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/* Basic and Secondary Education */
==== Basic and Secondary Education ====
The education system in Portugal is regulated by the state through the [ Ministry of Education and Science] (MEC) headed by [ Minister Nuno Crato], becoming his team for four secretaries of state, namely: Higher Education, Science, Education and School Administration and of the Basic and Secondary Education. The MEC defines, coordinates, implements and evaluates policies on education, from primary to higher education, and of science and is also responsible for the qualification and professional training. As for policy priorities of Education and Science it highlight the creation of a culture of rigor and assessment at all levels of education, the granting of autonomy to schools and parents freedom to choose what they want for their children, increased educational achievement and quality of education, the reorganization of higher education institutions and quality of courses and invest in excellence to enhance science. According to Education MEC determines the future of the country and should generate equal opportunities for future generations, assuming Education as a public service and upholding universal principles as the effort, discipline and autonomy. Also believes that higher education is essential for the country's development and that the quality of graduates and research institutions is done in the engine of wealth , cultural and economic creation. The quantitative increase in higher education should be complemented with a qualitative increase, allowing adjust supply to the needs by rationalizing existing the network of institutions and courses. Sets that science is an area where the country has given clear evidence of international competitiveness and the technology is now essentially from scientific origin, and science is the fundamental basis of scientific development. The careful investment in research and training of scientists and technical excellence is an essential pillar of national development. Regarding the evaluation it considers that students, teachers, institutions, courses, researchers and projects should be evaluated regularly.<ref>Ministério da Educação, Sobre o Ministério da Educação e da Ciência, governo de Portugal in</ref>
Education policy is the responsibility of:
* the Ministry of Education and the Science (MEC), and all four secretaries - Higher Education, Science, Education and School Administration and of the Basic and Secondary Education - at national level;
* the Regional Directorates for Education at regional level;
* the local authorities at local level (in the 1st cycle of basic education Municipalities are the authorities responsible for the operation of schools and placement of non-teaching staff).
In the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, the administration of education is the responsibility of the regional governments, via the respective Regional Secretariats for Education, which adapt national education policy to a regional plan and manage human, material and financial resources. The MEC has to guarantee compulsory schooling, to prevent early school leaving and promote the qualification of the population in general from an equal opportunities, lifelong learning and educational innovation perspective. It is also responsible for the definition, promotion and implementation of education and vocational training policies, and takes part in the coordination of education and vocational training policies with national policies in the field of the promotion and dissemination of the Portuguese language, family support, social inclusion, the promotion of citizenship, environmental protection and health promotion. The ministry performs its responsibilities via direct administration services of the State (central and peripheral services), indirect administration, advisory bodies and other entities.<ref></ref>
The central services of the Ministry of Education ([ Decree-Law no. n.º 125/2011 de 29 de Dezembro]) are the following:
*A Secretaria-Geral - SG (General-Secretariat);
*A Inspecção-Geral da Educação e Ciência - IGEC (Inspectorate-General for Education and science);
*A Direcção-Geral da Educação - DGE (Directorate-General for Education);
*A Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior - DGES (Directorate General of Higher Education);
*A Direcção-Geral da Administração Escolar - DGAE (Directorate General of School Administration);
*A Direcção-Geral de Estatísticas da Educação e Ciência - DGEEC (Directorate-General for Education Statistics and Science);
*A Direcção-Geral de Planeamento e Gestão Financeira - DGPGF (Directorate General of Planning and Financial Management);
*O Gabinete de Avaliação Educacional - GAVE (Educational Assessment Office).
Under supervision and guardianship of the MEC are their Ministryand the following organizations:
*A Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I. P (The Foundation for Science and Technology).;
*O Estádio Universitário de Lisboa, I. P. (Lisbon University Stadium);
*O Centro Científico e Cultural de Macau, I. P. (Scientific and Cultural Centre of Macau);
*A Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional, I. P. (National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education)
They are advisory bodies of the MEC:
*O Conselho Nacional de Educação (National Council of Education);
*O Conselho das Escolas (Council of Schools);
*O Conselho Coordenador do Ensino Superior (Coordinating Board for Higher Education).
The body of indirect administration is the National Agency for Qualification – ANQ, which comes under the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity. It is responsible for coordinating and boosting the provision of education and vocational training for young people and adults. It moreover manages the Network for recognition, validation and certification of competences and coordinates the curriculum development and the methodologies and materials for specific interventions.
At regional level, in the mainland, there are five Regional Directorates for Education (DRE), which include the peripheral services of direct administration by the State and enjoy administrative autonomy. These are the North Regional Directorate for Education (DREN), the Centre Regional Directorate for Education (DREC), the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Regional Directorate for Education (DRELVT), the Alentejo Regional Directorate for Education (DREALE), and the Algarve Regional Directorate for Education (DREALG) integradas na Direção-Geral da Administração Escolar (DGAE)
The following are the main duties of the DGAE:
*To coordinate, monitor and support the organisation and functioning of schools and the management of their human and material resources, promoting the development and consolidation of their autonomy;
*To take part in the planning of the school network;
*To promote the gathering of necessary information for the formulation and implementation of education and training policies;
*To make available to schools the guidelines from the central services and relevant technical information;
*To cooperate with other services with a view to carrying out joint actions on education and vocational training, and to provide technical support to municipal initiatives involving school facilities;
*To monitor the procedures concerning teaching quality control.
Municipal board of education: The municipal board of education coordinates education policy at municipal level, coordinating the actions of education players and social partners, and proposes adequate measures to promote greater efficiency and effectiveness in the educational system.At municipal level, the education chart is the instrument used for the planning and organisation of the education network, with the aim of improving education, teaching, training and culture, promoting school clusters in a context of administrative decentralization, reinforcement of the management models, and enhancement of the role of educational communities and schools’ educational projects.
School Autonomy: Decree-Law no. 75/2008 of 22 April approves the autonomy, administration and management of preprimary, compulsory and secondary education in public education institutions. Autonomy is the power granted to schools by the educational authorities to take strategic, pedagogical, administrative, financial and organisational decisions within the scope of their educational project which, together with the internal school regulations and the annual plan of activities, constitute the process of school autonomy. The education project, which sets out the educational direction of the school, is drawn up and approved by the administration bodies for a period of three years and must define the principles, values, goals and strategies according to which the school proposes to fulfil its educational role. The internal regulations define the system under which the school, or school cluster, will operate (together with its administration and management bodies), the school direction, the educational support services and structures, as well as the rights and duties of the school community member.<ref></ref>
The Ministry of Education funds its central and regional services, non-higher public education institutions as well as social school activity through the State budget. It also provides grants to private and cooperative education and vocational schools. Apart from the Ministry of Education, municipalities also take responsibility for the funding of education, including the construction, maintenance, supply and some operating expenses of pre-primary and 1st cycle institutions. They are also responsible for ensuring the funding of school transports, complementary educational activities and free-time activities. The European Union also co-funds the education sector through the Human Potential Operational Programme (POPH), the main aim of which is to help reduce the qualifications deficit of the Portuguese population. The programme also seeks to encourage job creation and the quality of employment, supporting entrepreneurs as well as youngsters’ progression into working life. It is based on 10 axes covering areas such as Initial Qualification, Lifelong Learning, Professional Management and Improvement, Advanced Training, Citizenship and Social Development.<ref></ref> The Decree-Law n. º 137/2012 of July 2 introduces some changes to the previous one in particular with regard to strengthening school autonomy and greater efficiency required to be held, largely "through the conclusion of agreements between the school, the Ministry of Education and other community partners, particularly in areas such as the differentiation of the educational offer, the transfer of skills in the organization of the curriculum, the creation of classes and human resource management. The Government defends the progressive strengthening of the autonomy and greater organizational and pedagogical flexibility of the schools as essential conditions for improving the public education system comprising up the restructuring of the school network, increasing the number of schools with autonomy contracts, the hierarchy in management positions and the consolidation of a culture of evaluation.<ref>Educare, Regime de autonomia escolar, Lusa in</ref>
==== Higer Education ====