Manoel Andrade

Ashoka Fellow
Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil
Fellow Since 2004


This profile was prepared when Manoel Andrade was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Manoel’s program introduces the idea of peer-to-peer teaching, where rural youth are empowered to share their unique knowledge with other students so everyone can get ahead. This principal program strategy is based on research indicating that people who both learn and teach a subject absorb and retain 80 percent more than those who simply take in information. By emphasizing collaborative learning, the program instills in rural youth a commitment to self-reliance, community responsibility, and professional development.
Some 32 million Brazilians live in rural areas, where the average 15-year-old attends just over three years of school. As a result, 27 percent of rural adults are illiterate. Manoel realized that to improve these statistics, he would have to change the way rural populations access education. Manoel’s program targets disadvantaged rural youth and assists them to complete elementary and secondary school—with the hope they will continue on to the university. The program builds from one goal to the next: the first step is to help students pass a high school equivalency exam, and the next is to prepare for university admission. As university students, program participants help instruct subsequent generations of young people from their home communities. In doing so, they build and maintain a direct connection between rural youth and academic institutions, with the ultimate goal of promoting self-sufficiency and educational achievement.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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