The government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is seeking to expand the number of schools nationwide that are co-run by armed police in a bid to improve discipline and academic results, the AP news agency reports.
In the Brazilian capital Brasilia, 36 more such schools are due to be established by the end of this year and may reach a total of 200 by 2022.
Under the new model, while teaching remains in the hands of the Education Ministry, police officers oversee discipline and enforce a new code of conduct at Brazilian schools, something that was approved by a majority of parents, teachers and school staff during a referendum.
Several Brazilian states have used the model since the early 2000s, even though many education experts and teachers' unions are alarmed over larger expansion, insisting that such schools are out of line with the concept of a free and open-to-all public schooling system.
During his election campaign, Bolsonaro specifically tried to capitalise on promises to improve the country’s academic performance, with Brazil ranked 63rd out of 72 countries and regions in a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2015.