A revista Economist apresenta esta semana um estudo sobre a eficiência dos sistemas de ensino dos países da OCDE. Pouco surpreendentemente para um sistema fortemente estatizado e centralizado, Portugal encontra-se numa das últimas posições do ranking (24 em 30). As conclusões do estudo para Portugal são óbvias: Portugal é pouco eficiente na gestão dos recursos educativos com demasiados professores para os resultados que são obtidos. Por outro lado, faltam investimentos noutras áreas que teriam um maior retorno na melhoria dos resultados dos alunos, incluindo formação profissional contínua aos professores e suporte de outros profissionais do sector. O relatório completo está aqui, mas fica um excerto do artigo da Economist:
EDUCATION is flush with data comparisons, from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) run by the OECD, a mainly rich-world think-tank, which ranks 15-year-olds in core subjects every three years, to TIMSS and PIRLS, tests of younger pupils’ mathematics, science and reading levels administered by national research institutions. But such pecking orders cannot tell governments how much they should spend on education, or what the money should go on.(…)Two new pieces of research shine light on these questions.(…)
Taking into account teachers’ pay, class sizes and pupils’ PISA scores, the former Soviet-bloc countries, notably the Czech Republic and Hungary, are highly efficient. The Mediterranean countries—Greece, Portugal and Spain—are strikingly not.
The link between results and teachers’ pay is surprisingly weak(…)Education spending depends not only on what teachers earn, but on how many of them there are—and in many places that number is rising, as rich countries cut class sizes in the hope that children will learn more. Parents, convinced that their children will do better with fewer classmates, are keen on the policy, too. But again, the data provide little support.(…)
Portugal, one of Europe’s laggards, has just half as many pupils per teacher as Finland (partly because the number of teachers did not drop as birth rates fell). Only when classes become truly unwieldy do outcomes seem to suffer: along with Brazil, the other country with a higher pupil-teacher ratio than Korea is Chile, which also has poor results.
Adam Still of GEMS thinks that many of the highest spenders have probably passed “peak efficiency”—the point at which more money brings diminishing returns.
E sobre a suposta necessidade de atirar dinheiro para a educação para obter resultados, a análise também é clara:
Andreas Schleicher, the data-gatherer who oversees PISA, reckons that differences in spending explain less than a fifth of the variation in countries’ outcomes. Such conclusions run counter to the claims of teaching unions, which generally argue that smaller classes and higher pay are essential if outcomes are to improve.
E a conclusão:
Giving teachers plenty of support as they enter the classroom, and continuing their training throughout their careers, will be more effective than increasing their numbers—and cheaper.