Rio de Janeiro is poised to receive significant changes in the education sector under the current mayor, Marcelo Crivella. Prior to assuming office, Crivella promised to bring change to the city’s education sector, and he is living up to the promise. Under his stewardship, the city is on a path to creating 20 thousand new places in daycare centers and 40 thousand new places in pre-schools over the next three years.
Crivella bets on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) to achieve his target. Under a PPP arrangement, the private sector is tasked with the establishment, maintenance, and non-teaching functions of educational facilities. PPP is not a new concept in the region especially Brazil. Belo Horizonte, the sixth largest city in Brazil, was the first among its peers to implement a PPP program touching on academic institutions in 2012. According to Felipe Montoro Jens, Rio’s PPP program is in the feasibility studies phase. Felipe is a specialist in infrastructure projects. Although Rio’s PPP touching on learning institutions will leave all the non-teaching functions to the private sector, the City Hall will maintain the role of providing school going children with lunch as directed by the Ministry of Education.
The private sector will not go it alone as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will facilitate the private sector with monetary support, expertise, and global experience to assist the sector to navigate financial, operational, and political challenges. Felipe Montoro Jens believes that IFC will deliver a workable PPP model for Rio as it is the most significant private sector development institution in the developing world. As Rio embarks on development agendas set by Crivella, the town is likely to partner more with IFC. In fact, the city has announced that IFC will be part of Rio’s planned public lighting PPP. PPPs are increasingly used by governments with limited resources to provide public services.