Innovations for quality education: from management to the classroom

Project name :

Implementation of innovative technologies for education and digital communication in the city of São Paulo

Budget :

1M$ - 5M$

Project duration :


Location :


The technical cooperation project on Innovations for quality education and Innovative technologies on education and digital communication is a partnership from São Paulo Municipal Secretariat of Education (Secretaria Municipal de Educação de São Paulo - SME-SP) and UNESCO Brasilia Office. Its objective is to strengthen the educational governance in São Paulo city through innovative actions for quality education and democratic management. Since 2014 the activities developed within the context of the technical cooperation has resulted in rich knowledge production with various publications issued as Open Educational Resources (OER) and innovations in the fields of pedagogy, academy, technology, school management, and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), contributing to the provision of equitable and inclusive quality education in one of the largest school systems in Latin America.

Today, the school system in São Paulo has around 1 million and 37 thousand students registered from pre-school to upper secondary education level, including adult and youth education and indigenous education. It also covers a rich diversity of migrant students and the ones with deficiency. 

São Paulo city is a pioneer in the world in relating the learning objectives in its municipal curriculum to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Project is developed based on three main themes:

  • Curriculum and SDGs
  • Educacional Management
  • Technological Innovations

Features of Education in São Paulo City

1 million

students enrolled


educational professionals

+ 2 million

daily meals provided

~ R$ 10 billion

annual budget

Curriculum and SDGs

Currículo da Cidade de São Paulo

The Currículo da Cidade de São Paulo (the São Paulo City Curriculum) initiative has the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to the curriculum contents in an unprecedented and pioneering way. Among the results achieved, international recognition stands out. The unprecedented experience made by São Paulo of relating the learning objectives of the City Curriculum to the 2030 Agenda was presented at the Regional High-Level Technical Meeting in Latin America and the Caribbean, a preparatory event for the 2nd Regional Meeting of Ministers of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2018. 

The São Paulo City Curriculum initiative has integrated the SDGs in all knowledge areas of: 

  • Early Childhood Education 
  • Special Needs Education
  • Indigenous Education
  • Youth and Adult Education 
  • Primary and Lower Secondary Education


Diretrizes de aprendizagem dos Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável no Currículo da Cidade de São Paulo

Document on the Guidelines for Sustainable Development Goals in the City Curriculum Project. Its objective is to support São Paulo City through the Municipal Education Secretariat (SME) in the innovative initiative of integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the public educational system of the Municipal School Network (Rede Municipal de Educação – RME). The document was prepared based on the question “What Education do we want in 2030? ”. It has been a reference and inspiring source and generating thoughts for RME educators in the development of their pedagogical activities, allowing articulations to the Political-Pedagogical Projects (PPP) of their Educational Units for sustainable development within the City's Curriculum for the 3993 schools involved.


Learn more about Currículo da Cidade de São Paulo (in Portuguese):


Educacional Management

The Currículo da Cidade de São Paulo (the São Paulo City Curriculum) initiative from the Municipal Secretariat Education (SME) provides educational management toolkits in Portuguese to the Municipal School Network. 

SME's distribution

120 thousand

printed copies distributed


schools benefited

85 thousand

educational professionals benefited

Technological Innovations

Pátio Digital

Pátio Digital (Digital Yard) Project is an initiative of the Municipal Secretary of Education (SME) in São Paulo (Brazil) in cooperation with UNESCO in Brazil. Through strengthening transparency, social participation and development of new technologies, the initiative will make different groups of the civil society get closer to each other to reach a common major goal: to improve education in the city of São Paulo. 

The structure of the project is based on three axes:

Transparency and Open Data

Access to public information is essential to think about the challenges of education in the city. Through a transparency policy and permanent openness of data, the SME turns available accessible information and data basis to the population for building applications and studies. Ex:

  • Monitoring Panel
  • São Paulo City Hall Open Data Portal

Government-Society Collaboration

The challenges of basic education are not easy to solve. Therefore, the Project believes that the more people to have to think together, the more innovative ideas will come up. Patio Digital Project will provide spaces and methodologies to promote interaction and exchange of groups from different sectors of society. Ex.: 

  • Meetups (Encontros Abertos)

Technology Innovation

Technology can be a powerful tool to bring public power closer to the population and to its needs. If built-in an open and collaborative way, technology can also contribute to solving the current everyday challenges faced by educational system management. Ex.:

  • Selected Apps  
  • Open Source Repository

Platform on Education of Ethnic and Racial Relations

The online platform for discussing the issues related to the education of ethnic and racial relations is currently on the implementation phase.

Its intention is to:

  • Exchanging experiences and sharing pedagogical resources (forums, teaching material, multimedia libraries, photo galleries, exchanging massages, publishing experiences and reports, etc.).
  • Monitoring/following the actions and projects of the school network, which comprises 62,306 educators and school managers
  • Two capacity-building sessions for the ERER Working Group

SME Cooperation Programme on Educational Research

Through partnerships to build a research agenda that responds to the challenges of municipal education, the Educational Research Cooperation Programme is currently developing 4 qualitative/quantitative studies with educational institutions on the following themes:

  • Parallel Recovery;
  • Teacher Evasion and Absenteeism;
  • Integral Education; and
  • Learning Assessment

It involves all segments of the municipal network comprised of 62 thousand education professionals.


Resultados do 1º ciclo de fomento do Programa de Cooperação em Pesquisa : conhecimento e dados abertos aplicados ao desafio da educação pública municipal

Published in 2020, the publication deals with four fundamental themes for the educational policy in São Paulo City: 1) the extension of the day and integral education in the Municipal School Network (Rede Municipal de Educação – RME; 2) the assessment of learning in the daily life of municipal schools; 3) the frequency of parallel recovery and its impact on school attendance and student learning; 4) the policies for acknowledging the teaching professionals and for coping with teacher evasion and absenteeism in the RME. These texts represent the synthesis of the final research report developed over 2019 and 2020, financed by São Paulo Municipal Secretariat of Education (SME) in partnership with UNESCO in its 1st Cycle of Promotion of the Research Cooperation Programme.

Key Impacts

Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and SDGs in Basic Education Curriculum

Representatives from 55 countries were able to learn about the pedagogical model developed by the Secretariat and Educomunicação on media and information literacy (MIL) within the City Curriculum initiative. It was presented in a plenary session during Global MIL Week 2019 Feature Conference, the main global event on the topic, held in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2019.

Coordinated by the Educommunication Centre within the scope of the Technical Curriculum Center (NTC), the experience is the result of public policy on education communication that has become a municipal law developed on the network for 18 years. It has already trained more than 25 thousand teachers and 60 thousand students in multimedia and radio projects, aimed at engaging in a culture of peace and citizenship.

Youth Press

The students have designed and developed the Imprensa Jovem (Youth Press) news agency. It promotes activities such as the creation of newspapers, radio broadcasting shows, and the production of comic books, fanzines, blogs, and surveys. It also provides practical teaching on cinema, photojournalism and television news, as well as new platforms, such as podcasts, is also part of the school day.

In 2019, SME-SP innovatively started a course on “Combating Fake News”, with 400 registered teachers and 6,000 students. Across the city of São Paulo, approximately 12 thousand students from 417 schools can use the Educommunication Centre and its initiatives that value the dialogue between learning and the SDGs. 

Learn more: