Brazil has long been referred to as the 'Country of Tomorrow'. Her size, geographic position and enormous pool of human and natural resources attest to her potential as an independent, developed nation. Social, welfare and public education programmes have a low priority in the Government's national development plans. In 1500, Brazil has been governed by Colonial, Imperial and Republican systems. In the 1980's Brazil remains a highly socially stratified society, with a large and still growing middle class that has begun to blur the earlier two-class system. The 1961 Education Law attempted to establish a decentralised system of educational administration. Education at the First level seeks to develop the child's individual talents, provide some qualifications or preparation for work and introduce the child to the concept of citizenship. National development plans have emphasised efficiency and economic expansion, with little obvious concern for individual human dignity, social and regional equity or personal self-awareness and fulfilment.