Language is one of the strongest elements of Brazil's national unity. The only non-Portuguese speakers are members of Amerindian groups, and pockets of immigrants who maintain their heritage languages. Within Brazil, there is no major dialect variation of the Portuguese, but only moderate regional variation in accent, vocabulary, and use of personal nouns, pronouns, and verb conjugations. Variations are diminishing as a result of mass media, especially national television networks that are viewed by the majority of Brazilians. The Portuguese prerogative According to the Brazilian Constitution, the Portuguese people have a special status in Brazil. Article 12, first paragraph of the Constitution, grants to citizens of Portugal with permanent residence in Brazil "the rights attached to Brazilians", excluded from the constitutional prerogatives of Brazilian born. Requirements for the granting of equality are: habitual residence (permanent), the age of majority and formulation of request from the Minister of Justice. In Brazil, the Portuguese may require equal treatment with regard to civil rights; moreover, they may ask to be granted political rights granted to Brazilians (except the rights exclusive to the Brazilian born). In the latter case, this requires a minimum of three years of permanent residence. Education The number of Brazilian children that make it to high school is dropping at a steady rate. In fact, only about a third of school children ever get to Grade Six. For this reason, the government is taking some definite steps forward to improve the situation of schooling. The foreign debt that saps the government of so much money is being paid off and the available funds reallocated to make allowances for education. Brazilian technology Brazilian science and technology have achieved a significant position in the international arena in the last decades. The central agency for science and technology in Brazil is the Ministry of Science and Technology, which includes the CNPq and Finep. This ministry also has direct supervision over the National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - INPE), the National Institute of Amazonian Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia - INPA), and the National Institute of Technology (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia - INT).