Print version ISSN 0103-4014
STEINER, João E.. Knowledge: future challenges for Brazil. Estud. av. [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.56, pp. 75-90. ISSN 0103-4014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-40142006000100007.
KNOWLEDGE (education, science, technology and innovation) is essential for a society's economic development and well-being. In Brazil, quantitative indicators of scholastic achievement, scientific production and graduate studies have all risen significantly over the last decade. Economic and social indicators, however, have been mediocre at best. This article examines the bottlenecks that prevent knowledge from becoming a more effective driver of social and economic development, as well as some prospective results, particularly those pertaining to the knowledge dimension. Projections of the Human Development Index (HDI) up to the year 2022 are shown, revealing how much development is related to economic growth. If the trends that have been operative in Brazil over the last decades persist, the most probable short-term scenario is one of low quality primary and secondary education coupled with increased social inequality and violence. The desirable scenario, of course, is one of economic growth and decreasing inequality. But this requires, among other things, a better performance in the knowledge sector to overcome the aforementioned bottlenecks - which implies improving the quality of basic education, enhancing higher education in the country's North and Northeast, a significant increase in post-secondary technological education, and the implementation of a policy to stimulate the demand for science, technology and innovation.
Keywords : Knowledge; Education; Science; Innovation; Development; Future.