AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

From Bytes to Classrooms: How Technology and Data are Transforming Brazil’s Public Education

The educational problem in Brazil is the size of the country: enormous. Only 14% of students learn what they are supposed to learn in mathematics and only 30% in Portuguese by the end of middle school (ninth year). That means that only a small percentage of students exit middle school able to read the news and understand it, calculate change, or communicate and exchange ideas properly.

QEdu exists to reverse this scenario and support the improvement of Brazilian education by using technology and data. Through Portal QEdu and QEdu Provas, the organization provides teachers and students with information that was never visible before, in ways that are clear and actionable.

  • Portal QEdu supports management decisions to improve public policies by giving life to data. The platform contextualizes national results, providing actionable and specific information. It also encourages collaboration among schools by providing actionable information for teachers and principals, supporting them to act on the points that most need attention in their schools.
  • QEdu Provas aims to reduce costs, complexity, and time spent grading assessments while providing more and better data for multiple stakeholders – ranging from teachers to educational department secretaries. Through its pilot within four cities, QEdu Provas supported principals and teachers to generate action plans based on the reports and received requests from students to use online assessments. The City of Caieiras, for instance, applied online assessments for young children (5th grade, 10-11 year olds) with no major usage issues. In Taubate, another city in the State of São Paulo, schools from both vulnerable and safe areas used the tool smoothly. Also, kids with special needs benefited from the solution, since it increased the focus and provided some resources not available through traditional assessments, such as zoom, colored graphs and maps, and more. Lastly, school principals took ownership of the results, leading discussions with teachers about what to do with the results and creating actionable plans to solve the most challenging issues. The four pilot cities are discussing the results and using them to trigger changes in the learning process. Watch this video, where the principal from a public school discusses the results and how it helped to improve the literacy level of students.

“This journey is 1% finished and technology is what will enable us to scale,” said César Wedemann, Chief Executive Officer, QEdu. “In the beginning, we had a lot of beliefs. We believed this could change education in Brazil. And now we are confident that, if we bring technology and data to the public schools of Brazil and use them to empower teachers to be the true protagonists of this improvement process, we can make a difference.”

With its mission set on making an impact within the schools of Brazil and growing its reach to as many students as possible, QEdu went all-in on the AWS Cloud. QEdu currently runs on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Route53, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon CloudWatch.

“It would not be possible for us to scale and build new services as fast as we did without relying on the cloud. As an EdTech startup, we build and test things very fast and for us it would not be possible – either for costs or for speed – not having our infrastructure built on the cloud,” said César. “As a startup, we needed to focus on the core aspects of our business and, in general, infrastructure should not be one of them.”

At our Imagine Conference, César discussed using data to improve Brazil’s education system by providing national leaders and policy makers with actionable information, as well as providing schools with new assessment and testing tools that are improving student engagement and results. Watch this video to learn more.