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PART I  Descriptive Section

Mozambique profile

    1. Population and administrative division
    2. Mozambique lies in the south-east coast of Africa. Its territory covers 799.380 square Kilometres in area (of which 786.380 square Kilometres is land and 13.000 square Kilometres is inland water) and its borderland has an extension of 4.330 km.

      According the 1997 population census, Mozambique has a population of 15,278,334 people. The population density is 20,1 habs/Km2 varying between 5,8 in Niassa and 3222 habs/Km2 in Maputo-city.

      Mozambican population is mainly composed by females which represents 52% of the total.

      Forty three per cent of the Mozambican population are of school-age group, that is 6 - 24.

      Thus, Mozambique has a young population, whose demand for educational, health, transport, communications, housing and employment services greater.

      Life expectancy (male 40.6 and female 44.0) is the second lowest in Southern African Development Community (SADC) and in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP)..

      The birth rate is 44.4 per thousand, the mortality rate is 21.2 per thousand and the infant rate is 145.7 per thousand.

      Administratively, Mozambique has 11 provinces (including the capital city-Maputo which has a status of a province) and 128 districts.

      The population is both multi-cultural and multilingual. The official language is Portuguese although it is only spoken by 1.2% of the population as mother tongue. The majority of the population speaks one or more of the twenty different Bantu languages (Martins, 1990: 24). Due to lack of a common nation-wide mother tongue, Portuguese was adopted as the medium of instruction from Grade 1 after the Independence (1975). This seems to be one of the most important reasons why there are high school repetitions and dropout rates.

    3. Socio-political and economic profile
    4. After a decade of war, Mozambique became independent from Portuguese rule in 1975. Within the first year of independence, it was flung into a civil war that ravaged the country until 1992.

      In January 1987, the Government of Mozambique initiated the Programme of Economic Rehabilitation. This was later enriched by a social component, designated Programme of Economic and Social Rehabilitation (PRES).

      In the period 1987-1992, the minimum basic assumptions that are indispensable for the re-launching of the Mozambican economy were established.

      With the end of the civil war and signing of the Rome Peace Agreement between the Government and Mozambique's National Resistance, in 1992, the recovery of the GDP from 1993, is noteworthy. Although the economy is beginning to pick up, Mozambique is still one of the poorest countries. In 1997, the GDP grew by 6.6% and was estimated at US$ 1.4 billion and the GDP per capita at US$ 80.00 (SADC Secretariat 1997).

      Despite the improvements, the General State Budget continues to be chronically deficient and heavily dependent on external assistance.

      According the international classification, Mozambique is considered as a country with low human development. In the context of Southern Africa, Mozambique ranks last when it comes to human development.

      The central goal of the Government’s long term development strategy is poverty reduction through labour-intensive economic growth, in an environment of peace, stability, and national unity. The highest priority is assigned to reduce poverty in rural areas, where 90 percent of poor Mozambicans live, but urban poverty is also a target.

      Expansion and improvement in the education system are critically important elements of the Government’s development strategy, in both long-term and short-term perspectives. In the long term, universal access to education of acceptable quality is essential for the development of Mozambique´s human resources and the growth will depend to a significant extend on the education and training of the labour force. In the short term, increased access and improved quality in basic education are powerful mechanisms for redistribution and promotion of social equity.

      Characteristics of the educational system

    5. Structure of the educational system
    6. Formal Education comprises formal and informal education.

      Formal Education includes Pre-school, Primary, Secondary, Technical and Professional, Special, Higher and Adult Education, Teacher Training.

      Pre-school Education takes place in nursery schools and kindergartens for children under six years of age and complements the educational activity of the family, with which it co-operates closely. It is the task of Ministry of Education (MINED), together with the Ministries of Health and Social Welfare, to define the overall aims of pre-school education, support and monitor its implementation, define criterion’s and norms for opening, running and closure of such schools. Attendance to Pre-School Education is optional.

      Primary Education comprising 7 grades is divided into two levels: First Level Primary Education (EP1) from Grade 1 to 5 and Second Level Primary Education (EP2) including 6th and 7th Grade. Although for many years the official age for school was 7, since 1993 it was been age 6.

      Secondary Education including 4 grades is structured in two cycles: First Cycle of Secondary Education (ES1) from Grade 8 to 10 and Second Cycle of Secondary Education (ES2) including Grade 11 and 12, the pre-university level.

      Technical and Professional Education includes elementary, basic and middle-level.

      Higher Education has recently experienced a significant expansion with the contribution of the private sector. In addition to the 3 public institutions of Higher Education there are now 3 private Universities.

      Initial teacher training is one of the most important special modalities of education, not only in the number of pupils involved but also in the impact it has on expansion and improvement of educational quality. It is divided into three levels: basic with three-year courses for pupils who have completed EP2 for EP1 teachers), mid-level with two-year courses for pupils who have completed the First Cycle of General Secondary Education for EP1 and EP2 teachers and Higher Education courses run at the Pedagogic University mainly for secondary school teachers, but with some for primary school teachers.

      Regarding teacher training the "Instituto de Aperfeiçoamento de Professores- (IAP)" is the only institution which organises and runs distance courses using written materials targeted at EP1 teachers who have completed 6 years of schooling plus the former one year teacher training.

      Although adult literacy classes were wide spread in the late 70’s and early 80’s (soon after National Independence), today they are almost non-existent in the country.

      Informal Education comprises literacy, development, cultural and scientific update activities and takes place outside the regular system of education.

      The main objectives of informal education are: "to eradicate literal and functional illiteracy, contribute effectively to equal educational and employment opportunities for early school drop outs and for those who have not been able to attend the regular system of education, through literacy classes and basic education for children and adults" Política Nacional de Educação, MINED, 1996

    7. Historical and political context

At Independence, on 25th June 1975, Mozambique inherited an education system full of serious distortions.

The rise of liberation movements in the Portuguese colonies and the international anti-colonial movements in the 60’s and 70’s forced the Portuguese colonial authorities to unveil some of the features of colonial education system. Nevertheless, it is estimated that the illiteracy rate of the population aged 7 or more was 93% at Independence .

The Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique establishes education a right and a duty of every citizen. This should translate into equal opportunities of access for all citizens to the various types and levels of education. In the framework of the law, the State allows other entities, including community, co-operative, business and private bodies, to participate in education. Public education is lay.

In the first years of independence (1975-80), there was a massive schooling explosion, as a result of the popular enthusiasm brought by the Independence and the priority given to the education sector by the government. The number of pupils attending primary schools more than duplicated and tripled in Secondary Education level.

Parallel to this, massive literacy campaigns attracted more than half a million adults. As a result of this enormous effort and according to the population census, in 1980, the illiteracy rate was 72.2% for the total population aged 7 or more (75% for the population aged 15 or more), 59% for male and 84.5% for female.

In the late 70’s, due to lack of teachers, the deterioration of the teaching quality and difficulties at administration level of the system, the Ministry of Education tried to control the phenomenon of schooling explosion. A new process started consisting of the reorganisation of the school network and the curriculum and education system reform that led to the introduction of the National System of Education (SNE) in 1983.

Throughout the 80’s, the country experienced an economic crisis as a result of: economic policies that were not adjusted to the reality of the country; destructive natural disasters (floods and drought); the civil war that started in the early 80’s and spread throughout the country for over 10 years. This affected the development of the education system particularly enrolment levels for primary schools.

Graph 1: Evolution of the number of pupils attending EP1, 1974 - 2000

Thus, as can be seen in Graph 1, the number of pupils attending EP1 remained fairly constant between 1981 and 1992. Enrolment remained stable despite more than half of the schools available in 1983 were destroyed and many others continued to operate though under extremely difficult conditions.

Millions of children who should have entered and attended school in that period did not do so because there was no school in their home area or there were no resources to open new ones. More than a million of Mozambicans were forced to migrate to safer areas in other parts of the country and to neighbouring countries.

Teachers had to work with little support. School supervision activities were no longer carried out due to lack of security and due to economic crisis. During much of this period the Ministry of Education was enable to produce textbooks, though some were produced with some success in mid 80’s.

The efficiency of the system, which was already low, dropped further as a result of instability caused by the civil war. Repetition and drop out rates as high as 30% were common and in some provinces this level was even surpassed.

The EP2 and subsequent higher levels (with a reduced number of pupils as compared with EP1 mainly established in urban areas) were not so affected than this level of education (EP1).

As illustrated in Graph 2, the number of pupils attending EP2 continued to increase up to 1999, after a slow decrease in the period 1980/82. The drop of 1987 was a result of the introduction of one more Grade in the First Level of Primary Education. The posterior evolution of EP2, from 1988 on-wards, depended specially on number of EP1 graduates.

Graph 2: Evolution of the number of pupils attending EP2, 1974-2000

This very recent historical evolution that has been presented here in broad lines defines the context of current policy options.

Education for All in Mozambique: awareness raising, goals, targets and principles

In 1990 Mozambique ratified the World Declaration on Education for All, an agreement to safeguard the universal right to a Basic Education for both children and adults .

In Mozambique Basic Education is considered a right of every children and adult and was defined in the early 90’s in terms of:

In 1992, the Ministry of Education began a process of assembling the elements of a revised plan for the long term development of Basic Education, bringing together the initiatives of different social forces and establishing contacts with a wide representation of communities and society. Conferences and seminars had been held to discuss policies, strategies and priorities.

One of the most important conclusions reached was:

To achieve universal Basic Education, substantial and radical changes must be made in the education system. However, the changes must be planned and introduced very carefully intending to be effective and not cause disruption and chaos in an already weakened system

Became clear in wide-ranging technical discussions and in exchange of experiences at national and international level that the Plan for basic Education should be comprehensive providing for change in structures, curriculum design and content, and teaching/learning methodologies.

By the end of 1992 had been conclude that the reform strategy to be follow should have for elements:

As a final refinement of the overall planning process Technical Commissions were appointed to reflect upon the options and produce recommendations on the following areas:

The Commissions were made up of educationalists ranging from National Directorates with a wide variety of specializations and functions. In some cases Commissions drew upon foreign consultancies and advice from other Ministries, particularly Youth and Culture, Planning and Finance. Based on a wide professional experience and studies and s produced within the country and abroad, the Commissions identified past mistakes and pointed out policy proposals aiming:

The major country goals established in 1992 towards EFA are:

The goals should be attained through the increase in coverage and improvement in quality of the system.

For increased coverage, the targets toward EFA are:

For increased coverage, the targets toward EFA are:

Accordingly to the Programme of the Government for 1995-1999
ducation is a fundamental right of each citizen and a key instrument in improving living conditions and in upgrading the technical and scientific level of workers. It is a basic means for understanding and participating in the tasks of social development, and in the struggle for peace and national reconciliation.

The main aims of the Government in the field of Basic Education are:

The Government promotes the introduction of Mozambican languages in education as well as literacy projects in these languages. Each level and type of education will receive, in accordance with its specific characteristics and role in society, special attention from the Government.

Primary education and adult literacy constitute the topmost priority of the Government as these make it possible to eliminate illiteracy and provide citizens with basic knowledge in the form of reading, writing and arithmetical skills.

The objective of the Government is to extend education to all children of school age. Within the framework of the World Declaration on Education for All, to which the Republic of Mozambique is a signatory, the Government aims at achieving a gross admission rate of 86% by the Year 2000. This must be achieved by:

In view of the direct effects of literacy on the improvement of the health conditions of the population and on increasing productive potential, the Government will pay particular attention to functional literacy.

The National Education Policy And Strategies For Implementation (Resolution Nº 8/95 of August 22, 1995) established Education as a key instrument to promote economic growth, social development and the well-being of individuals - has its foundations firmly entrenched in Primary Education. In Mozambique today, Primary Education is the basic education which the Government endeavors to provide for all citizens, as laid down in the Constitution of the Republic and the World Declaration of Jomtien which Mozambique signed.

Primary Education is the backbone of the educational system. It derives this important position from the role which primary education plays in the process of socializing children, in transmitting essential knowledge such as reading, writing and arithmetic, and in transmitting experiences and values which are commonly accepted by our society. Therefore, primary education is crucial to the future development of children.

In order to respond to these new challenges, the priorities in the field of education were reviewed and primary education was given top priority. Targets have been established. It is therefore essential that the curriculum and its contents be reviewed and adjusted to the current context.

Primary Education has the following objectives:

In order to meet these overall objectives in the field of Primary Education, the following strategic actions will be undertaken:

In developing the Education Sector Strategic Plan the Ministry of Education has affirmed the priorities identified in the National Policy of Education assigning special importance to increasing basic educational opportunities for Mozambicans.

The central objective of the strategy is universal access to primary schooling for all Mozambican children. Additional objectives of the strategy include improvements in the quality of education and the establishment of a sustainable, flexible and decentralised system in which responsibility is widely shared with those who work in the system and those whom it serves. The ultimate goal of the Strategic Plan is to support the Government’s national development strategy by building an educational system that provides Mozambicans citizens with the knowledge and skills that they need to obtain sustainable livelihoods, accelerate the growth of the economy and strengthen the institution of a democracy.

Strategies towards EFA

    1. Expansion of Access

Alternative Scenarios and Targets

Three alternative scenarios concerning the development of primary education by the year were projected.

C0 is not considered appropriate for the development of education in Mozambique in the coming years. It is only presented to illustrate the consequences for the development of primary education of a scenario which does not propose any form of growth for the coming years and serves as a reference point for the other two scenarios, which aim at achieving high growth rates.

Scenario 2 is considered an indicative scenario for development efforts in the future as it combines the basic policy guidelines of the Government, namely increasing the offer of educational services and improving the quality of education.

The choice of scenario C2 is justified by the following facts:

Access and Equity

All measures which aim at providing school age children with schooling must be supported and strengthened in order gradually to achieve universal education for a complete 7-year cycle of primary education. In order to increase access to this level of education, strategic measures includes:

Promote Access by Girls

In the first grades of EP1 there are no significant differences in the participation of boys and girls. However, in the final grades of this same level of education, and in the transition to EP2, the percentage of girls tends to drop and significant differences exist between provinces.

In order to promote equality and equity of access by girls to education, strategic measures includes:

    1. Improving Quality and Relevance of Education

In order to improve the quality of education the strategy consists of: to act upon the inputs which are essential for a successful teaching and learning process; consider the conditions under which this process takes place; and assess the performance of the products of education in accordance with the previously established objectives. In order to achieve this, the Government attention is centred on the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of school buildings, the provision of school furniture, curricular reform, pre- and in-service training of teaching staff, incentives for improving the motivation of teachers, the production and distribution of school books and other educational inputs for pupils and teachers, and on adopting mechanisms for school management which are more effective and appropriate to the current context.

Concerning school buildings and furniture

At primary level (EP1 and EP2) an estimated 9,500 new classrooms will be required by the year 2000 (7,500 for EP1 and 2,000 for EP2). Due to the current situation of the Mozambican economy these numbers will require an enormous effort on the part of the Government. Therefore the Government, through the Ministry of Education, must look for partners within and outside of the country who wish to assist in attaining the objectives and targets outlined for this level of education.

Local communities, under the guidance of the respective governing authorities, must be mobilized to build, maintain and manage schools with locally available resources.

Concerning curriculum reform and evaluation

The current primary education curriculum is not adjusted to the present situation of the country and should be revised.

Curriculum revision should take into account not only national needs (the basic curriculum) and local needs, but also the evolution of education in the southern African region and the world context.

In order to attain the objectives of curriculum and assessment reform the following measures must be taken:

Concerning pre and in-service training of teachers

The pre-service training and continuous upgrading of teachers is strategic in improving the quality of education. Therefore, at the same time as material, human and financial resource conditions are being established, the current courses of Grade 7 + 3 years of training must be eliminated and gradually replaced by courses which will be administered in Institutos de Magistério Primário. Grade 10 is required for entry into these courses which will last for 2 years.

In coordination with the Pedagogical University, bachelors or masters courses must be developed and launched both for the trainers of primary education teachers and for primary education teaching staff in general.

More specific measures within the framework of pre-service training of teachers include:

Concerning the motivation of teachers

Low levels of teacher motivation lead to absenteeism and to poor performance and this reduces effective teacher-pupil contact time which has, in turn, negative repercussions for the teaching-learning process. To increase motivation of the teaching staff strategic measures includes:

School books and other teaching materials

School books and other teaching materials play a crucial role in the assimilation of knowledge by pupils and in improving their performance. Within this context, strategic measures includes:

    1. Non-Formal Education (ENF)

The high illiteracy rates call for the need to complement the expansion of primary education with the simultaneous development of functional literacy programmes. These programmes must be based on the active participation of communities and local authorities and will primarily target adolescents, adults, women and girls.

Strategic measures for the development of ENF include the following actions:

    1. Special Education

Children with special educational needs are divided into two groups -those who are not seriously disabled and who may be enrolled in normal schools but will require individual and specialized attention, and those who do have serious disabilities and will require attendance in special schools.

Children with special educational needs will, as far as possible, be identified prior to schooling so that they may receive appropriate and adequate care. The majority of these children will be integrated in normal schools which will have separate support systems. Teachers who have received training in special care techniques and methodologies will be responsible for these children. The environment in existing schools must become more friendly to children with special needs.

The Ministry of Education invites NGOs to participate in joint programmes for the establishment of special schools. A mechanism for diagnosis and guidance must be developed in order to distinguish between children who need care in special schools and those who may go to normal schools.

The creation of opportunities for children with special educational needs includes the following strategic measures:

    1. Financing
    2. In order gradually to cover the whole population of primary school age, the Government must be the main source of financing at this level. Additional funding to supplement public resources in the field of Primary Education will, however, be one of the main requirements for introducing compulsory schooling.

      Also, parents and communities in general will have to continue to participate in the costs of education and will be expected to support the establishment of management committees in the schools.

      Effectiveness of the country exercise towards EFA

    3. Expansion of Access

Regarding the effectiveness of the country Policy for ensuring Education for All, it is important to emphasise the significant improvement of the coverage of the education system.

In ambit of the increase of the coverage of the system the following has taken place:

    1. Improving Quality and Relevance of Education

Regarding the effectiveness of the of the country Policy for ensuring Education for All, it is worth considering the significant improvement of the factors that influence the quality of the Education .

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