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Distance Education:
inclusion and social responsibility throughout life

Authors: Robson Quintilio, Maria Salete Vaceli Quintilio, Aline Gomes de Oliveira, Edmo Martins Gomes and Keylla Dennyse Celestino da Silva


Photo: Designed by Alvaro_cabrera / Freepik

Although there is a wide variety of concepts about the meaning of “social responsibility”, this concept is usually related to sustainable development, socio-environmental responsibility and sustainability.


In a non-exclusive way, for very current researchers, the concept converges to understand sustainability as economic integrity, social equity and environmental integrity (OMETTO, 2018).

In another description:

Social responsibility can be defined as the commitment that an organization must have with society, expressed through acts and attitudes that positively affect it, in a broad way, or to a community, in a specific way (...). Thus, in an expanded view, social responsibility is any action that can contribute to improving society's quality of life (Ashley, 2004, p. 06-07).

Although it cannot exclude economic and environmental aspects, Distance Education is an important means for social equity and for improving the quality of life, including in stages of life, where education is often neglected due to lack of access, as in the case of the elderly.

According to the publication of the Ministry of Education RIGHT TO EDUCATION - Subsidies for the Management of Educational Systems (BRASIL, 2006):

We live in a democratic society that has, by definition, plurality, coexistence and dialogue in diversity. The right to participate in common spaces and processes of teaching and learning carried out by the school is provided for in the legislation, and educational policies must be compatible with these assumptions that guide full access and conditions of equity in the education system.

The Constitution of the Republic, when it adopts as a principle the "equality of conditions for access and permanence in school", understood as the realization of the republican objective of "promoting the good of all, without prejudice of origin, race, sex, color, age and any other forms of discrimination", provides for a society with schools open to all, at any stage or  modality, as well as access to higher levels of education.


Recent data released by the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira - Inep/MEC clearly indicate the reach and importance that distance education can have in achieving the objective of equal opportunities.

The graphs below, taken from these data (BRASIL - INEP, 2018), present an overview based on information collected from the socio-economic questionnaire of the Student Participating in ENADE.


These graphs show indications that EaD reaches a different audience from that of on-site education. For example, EaD Course students belong to older age groups, notably male, married and working. It is also concentrated among those with a lower family income.

It should be noted that in this study, the lack of opportunities was not even considered due to the inexistence of Higher Education Institutions geographically close to the student's place of residence.

Thus, Distance Education, allowing teachers/tutors and students to be physically separated in time, allows an incomparable flexibility to the teaching-learning process, becoming an effective mechanism for social and educational inclusion throughout life, being for young people, adults and seniors.

Obviously, there is no need for adequate methodologies and technologies, whose implementation is sometimes laborious, but, if used well, can make a big difference in the future of people who otherwise would not be able to train at a higher level, or continue learning .

Higher Education Institutions are responsible for the sensitivity and responsibility to collaborate, exercising their fundamental role in society, thus exercising their important share of social responsibility.




OMETTO, M. Paola; BULGACOV, Sergio; MAY, Márcia Ramos. The Effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility Strategists. Organ. Partner,  Savior ,  v. 22, no. 74, p. 423-441,  Sept.  2015 .   Available at: <>. Access on  08/02/2018. .)


BRAZIL, MEC/SEESP - RIGHT TO EDUCATION - Subsidies for the Management of Educational Systems - General Guidelines and Legal Framework, 2nd Edition,   Brasilia DF,  2006 ) Accessed on 03/08/2018


BRAZIL - INEP, 2018  - Enade 2017 Results and Indicators;


Ashley, PA (Coord.) Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. São Paulo: Saraiva. 2004.

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