World

With poor infrastructure and instruction, education woes the Achilles' heel of Brazil growth

  • In this March 27, 2013 photo, students occupy the administrative offices of the Rio de Janeiro Rural Federal University, UFRRJ, to protest the school's conditions in Seropedica, Brazil. Laboratories routinely flood when it rains, lecture halls reach oven-like temperatures because the burned-out AC units were never replaced, the Internet works only intermittently and students hardly dare venture out after dark for fear of being mugged. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    In this March 27, 2013 photo, students occupy the administrative offices of the Rio de Janeiro Rural Federal University, UFRRJ, to protest the school's conditions in Seropedica, Brazil. Laboratories routinely flood when it rains, lecture halls reach oven-like temperatures because the burned-out AC units were never replaced, the Internet works only intermittently and students hardly dare venture out after dark for fear of being mugged. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this March 27, 2013 photo, veterinary students attend class where they will dissect a pig at the Rio de Janeiro Rural Federal University, UFRRJ, in Seropedica, Brazil. With the department's incinerator long on the fritz, the stomach-turning, formaldehyde-drenched mass of animal carcasses and organs grows by the day. Similar scenes of neglect and decay play out across the sprawling, once-stately campus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    In this March 27, 2013 photo, veterinary students attend class where they will dissect a pig at the Rio de Janeiro Rural Federal University, UFRRJ, in Seropedica, Brazil. With the department's incinerator long on the fritz, the stomach-turning, formaldehyde-drenched mass of animal carcasses and organs grows by the day. Similar scenes of neglect and decay play out across the sprawling, once-stately campus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Int his March 27, 2013 photo, veterinary students dissect a pig during class at the Rio de Janeiro Rural Federal University, UFRRJ, in Seropedica, Brazil. With the department's incinerator long on the fritz, the stomach-turning, formaldehyde-drenched mass of animal carcasses and organs grows by the day. Similar scenes of neglect and decay play out across the sprawling, once-stately campus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Int his March 27, 2013 photo, veterinary students dissect a pig during class at the Rio de Janeiro Rural Federal University, UFRRJ, in Seropedica, Brazil. With the department's incinerator long on the fritz, the stomach-turning, formaldehyde-drenched mass of animal carcasses and organs grows by the day. Similar scenes of neglect and decay play out across the sprawling, once-stately campus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

There's a storage room just off a veterinary lab at a Brazilian university that gives students more experience than many can handle: Skinned pigs and cats, disembodied cow livers, intestines, brains and the other detritus of years' of dissections.

With the department's incinerator long on the fritz, the formaldehyde-drenched mass of animal carcasses and organs grows by the day.

The situation at the Rural Federal University in Seopedica is not an anomaly. As a new middle class rises in Brazil with aspirations for better education, it is finding lamentable conditions and low standards of education at many colleges and universities across Brazil. That has experts warning that the country's strained education system could stymie development, even as Brazil emerges as an economic powerhouse.