Claretian – Educational Network of Brazil in the Amazon Region: Changes Through Education

Oct 4, 2019 | Claretians Today, Education Ministry

The Amazon region, located in northern Brazil, occupies about 60% of the national territory and comprises eight states, in which the Claretian Missionaries have a strong performance in the educational field in several levels. Claretiano – Rede de Educação (Claretian – Educational Network) of Brazil aims to “enable the human person for the professional practice and commitment to life through a comprehensive formation; this mission is characterized by the investigation of the truth and the teaching and the diffusion of culture, and is inspired by the ethical and Christian values and the Claretian charisma that give full meaning to human life” (CLARETIANO EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, 2012). Claretiano – Rede de Educação is constantly updating its Educational Mission in order to contribute to the democratization of access to basic and higher education, as provided for in the Brazilian National Education Plan and in its own Mission and Educational Project.

Thus, Claretiano has broken down educational barriers and contributed to society by disseminating teaching, research and extension activities. Currently, the Institution has nine campuses, 117 distance education centers in Brazil and four distance education centers overseas (in Spain, the United States, Japan and Portugal), which are accredited to offer online undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees and extension courses. To carry out all these activities in Brazil and abroad, Claretiano has more than 2,140 professors, tutors and employees, who assist 37,000 students enrolled in Basic and Higher Education, extension projects and postgraduate courses. 15% of these students have scholarships in several areas of education.

Claretiano has distance education centers all over the Brazilian states and campuses in the cities of Boa Vista (RR), Taguatinga (DF), Rio Claro (SP), Batatais (SP) and São Paulo (SP), where educational activities are carried out from kindergarten to higher education (face-to-face and distance learning). The campus in Curitiba (PR) offers both face-to-face and distance learning higher education (Theology); Belo Horizonte (MG), Marabá (PA) and São Miguel do Guaporé (RO) campuses offer Pre-primary School, Basic Education and online Higher Education. The campuses in Boa Vista (RR), São Miguel do Guaporé (RO) and Marabá (PA) have been implemented over the last five years to meet an educational need in the northern region of the country. Claretiano has created these campuses to meet Pope Francis’s request for religious institutions to take a closer look at the Amazon region.

In its centers and campuses, Claretiano offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees and extension courses in the areas of Religious Formation, Teacher Training, Education, Management, Technology, Health and Engineering. All courses are authorized by the Brazilian Ministry of Education.

Catholic institutions prioritize partnerships with institutions that have an appropriate school environment for the development of academic activities and with schools that share the same Christian values and Claretian educational ideals. In compliance with its institutional mission, Claretiano also strives to be present in regions where access to education is deficient, either in the major urban centers or in the inner regions of Brazil. Satisfying a request from Pope Francis, who, during his trip to Ecuador’s capital, Quito, in 2017, emphasized that “this region is one of the richest biodiversity spots in variety of species (…), endemic rare species, which are not effectively protected, requiring particular care for its huge importance for the world ecosystem”, Claretiano pays great attention to the Amazon region.

Thus, in the Amazon region, we have 22 distance education centers with 3,877 students enrolled in Higher Education and 2,500 students in Basic Education, once again offering a transformative education based on the charisma of Santo Antonio Maria Claret.

Our latest achievement for the region was the opening of the Claretian College of Boa Vista (RR), after all, the Amazon is a place where education is needed, and the Claretians of Brazil are satisfying this need because the people of the region are entitled to quality education. Bishop Mário Antônio da Silva, from the Diocese of Roraima, emphasized that the Amazon region needs to be cared for as a whole, from the environment to its population, which meets the Gospel.

In the following table, we show the cities in the Amazon regions where Claretiano – Rede de Educação has either distance education centers or campuses:

Acre Amazonas Pará Rondônia Roraima Tocantins
Cruzeiro do Sul Manaus Belém Ariquemes Boa Vista Araguaína
Rio Branco Parintins Macapá Buritis Normandia Palmas
  Tabatinga Marabá Ji-Paraná Rorainópolis  
    Óbidos Porto Velho Uiramutã  
    Santarém São Francisco do Guaporé    
      São Miguel do Guaporé    


Claretiano carries out different programs and social projects in its centers and campuses. These programs and projects aim to meet the needs of the communities in several areas. We highlight programs such as the Roraima Indigenous Education Research Center, implemented in the Claretian College of Boa Vista, which carries out studies in the field of Indigenous Education, mainly in the area of curriculum planning for Basic Education, in partnership with the indigenous peoples of Roraima. Claretiano has granted scholarships to 308 indigenous students in the Amazon region.

Another important initiative developed in the northern region of the country, in the states of Amazonas and Pará, consists in the offering of online undergraduate and graduate degrees to the riverside communities of the Amazon River in the cities of Óbidos (PA), Parintins (AM) and Santarém (PA ).

Currently, Claretiano – University Center of Batatais has partnership agreements with 17 archdioceses and dioceses (including some dioceses in the Amazon region): Macapá (AP), Guajará-mirim (RO), Cruzeiro do Sul (AC), Santarém (PA), Porto Alegre do Norte (MT), Afogados da Ingazeira (PE), Campina Grande (PB), Eunápolis (BA), Floriano (PI), Natal (RN), Vitória da Conquista (BA), Luziânia (GO), Caratinga (MG), Divinópolis (MG), Volta Redonda (RJ), São Carlos (SP) and Jales (SP). In addition to those agreements, Claretiano also has partnership agreements with religious institutes, totaling up 96 students enrolled in the Philosophy degree and 84 students in the Theology degree, who have discounts and scholarships through programs for the formation of ecclesial seminarians and lay Christian leaders.

Assuming that Education promotes the dignity of the human person and their comprehensive development, the educational activities of the Claretian Missionaries have always been attentive to the historical process of Education in Brazil. In compliance with its mission, the institution aims to promote the development of the person and the society through education, which must take place along with an authentic evangelization, the ultimate meaning of its humanizing and personalizing activity, since “education is a way of being, a way of meaning and a way of acting in favor of the growth process of the Kingdom” (BOCOS, 1999).


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