Social and cultural investments

Instituto Unibanco

Focus on high school education

The actions of Instituto Unibanco are focused on improving the performance of young high school students in Brazilian public schools, as well as on reducing dropout rates in this stage.

By developing technologies and methodologies that result in increased retention and better performance of young people at school, the institute targets one of the most important Brazilian social problems: social inequality.

The technologies and methodologies developed by the institute aim to enhance policies and practices in effect in public schools and their efficiency is tested by impact evaluations carried out by independent evaluators. They are available for governments and civil society organizations and are developed so as to allow their application in different circumstances.

For Instituto Unibanco, the educational and professional orientation provided to youngsters is essential for the training of more skilled adults with a critical mind and capable of promoting positive changes for society. For this reason, during its trajectory, the institution has been dedicated to developing qualification projects for public high schools from all regions of Brazil, fostering and strengthening partnerships with the many governmental spheres and organizations from civil society in the search for better educational quality for Brazilian youngsters. (SO5)

The objective of the institute is to directly or indirectly provide for better academic performance, in addition to encouraging the continuity of their studies at least through the end of the basic cycle. To make this possible in different states, a public commitment was made between Instituto Unibanco and the education departments, the purpose of which is to work towards improving education based on formal educational indicators. The approach adopted for achieving this objective is the conception and confirmation of strategies that help improve public policies and educational practices in effect in Brazilian schools. The process, developed together with state governments and organizations from civil society, results in the creation of educational technologies for free distribution in school systems.(SO5)

An example of a joint action between the institute and education departments, which is dedicated to improving students’ achievement rates and reducing dropout rates, is PEJ, developed in 2007 by Instituto Unibanco in partnership with the state education departments of Rio de Janeiro (State of Rio de Janeiro), Vitória (State of Espírito Santo), Juiz de Fora (State of Minas Gerais), Campinas (State of São Paulo) and Brasilia (Federal District).

This project provides tutoring for students who have just entered high school, allowing them to review the subjects in which their achievement rates have been unsatisfactory since elementary and middle school.  This tutoring is provided to avoid an inadequate knowledge base that would impede the understanding of new subjects, increasing the gap and discouraging the continuation of their studies.

Tutoring programs in Portuguese Language and Mathematics are offered outside school hours. The tutors are university students from teaching courses who, by participating in the initiative, have the opportunity to improve their professional education.  In 2010,PEJserved 246 schools and benefited over 20,000 youngsters.

The Jovem de Futuro (Youths with a Future) program, another action developed by Instituto Unibanco, is also supported by state education departments.  Its objective is to provide school managers and school community agents with proper training and tools to establish a model of permanent mobilization and management in search of better performance results and graduation rates. Based on an evaluation method, educational institutions identify needs and deficiencies in every aspect of the school life (average grades, teacher profiles, management routines and facilities) and then determine their own planning matrices.  In 2010, the program reached 98 public schools in Greater São Paulo, Vale do Paraíba (State of São Paulo), Rio de Janeiro (State of Rio de Janeiro), Greater Belo Horizonte (State of Minas Gerais), and Greater Porto Alegre (State of Rio Grande do Sul), impacting around 140,000 young people.

To participate in the Jovem de Futuro Program, the schools must formalize their adherence, which, in practice, represents a commitment to the targets established for improving performance and reducing the dropout rates of their students. The financial support corresponds to R$100 per student, per year, directly transferred to the Parent-Teacher Association (or similar entity), which is responsible for the financial control and accountability. Each school determines its own planning matrix, identifying deficiencies, needs and the quality parameters they intend to reach in each aspect of school life – such as school performance, teaching practices, school climate, administrative routines, and facilities and equipment. This matrix is the basis for planning the actions and determining the targets that will make up the program and will serve to leverage results that support the main objectives of improving performance and reducing dropout rates of students.  Due to its open nature, Jovem de Futuro may combine many additional projects and initiatives when composing individual educational solutions for schools from the public system. (SO1)

During the entire operation of the Jovem de Futuro Program, the educational indicators are evaluated and monitored at schools. The school performance gains of students are verified by an evaluation system developed by the institute, based on the Basic Education Evaluation System (Saeb), at the end of high school, comparing the results of junior students of the school in any Saeb test applied in the year zero of the project – that is, the year prior to its beginning.   If the school had not participated in these kinds of tests in the period, the institute provides for the preparation and application of a corresponding test for this purpose. (SO1)

In the first year, there were three evaluations – at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the school year – to obtain indications of the progress of students and the need for adjustments of methods and action strategies. They also serve as a cut off parameter for the participating schools, since the improvement in the performance of students is a precondition for the continuity of the school in the project. A new follow up test takes place at the end of the second year and another one at the end of the third and last years. The dropout rates are measured based on a comparison of the withdrawal rates recorded in the year zero of the project with the rates presented at the end of the third year.(SO1)

The schools know exactly when the programs will begin and end but, for the education departments to make use of this social technology, Instituto Unibanco is developing a methodology for the transfer of theoretical and practical knowledge to the departments.   Therefore, they will be able to implement the initiative in all of their schools when the institute is no longer around. The institute’s withdrawal is gradual over a period of up to three years, thus avoiding a sudden termination of the relationship.(SO1)


Main projects developed by Instituto Unibanco in 2010 (EC8, SO1)

Instituto Unibanco Total (R$) Description and results
Jovem de Futuro program 18,209,370.00 The Jovem de Futuro program comprises actions, methods and technologies that offer high schools a comprehensive and participative management model focused on results.  It is based on the training of a management group composed of members of the school community itself to create a Quality Improvement Plan to be implemented over three years with the technical and financial support of the institute. Currently, it is being developed in the following regions:  Greater Belo Horizonte, Greater Porto Alegre, Greater São Paulo, Vale do Paraíba, and Greater Rio de Janeiro.  In 2009, it was implemented in 86 schools with the participation of 69,553 students.  In 2010, the project reached 138,143 students from 98 schools.
Entre Jovens program 7,780,440.00 PEJ consists of technology created by Instituto Unibanco and developed in partnership with state education departments.  It is aimed at facing the academic obstacles to attending high school (lack of the basic skills of elementary and middle school) that a large number of students face and that is responsible for poor performances and, in many cases, dropouts.  PEJ offers complementary education to freshmen of public high schools through tutoring programs provided by university students from teaching courses.  The periodic monitoring evaluations showed that the performance of the students who participate in the project is five points higher. This can be considered a very significant result given the short time of intervention: six months, with three months of activity in each school semester. Currently, it is in place in: Vitória (State of Espírito Santo), Juiz de Fora (State of Minas Gerais), Brasília (Federal District), Rio de Janeiro (State of Rio de Janeiro) and Campinas (State of São Paulo). In 2009, the program was implemented in 157 schools.  In 2010, this number rose to 246 schools.
Sponsored projects: many social education initiatives carried out by other organizations 3,489,945.00 Support for many social education initiatives carried out by other organizations
Financial education 684,146.00 The institute realized that to reduce school dropout rates advising younths in the public school system to continue studying and working was not enough; it was necessary to show them how to deal with money in a cautious way, helping to increase their family income and creating a perspective for the future based on financial planning.  With this objective, Instituto Unibanco has, since 2008, been working on the Estratégia Nacional de Educação Financeira (National Financial Education Strategy ‒ Enef), established by the federal government in partnership with the main regulatory bodies of the financial system.  The objective of Enef is to have financial education included as a school subject.  For this purpose, the Diretrizes de Orientações Curriculares para Educação Financeira nas Escolas (Curricular Guidelines and Directions for Financial Education in Schools) were prepared – a document that has already been approved by the MEC. In the second phase of theFinancial Educationprogram, Instituto Unibanco prepared the teaching material for high school students and teachers.  The first module deals with individual and family-level finances, the second deals with finances from society’s point of view, and the third addresses topics related to public policies.
Centro de Estudos Tomas Zinner (Tomas Zinner Study Center) 682,320.00 Located in a large green area in Jardim Esmeralda, in São Paulo, near the Unibanco Administrative Center, the Centro de Estudos Tomas Zinner (Tomas Zinner Study Center) has computerized classrooms, reading areas and an auditorium with multimedia equipment.  Created and supported by Instituto Unibanco, it develops activities aimed at testing and validating educational technologies to be applied in projects focused on improving the quality of high school education, reducing school dropout rates and including youngsters in the labor market, specifically in the sphere of the Lei de Aprendizagem (Learning Law).  In addition to working, through its pilot projects, as a laboratory of proposals to improve public policies in the education area, the center promotes social and educational activities and makes its infrastructure available to the local community.
Núcleo Amigo do Professor (Teacher-Friendly Center) 2,143,322.00 The Núcleo Amigo do Professor is a center of Plug Minas (Digital Education and Experimentation Center), which pursues social development through education combined with the use of Information and Communication Technology.  The center’s objective is to reduce school dropout rates and increase the graduation and performance rates of students of public high schools in the State of Minas Gerais.  All the courses are free of charge and certified by the Government of the State of Minas Gerais.
Total 32,989,543.00