This article discusses the meaning of secondary education as the final stage in basic education, considering the Brazilian socioeconomic and educational reality, in which a large proportion of the children in the popular classes need to work before the age of 18. It assumes that the objective to be reached in the perspective of a fair society is the omnilateral, integral or polytechnic formation for all, in a public and egalitarian way, and under the responsibility of the state. Despite this representation of the utopia to be searched, the current reality is very far from such formative perspective. In this work, therefore, we question: is it possible to move in this direction, even in a capitalist and peripheral society such as Brazil? Having this question as a guideline, we discuss secondary education integrated to secondary-level technical professional education as a possibility of changing towards the intended formation for Brazilian youngsters. The study was developed having as a reference the thought of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and of Antonio Gramsci, as well as that of authors that dialogue with them. The analysis conducted made it possible to conclude that the Brazilian socio-economic reality requires, from a theoretical and ethical-political point of view, that we conceive and materialize a kind of secondary education that will guarantee a unique basis for all, founded in the integral human formation, and having as its backbone the work, the science, the technology, and the culture. Once such basis is guaranteed, we also need that secondary education integrated into secondary-level technical professional education is offered as a possibility of formation.
Integrated secondary education; Integral human formation; Polytechnic; Omnilaterality