Brazilian students to access new teaching methods

A public school in Xapuri, in northern Brazil

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through its Opportunities for the Majority initiative, has approved a $5 million loan to Mind Lab do Brasil (“Mind Lab”) to expand its operations and bring its innovative educational methodologies to more public and private schools in Brazil. Over the next six years, the company expects to reach more than 160,000 additional students, most of them living at the base of the economic pyramid.

Students from families living at the base of the pyramid constitute nearly 80 percent of public school enrollment in Brazil. However, the traditional memorization approach used in most schools is not adequately preparing these students with the critical thinking skills they will need to get jobs that can lift them out of poverty.

Mind Lab, originally founded in Israel, develops and commercializes educational material as well as teacher training programs to promote the development of students’ cognitive, social and emotional skills. It currently serves more than 870 Brazilian primary and secondary schools, reaching more than 350,000 students, 65 percent of whom attend public schools.

“There is an immense need to develop and implement new educational methodologies, which help to develop critical skills in students, such as team work, creative thinking and problem solving, in order to prepare students to be successful,” said Susan Olsen, IDB Project Team Leader.

“For Mind Lab, it is very important to work with partners such as the Inter-American Development Bank in order to support the expansion of this educational model. We believe that there is great need to promote access to increased socio-emotional training and skill building opportunities not only in Brazil, but across Latin America,” said Valmir Pereira, CEO of Mind Lab.

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