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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.10Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures

Last update: 24 January 2024

Second chance programme

Through Despatch No 6954/2019, 6 August, the Ministry of Education created an intervention programme for young people who have left the education system and are at risk of social exclusion, called Segunda Oportunidade (Second Chance - Programme 2O).
This programme is organised by Second Chance Schools, according to their own pedagogical model, in coordination with the European Association of Cities, Institutions and Second Chance Schools).
The young people involved are identified by child and youth protection commissions, by multidisciplinary teams that support the courts and by child and youth shelters. They need suitable education and training to facilitate their school and social reintegration.
Programme 2O is a socio-educational response designed and developed by school clusters/non-clustered schools, in conjunction with other bodies and institutions, aiming: a) to combat young people dropping out of school without jobs or qualifications, providing them with training geared towards their needs, expectations and specific interests, while aligned with the local job market; b) to closely monitor young people’s developing autonomy and socio-professional integration.
Programme 2O’s target users are young people between 15 and 25 years old, without vocational qualifications or employment, who dropped out of school at least a year ago. These young people can attend:
i) An integrated education and training programme (programa integrado de educação e formação - PIEF)
ii) An adult education and training course (educação e formação para adultos - EFA).
The training is based on a personalised pedagogical model that is divided into flexible modules and aims to promote basic general skills (numeracy and literacy), personal, social and citizenship skills (group work, creativity, respect for oneself and others, social participation), professional and technological, artistic expressions and sport. The attendance and length of the different training modules are differentiated and negotiated with the students, based on an analysis of their needs, interests and availability, so they reach a level 1, 2 or 3 ISCED.
This regime ensures that young people are monitored up to two years after leaving Programme 2O.

Distance learning 

Distance Learning (Ensino a Distância - E@D) is regulated by Ordinance No 359/2019, 8 October, following Decree-Law No 55/2018, 6 July, which establishes the curriculum of basic and upper secondary education, the guiding principles of its design, operationalisation and evaluation of learning. 
Distance learning is an alternative for students unable to attend face-to-face lesson, using information and communication technologies (ICT) in the teaching and learning processes to ensure everyone has access to education. This form of education is supported by new pedagogical approaches (teaching and learning), as well as innovations in how the curricula is organised and managed that meet the specific needs of students and their particular situations, while ensuring the necessary information security.
E@D functions in a virtual learning environment supported by a learning management system. This is based on a flexible, personalised and inclusive pedagogical model that boasts multiple means, languages and resources, presenting information in an organised way, developing interactions between various parties, building and expanding virtual learning environments, enabling each student to progress successfully.
E@D is currently based at Fonseca Benevides Upper Secondary School with third cycle, in Lisbon. It works closely with local schools, which help the student develop their educational or training project. 
 It is the only official educational provision using this method, offered by the Ministry of Education for basic (from the second cycle onwards) and upper secondary education.
Regarding upper secondary recurrent distance learning (ensino secundário recorrente à distância - ESRaD), see Subchapter 8.4. Main Types of Training Provision, referring to adult education and training that can include young people between 16 and 18 years old.

Portuguese schools abroad

Currently, there are 26 schools in Portuguese-speaking African countries, in East Timor and Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Each teaches Portuguese curricula and programmes, from pre-school to upper secondary level, which are part of the public and private/cooperative network.

The teaching administered in most private schools is undergoing a process of recognition by the Portuguese state under Decree-Law No 30/2009, 3 February.

The following schools are part of the public network, and their work is recognised as part of bilateral development cooperation: Escola Portuguesa de Luanda (Angola), Escola Portuguesa de Cabo-Verde (Cape Verde), Escola Portuguesa de Moçambique (Mozambique), Escola Portuguesa Ruy Cinatti (East Timor) and Escola Portuguesa de São Tomé e Príncipe (São Tomé and Príncipe) and the Escola Portuguesa de Macau (Macau).