a result of a study made in partnership with Ação Educativa, a non-governmental organization with over twenty years experience in education.
Of all the results obtained, one draws special attention: only 26% of the Brazilian population between 15 and 64 years of age, have a full grasp of reading and writing.
The National Functional Literacy Index will be published yearly. However, every year, the abilities to be studied may vary. At the end of 2002, the Paulo Montenegro Institute presented the results of its research about the numeracy ability of Brazilians applied to everyday life. In 2003, the study about reading and writing must be reviewed and compared to the current one, and so forth.