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Omidyar and Fundação Lemann to Invest in Brazilian Edtech Tool Standardization

17 May 2017

Omidyar Network and the Lemann Foundation announced a collaboration to invest in the development of technological solutions and innovative tools to facilitate the implementation of the National Learning Standards. 

Lemann Foundation CEO Denis Minze tells LAVCA:

A lot of what we discuss internally at the foundation is: How can we look deeper into the problems, and really understand the pain that is stopping change from happening, and recognize that it is difficult to do? If we can mobilize the best talent to tackle society’s hardest problems, I am sure we will succeed. I see a bright future ahead, but I think we have to be really committed to take philanthropy to the next level and stick with it until we see results on the ground.

(Press Release) The Lemann Foundation and Omidyar Network today announce a new collaboration to promote the work of entrepreneurs who are committed to education and to the development of technological solutions and innovative tools to facilitate the implementation of the National Learning Standards (BNCC, Base Nacional Curricular Comum).

Announced by the Ministry of Education on April 6, the Standards set forth what every student has the right to learn. The results from PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), carried out by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), show that the best-performing countries rely on learning standards. This is an approach that, when complemented with other measures—such as teachers’ instruction and aligned textbooks— has proven to enhance students’ learning.

The implementation process will require a lot of work from teachers in their classrooms and the cooperation among states, cities, and civil society to turn the Standards into reality and help promote real breakthroughs and improved learning outcomes.

“The Standards pave the way to ensure that all Brazilian students have the same right to learn, but we are aware of the challenges that educators, school administrators, parents, and guardians are to face to make it happen,” said Denis Mizne, executive director, Lemann Foundation. “We believe the investment in BNCC-centered technologies will help guarantee the access to quality education to all students,” he added.

Together, the Lemann Foundation and Omidyar Network will invest a multi-million dollar initiative over the next two years to identify and support entrepreneurs and projects that facilitate the Standards’ implementation through technology. These solutions could include innovative ways to assess students’ learning levels and personalize learning plans to their needs. The tools are expected to have a direct impact in classrooms on student learning. The target audience consists of teachers and students, but the tools can also be used by school administrators to help devise syllabuses, to support activities performed by secretaries of education, and to engage parents and guardians, among others.

“We see tremendous opportunity to invest in innovative tools that promise to improve learning outcomes in Brazil,” said Eliza Erikson, venture partner, Omidyar Network. “Supporting solutions that align with the new BNCC standards and that are tailored to the needs of Brazilian students, teachers, and school leaders will enable their adoption and ultimate success.”

This is the second partnership with this intent announced by the Lemann Foundation. Founder and Executive Secretary of the Movement for the National Learning Standards, the Lemann Foundation announced last March a co-investment partnership with Their objective is to have Nova Escola and the best teachers in the country develop a digital platform for quality teaching resources that are aligned with BNCC.