RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Brazil was rated below Latin America's average in terms of children's educational opportunities, a study released by the World Bank said on Thursday.
The study introduced the Human Opportunity Index (HOI), which measures the equality of chances given to a country's children based on the assessment of their housing and education.
According to the study, Brazil's grade in education was 67, beneath the Latin America average of 76. However, the country is said to have had obvious improvement from 1995 to 2005, the period covered by the study.
Brazil's grade in housing was 77, 13 points higher than Latin America's average, which compensated its lower rating in education and made the overall grade at 72, close to the region's average of 70.
The study revealed that most of those who lack educational opportunities were black children living in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. By contrast, 44 percent of the children with the most opportunities were born in the richest areas of the country, such as Sao Paulo and Brasilia, the capital city.
The calculation of the HOI covers many aspects, including the proportion of children who finish the sixth grade at their right age, school attendance of children between 10 and 14, and children's access to safe water, basic sanitation, and electricity.
According to the study, children in Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Uruguay possess the most equal opportunities, while those in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras enjoy the least.
The World Bank attaches great importance to the assessment of the opportunity given to children as it can affect their adult life greatly.
According to the organization, 25 to 50 percent of the income inequality observed among Latin American adults had something to do with their childhood situations.