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Literacy and Adult Education and Non-Formal Education (ENF)

In 1975, on independence of Mozambique, the country had a world highest illiteracy rate of about 93% and had no experience in adult education.

In 1976, the National Directorate of Literacy and Adult Education was created with the responsibility of guiding and controlling adult literacy, excluding professional training.

The massive literacy campaigns accompanied by a strong schooling explosion resulted in a significant reduction of the illiteracy rate, as confirmed by the 1980 General Population Census.

The illiteracy rate was then 72.8%, 39.9 in urban areas and 78.2% in rural areas, and varying between 82% in Nampula and 28.5% in Maputo City. In 1983, the National Education System (SNE) was created and adult education became one of its by-systems with the same status and treatment than the remaining 4 (general education, technical and professional education, teacher training and higher education). The duty of the subsystem of adult education was to eradicate illiteracy and ensure access to technical and professional education to teachers at various levels.

The introduction of SNE and Adult Education sub-system enabled the widening of the literacy cycle, the organisation of adult education in 3 levels: primary, secondary and superior, as well as the adoption of new programmes, teaching materials and methodologies.

Despite the innovations implemented between 1981 and 1989, the global participation in literacy and adult education gradually decreased from 450.000 to about 46.225 enrolments per year. The civil war that destabilised the population and raise very grave social and economic problems were the main reason for this. Others reasons were identified such as: low relevance of the curriculum, too formal teaching methodologies, too strict calendars and timetables, and exclusive use of Portuguese language.

Em 1989, no ensino nocturno de adultos estavam matriculados no Ensino Primário do 2º grau, no Secundário e no Pré-universitário 15.629, 16.732 e 1.494 indivíduos, respectivamente.

In 1989, 15.629, 16.732 and 1.494 students were enrolled in evening adult teaching in the Second Level of Basic Education (EP2), Secondary and Pre-University, respectively.

In 1990 Mozambique became signatory to the World Declaration of Education for All. In continuation with the great concern with education since Independence, in general, and literacy and adult education in particular, and in cognisance with the World Declaration of Education for All, the Government Programme and the National Education Policy defined functional literacy as a priority. This had active participation of the communities and local authorities and was targeted at young people, adults, women and girls.

In this context, since 1990-2000 the following activities have been developed:

Bachelor Degree level- In 1994-98, the Pedagogic University in collaboration with the University of Linkoping of Sweden, run the course that graduated 23 of the 24 enrolled student. Candidates came from INEA (6), DNEB (3), Planning Department (1) and 5 from the 5 provinces namely Manica (4), Gaza (3), Maputo-province and Tete (2) and Inhambane (1).

Besides the Ministry of Education (MINED) more than 35 largely international organizations are carrying out activities in ambit of adult literacy and education in the 11 provinces of the country. However, the Ministry of Education does not have enough qualitative and quantitative information regarding the work that has been carried out by co-operating partners. Yet the Directorate of Planning and the National Directorate of Basic Education are already making efforts not only for data collection but also of monitoring and supervision of activities carried out in order to share experiences and the improvement of quality and efficiency of the sector.

The lack of an adequate statistic data collection system of the sector contributes to the lack of qualitative information regarding on Adult Education and Literacy.

The current data collection system is the same as used for Primary, Secondary and Technical Education. Such system consists in the filling in of forms of the Directorate of Planning twice a year (on 3 March, a month after the beginning of the school year, and at the end of the school year) by each school. Nevertheless, this system, which over the years proved to be very efficient for the remaining types of education, is not compatible with the characteristics of Non-formal Literacy and Adult Education since the schedule of the various activities is not uniform. That explains the rate of coverage of the annual statistical data collection varying annually (50% in general) from province to province, disregarding other work that has been carried out.

Therefore, given the lack of accurate statistics of the sector in MINED, the 1980-1997 census results by province and sex are presented to show its evolution.

Table 6: Illiteracy rate in 1980 and 1997, by province and in urban and rural areas

A study called Human Capital and Social Welfare in Mozambique (1998) carried out on the basis of the National Enquiry to Families on Living Conditions (IAF) of 1996/7 has led to some conclusions that show the impact of Adult Education and Literacy mainly on women in various components of social and material well-being of Mozambican families.

The most important conclusions are the following:

    1. Learning Achievement

Pedagogical Evaluation in Grade 2, 3 and 4

Objective

Providing a data base which can support the decision making educational policies linked to the curricula renewal, teaching tools and also regarded to the teacher training policies.

Methodology

The research was conducted in four (4) provinces, Cabo Delgado, Zambézia, Maputo-city and Maputo province, thirty-three (33) districts and namely in 90 target schools. These schools have been selected taking into account the stratified sampling methodology, using the following criteria:

In the research took part 125 heads, 479 teachers and 8.245 pupils.

Table 7: Provinces, districts, schools, sample number of students and those who undertook the test.

Provinces

Districts

Schools

Sample number of pupils

Pupils involved

in the test

Maputo City

3

10

1.000

947

Maputo Province

8

20

2.000

1.945

Zambezia

13

40

4.000

3.554

Cabo Delgado

9

20

2.000

1.799

Total

33

90

9.000

8.245

In each school pupils have been chosen randomly. Thus hundred pupils from Grades 2, 3 and 4 were split into groups of 25 and according to the target subjects and the grades as follows: Grade 2 did Portuguese and Mathematics test; Grade 3: a sample number did Portuguese and Mathematics Tests, and another only Mathematics and Natural Sciences Tests; Grade 4: a group wrote the Natural Sciences Test.

Each group of 25 pupils has been selected through the systematic sampling methodology. For example in a school, that had a minimum of 10 Grade 2 classes there were chosen randomly 2 or 3 pupils per class. After this process they have been assembled in a unique classroom and sit for the tests.

The design of the tests was based on a general knowledge and analysis of Curricula Objectives aiming at giving assurances towards the validity of tests, in accordance with the purposes of the testing and the following procedures:

Apart from the tests design there were questionnaires for students, teachers, Principals and their deputy directors. It was aimed at finding data regarding students’ social and economic background, teachers and Principals’ backgrounds, professional training, academic background and detailed information linked to schools’ environment. This was a way to find some variables that could explain all different achievements’ levels at school.

Questionnaires were improved with regard to findings from the pilot phase and also from the model questionnaires from the Southern Africa Consorcio for Monitoring Educational Quality- SACMEQ.

Test outcomes

Portuguese

The test comprises 62 items, split in four major areas namely: grammar, sentence writing, reading comprehension and other writing skills.

An analysis of the results in the Portuguese language test (bearing in mind the correct and acceptable answers) allows us to draw the following conclusions:

Bearing in mind test’s objectives it was found that:

With regard to spelling it appears that all mistakes identified are typical of the ’ language developmental stage. At this phase, there are examples of sentences that represent the natural learners learning stage. We also tend to reason that the spelling objectives in Grade 2 are highly demanding. It should highlight here that this area presented the lowest results in all four provinces. On the other hand, it was also found that there are instances where there was an increase in terms of positive marks from Grade 2 to 3. Even in those schools where most students have Portuguese as their L1, the rate of positives is lower compared to other items. After two years at school, it seems natural that pupils produced all those mistakes that we came up, with and considered them as acceptable during the marking stage. It is pointed out that it is natural to find language learners making mistakes even in their L1. It seems that Portuguese is not students L1 a situation common to most Mozambican children. However, it is also reasonable and sensible in light of the current Curricula Renewal to state accurately the boundaries of the concept " acceptable answer". This should take into account the typical features of Bantu languages against those bound to the Portuguese language.

As far as reading and comprehension is concerned, it appears that the situation is very worrying. The vast majority of the students seem not being able to understand simple texts dealing with their daily routines. In addition, their spelling is terrible sometimes mixing up different words. Besides, they appear to have problems in coping handwritten or typed words. It is to remind us that the results being discussed here take into account the concept of " acceptable answers". According to what has been already pointed out in the body of the current report, it seems that there is a little room for reading practice, which in its turn have negative repercussions in the development of reading comprehension. There are also few instances left for writing practice with negative effects on sentence writing and in the spelling. Much emphasis is placed in grammar, and those students who dare make natural spelling mistakes are penalized. Therefore students are forbidden to make mistakes that would drift them into an evolving use of all skills they want to be linguistically proficient.

It is then necessary to reason rigorously and with a high percentage of realism. Much emphasis should be placed on reading and writing skills in light of the current Curricula Renewal stating objectives that relate with the reality. On the other hand there should be encouraging ways of using methodologies that give a room for a diagnosis of learners strategies, aimed at employing a more objective and effective assessment (testing), and also less punishing.

Mathematics

The test covers 11 items allotted in the following topics: calculus and calculating, geometry, problem solving.

Results that emerged from Math’s test show that:

Almost 50% of the pupils can not cope with confidence with sums and subtractions with movement; this may be due to their weak ability to perform mental calculus. The sum and subtraction simple exercises with no move seem to have been resolved using fingers or lines. This hypothesis is prompted by the type of mistakes pupils have made. Lacking the ability of mental calculus basic exercises, the more complex exercises are then hard to resolve.

The poor ability in mental calculus is supported by Kilborn’s findings (1993). He reasons that more than 60% of grade three students still use fingers and lines to perform simple sums and subtractions with no move at all.

In light of these findings, it seems very important to bring in to the teacher training and to schools clusters the most appropriate strategies to deal with that issue. On the other hand, there need to be seminars at IMAP’s and ZIP’s (school’s clusters) on students’ mental calculus developmental strategies. This could be held with the aid and experience from some Maputo City’s schools that constitute feasible alternatives on the methodology of mental calculus presentation.

Natural Sciences

The test was designed in accordance with Grade 3 programs. It assesses eight areas in the learning process namely landscape (10,8%), compass points and weather conditions (6,5%), parts of a plant (10,8%), domestic animals (15,2%), the human body (8,6%), human changes in the environment (8,6%), working tools (17,3%) and man's production (21,7%).

Pupils’ achievement in Natural Sciences have been around 85%. Although most of the pupils have reached the ten marks (in a scale 0 to 20 marks) the minimum required for them to pass, a detailed analysis of the type of mistakes that they have made indicates that they do not master most concepts and knowledge acquired in this subject. In other words, the type of mistakes that emerged from the test suggest that in questions where they should have applied all the concepts they learnt into a real context they could hardly respond correctly to them. It means that in the Natural Sciences learning process at school most of the concepts are only recorded or memorized in pupils’ minds.

Visualizing and experimenting are phenomena that seem to be present in normal classroom context. It isn’t also common to contextualise concepts in the running learning process. Thus, most teachers follow rigidly what has been described in the teacher’s book without taking into account the context in which the school and area offer. This means that an experiment, pupils socio-cultural backgrounds are not put into consideration by the vast majority of teachers. It is of great urgency that in teacher training, moreover in Natural Sciences Teaching Methodology teacher trainers emphasize the need to relate all concepts to pupils’ socio-economic and cultural, background.

Besides that it would be important to take into consideration that most of the questions, positive answers correspond to questions which answer does not have any connection with any other type of written task or demands as a response a single word. In fact, in all questions most pupils answered with high level of accuracy are those ones that display a picture and tables. In questions where students were asked to write a sentence or paragraph, it was hard to decode their messages. It can be suggested through that from the results that emerged from the tests, the contents of Natural Sciences be dealt with in an oral form only. It means that neither teachers nor pupils can use with appropriacy the teacher’s and the student’s books. This fact has negative implications in practice and developing pupils' reading comprehensions abilities.

From all these data a very important issue is raised: if one of the major objectives in Portuguese language learning process is the student’s ability to understand simple and short texts, similar to those ones employed in this test’s case. It is urgent that in Natural Sciences Teaching process the reading comprehension plays a very important role.

Questionnaires findings

Analysing all factors affecting students’ achievements’ rate we can highlight that most of them have a huge interference in Portuguese than in Math’s. Therefore, factors such as repetitions, a learned mother, number of books available at home and the existence of students’ desks in the classroom play to a certain extent an important role in the results at Portuguese. In the current analysis, we will underline the role of factors such as repetition’s rate and availability of student’s desks as in our opinion they seem to be looked at the macro level of the Ministry of education. The remaining factors although they are also relevant; they have to do with the socio-economic status of the country as a whole.

The repetition rate seems to be a factor that affects the levels of achievement. The outcomes show that those students who are repeating their grades tend to decrease slightly in comparison to those who are not. It may mean that in some cases a repetition does not improve anyhow the teaching quality. On the contrary, it may raise other psychological problems on those students who are targeted. On the one hand, because their age range does not comform with that of their fellow students, bringing up complex of inferiority and inhibition and other cognitive blockage. Sometime it may be because there have been other barriers to students progress. It is necessary to take into account that there are different learning and developmental rhythms which vary from person to person. This must also applied at the grassroots levels, mainly at the first years at school.

Having Piaget’s theory the cognitive development is not equal in all children. It depends on various factors. Now we have to consider that there should be more time so that each student learned according to her/his developmental stage. It seems though that one of the most important measures would be automatic passing. This could allow students to get to know well other classmates with whom they would be sharing good and bad times together for a long time. This could allow weak students to overcome their shortcomings.

With regard to students’ desks, we need to highlight that students who usually sit on the floor or on the ground seem to have poor marks than those who sit on the student’s desk. Looking at the distribution of student’s desks throughout the country there are some striking aspects. For example, in Cabo Delgado and Zambezia provinces only 20 to 30% of the students have desks in their classrooms. In Maputo City and Maputo province, the rate is higher: 80%. There is an urgent need to, slow these disparities. It is under the Ministry’s of Education Administration Branch’s responsibility in a joint effort with the Provincial Directorates of Education in both Cabo Delgado and Zambezia to solve this problem.

In terms of facilities, it should be said that teachers from the Southern provinces tend to be luckier. For example, while in the Southern area around 11 to 14% of the teachers answered that they have received aid from the government to have their own houses, in Cabo Delgado and Zambezia only 2.5% have had that support. There are though other relevant aspects like having electricity and running water at home, which can be taken into account too. Another important aspect has to do with the support the community provides to teachers in order to built their houses. Although the rates in the target areas seem to be low, it appears that the community provides more aid to teachers in teachers in the Southern (6%) rather than in the Central and Northern areas (1.2%).

Conditions of teaching and learning in primary schools

Objectives of the Survey in Mozambique

General Objective

Contribute for the definition of an Investment Action Plan in order to improve the quality of education and subsequently access.

Specific Objectives

Instruments and sample

Two questionnaires were used as research instruments, one for teachers and another for schools. They have resulted from an adaptation to local conditions of the questionnaires prepared during the EFA 2000 Assessment Survey Workshop that took place in Harare from 21 to 25 September..

The Survey should take place in the first and second level of Primary Education, EP1 and EP2, respectively, at the initial and last Grade that in Mozambique are Grade 1 and 7. However, it was decided to include Grade 5 as it is the last Grade of the first level of Basic Education, unfortunately the only possible schooling level for most pupils.

Considering the above mentioned criteria and others deemed significant, the sample include 190 schools distributed by 6 provinces selected according to region, size, proximity and closeness to the sea and the extent of participation in previous surveys.

The schools have been selected taking into account the following significant factors for the Mozambican context: public, private and community level, rural, remote rural, urban, semi-urban, complete, incomplete or fragmented, with one, two or three shifts, small, large or extra-large.

Methodology of the Survey

Head teachers and Grade 1, 5 and 7 teachers were involved in the survey. The former responded to the questionnaire regarding school and the latter regarding teachers.

The questionnaires regarding the school were administered under the guidance of District Directors and selected Head Teachers guided those regarding teachers. National pedagogical technicians previously trained district Directors and the District Directors trained Head teachers.

The data collected by District Directors was introduced in a database created in SPSS.

Although the introduction of pupils’ annual results had not been planned for beforehand, it was later used as a way of identifying the teaching-learning conditions that more influence pupils’ performance. Because the survey instruments were used only two months after the beginning of the 1999 school year, the 1998 pupils’ annual results was used instead as was considered that at least in 6 months, the teaching-learning conditions had not had significant changes.

Conclusions

More relevant positive and negative aspects

Schools

General characteristics

88.3% of the schools are public which reflects Government concern with the Education Sector. 62.6% of the schools work in 2 shifts, a fact that translates the commitment of the education authorities in expanding the access to education and in rationalising use of schools, teachers and other staff.

13.2% of the schools work in 3 shifts, which reduce the pupil school-day-time to 3.5 hours and compromise the curriculum and extra-curriculum activities as well as remedial teaching. At Grade 1 and 2 this situation is aggravated by the fact that over 75% of the pupils did not attend pre-school and moreover for the majority of the pupils exposure to Portuguese, the language of instruction, is only at school. In the remaining 3 grades of EP1, the triple shift compromises the coverage of a increased number of subjects.

School Enrolment

The number of enrolled pupils tends to decrease from Grade 1 to 7, due to the high repetition and drop-out rates, as from Grade 1.

There are fewer female than male enrolled at all levels, mainly at Grade 7 (23.5 less on average), Grade 6 (22.3 less on average) and Grade 5 (11.1 less on average) due to high repetition and drop-out rates as well as cultural factors.

Staff information

There are fewer male than female untrained temporary teachers due to the need to contract teachers with more qualified (generally with Grade 10) but without training, in order to respond to the need of expanding system.

More than 50% of the teachers never had access to in-service training programmes and about 30% had only sometimes as the ZIP´s recently rehabilitated or in rehabilitation are not yet completely fulfilling their important role of in-service teacher training.

The lack of access to in-service training programmes associated to the low level of academic and professional qualification of the teachers may be one of the causes of high repetition and drop-out rates.

School facilities

More than 50% of the schools do not have chalkboard in the classrooms or if they do, they are inadequate. More than 75% have classrooms without tables and chairs/banches for the pupils, the latter being the most in short. More than 90% have classrooms without cupboards. Although part of the State Budget for Education is increasing, it is still rather far to enable the acquisition of basic classroom equipment.

More than 75% of the schools do not have staff rooms and over 90% do not have classrooms for specialised subject, libraries, workshop rooms, boarding facilities and storerooms.

More than 60% of the schools do not have adequate natural light and ventilation. This is due to the temporary character of some constructions and the lack of fulfilment of some basic norms, resulting from the weak supervision.

In over than 70% of the schools, the number of toilets/latrines for pupils and staff is too inferior to the needs, a fact that certainly contributes to the development of illness and may hamper the retention of girls in school.

More than 45% of the schools do not have playgrounds although the existence of space, a fact that reveals low sensibility of the School Board to maximize the school-space for the development of curriculum and extra-curriculum activities as well as the child comprehensive development.

School feeding programmes are practically unavailable, despite the low nutritional level of the diet of the Mozambican families.

More than 90% of the schools do not have sports equipment for Physical Education and for the development of sports by pupils, teachers and the community.

Teaching-learning materials

In more than 90% of the schools for the majority of the pupils there are no Mathematical sets, slates, crayons, drawing paper, in more than 80% paint and not even pencil, rubber, pen and in more than 70% ruler, exercise books, which hampers the realisation of basic and complementary school activities.

The shortage of manuals is felt particularly in Science, Geography, Biology and Civic Education. The shortage of textbooks is larger in Biology and Portuguese. However, it should be noted that the survey instruments were administrated 2 month after the beginning of the school year, during the raining season, which delay the distribution of textbooks. On the other hand, the unavailability of storerooms in more than 90% of the schools hampers the distribution of the textbooks before the beginning of the school year.

Health, safety and security

More than 75% of the schools are far from the nearest medical assistance centre for more than 5 Km. This situation is aggravated by the fact that in more than 60% of the schools, the safety of the school environment is reasonable or weak considering the existence of broken glasses, torn or ripped corrugated iron roofs, slippery toilet floor surfaces, etc, which might put pupils and teachers at risk of accidents injury or infection. Also in more than 90% of the schools there are no first aid boxes.

Certainly there is a close relationship between the safety of the school environment, which is reasonable or weak, and the shortage of fences in over than 60% of the schools.

In Mozambique the use of drugs is not noted in 94.6% of the schools. Sexual abuse and vandalism is not observed in 89.9 and 86.1% of the schools respectively.

School finance

The Ministry of Education provided textbooks free of charge to more than 95% of the schools. However, parents still had to provide exercise-books in more than 60% of the schools in all provinces, except Tete.

Government and management

The School Board, in collaboration with Parents Association and School Council, carries out a considerable number of tasks of administration and management. It should be stressed that the School Council is a recent management organ from which much more is expected than the already achieved.

Teachers

Biographical information

In spite the efforts that have been carried out in the area of pre, in-service and distance training, more than 70% of Basic Education teachers have only 7 years of schooling and 30% do not have professional training, the situation being more problematic in Grade 1 and 5. A correlation between teachers’ academic and professional level and pupils annual results has been observed showing higher pupils results for teachers with more academic qualification and training.

Teachers have a considerable number of years of teaching experience, in general and in primary schools, in particular. The rotation of teachers is greater among the schools (3.9 years, on average) than among the classes (5.6, on average).

Over 95% of the teachers use only Portuguese as language of instruction even in Grade 1. The exclusive use of Portuguese as medium of instruction by the majority of the teachers does not facilitate the learning process of the pupils, who in more than 75% of the cases have a different mother tongue and did not attend pre-school.

Class characteristics

In the classroom exist, on average, a high number of pupils (55.4) and more boys than girls (6, on average), 75% did not attend pre-school, more than 25% are repeaters, over 15% orphans and 10% of the enrolled drop-outs.

The high repetition and drop-out rates compromise the considerable high gross enrolment rate (85.2%) reached despite the war that destroyed over 50% of the school network as a significant number of pupils that had access to school did not complete at least the 1st level of Basic Education. Apart from that, the high rate of wastage is a heavy load for the expanding educational system whose quality is being enhanced.

More than 25% of the teachers, which do not teach all their lessons in the same classroom do teach at least part of them in open air and over 20% in temporary spaces. Teachers do not have classrooms for specialised subjects and not even adapted rooms for children with special needs.

Classroom facilities

About 40% of the classrooms do not have tables and 50% do not have chairs for teachers.

In all provinces, except Maputo, more than 50% of the classrooms do not have electricity, a fact that does not enable the schools to prolong the school-day and hampers the realization of extra-curriculum activities, in schools that in 62.6% and 13.2% of the cases have 2 and 3 shifts, respectively. A correlation was observed between the availability of electricity and the pupils’ annual results, showing higher pupils results for teachers in classrooms with electricity.

Teaching-learning materials

50% of the teachers do not have chalk for the whole year. 75% do not have teaching aids from the environment and 70% do not have maps produced by teachers and pupils.

In all provinces, except Maputo, more than 50% of the teachers have at least part of their pupils without exercise books, pencils and pens. Considering the average number of pupils per class (55.4 in the target schools), the percentage of pupils without exercise books, pencils/pens is over 35%. A correlation was observed between the pupils having exercise-books and pencils/pens and their annual results, showing higher pupils’ results for pupils having those basic materials.

However, 95% of the pupils have textbooks, despite the fact that the instruments of this survey were applied 2 months after the beginning of the academic year and delays in process of distribution, due to the raining season and bad conditions of the roads.

School facilities

In all provinces, over 90% of the schools, except Maputo, do not have access to a photocopying machine and more than 60% do not have access to typewriter/computer.

Teaching learning methods and teaching aids

More than 90% of the teachers do not use homework, exercises, projects and manual work as means of evaluation of pupils’ skills/abilities. More than 60% of the teachers never or rarely use role-playing, over 45% occasionally use group-work, lessons outside the classroom and group discussions and 20% never or rarely use them.

Over 90% of the teachers have never used the overhead projector, audio and video-cassettes, musical instruments, radio and television educational programmes, computers. 60% of the teachers never used models and more than 45% never or rarely make study-visits even to the environment surrounding the school.

Monitoring and supervision

The head of the class/subject does not regularly supervise more than 85% of the teachers, although over 60% are observed by him/her at least once and 50% at least twice a year.

At least 25% of the teachers have never been observed by the pedagogic inspector/supervisor.

More than 85% of the teachers do not have access to assistance from teacher training institutions and libraries.

Causes for low achievement

Over 50% of the teachers consider that parents’ indifference has a great influence in the low pupils achievement, while more than 45% assume that social economic status of the pupil also largely contributes. More than 35% feel that the fact that a child is an orphan and the lack of remedial teaching largely affects achievement. 30% of the teachers see the fact that parents are separated as a great influencing factor.

Recommendations and policy implications

The high repetition and drop-out rates, the high number of pupils per class, the existence of a considerable number of schools with 3 shifts and consequently, of pupils with only 3.5 daily school-hours, the considerable number of pupils that have open-air lessons or in temporary spaces, the shortage of resources for the acquisition of equipment and basic teaching learning materials for the school and classroom, the great need to increase the efficiency and reduce the relation cost-effectiveness, suggest the introduction of a System of Basic Education and Evaluation, per Learning Cycles.

System of Basic Education per Learning Cycles, even with 3 evaluation (in the 3rd, 5th and 7th Grades) at national level, would largely reduce the system wastage, therefore widening access and reducing the number of pupils per class, a factor that, if properly taken advantage of, would largely contribute to quality improvement of the system, through the individualisation of the teaching-learning process.

Moreover, the System of Basic Education and Evaluation, per Learning Cycles, would contribute in the improvement of the equity of the system by giving those pupils that did not have the opportunity to learn Portuguese, the language of instruction at home, did not have pre-school education and without diverse educational resources at home (more than 80%), 3 years to acquire minimum knowledge, skills and abilities that would enable them to get further more complex competencies, in the 2nd learning cycle. By so doing, the Government not only would increase access to the system, but it would create conditions to ensure the retention of the pupils at school in order to acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities prioritised by Basic Education.

In order to guarantee the quality, the System of Basic Education and Evaluation, per Learning Cycles, should include a series of measures to ensure that pupils have the same teacher within the same learning cycle, as well as define minimum clearly measurable sequential objectives, that would enable continuous evaluation of pupils’ and the decision by the teacher of the right moment to proceed to the next objective, confident that the previous one have been fulfilled by the majority.

The fact that 70% of Basic Education teachers have only 7 years of schooling shows the need to stimulate the continuance of their academic studies and be given priority to attend secondary education, among others.

The fact that over 30% of Basic Education teachers do not have professional training shows the need to invest in their training in appropriate institutions and mainly through regular programs in ZIP’s. In the next years, distance education should be used as often as possible in the training and improvement of teachers’ academic and professional level.

The results of the study show that in pre and in-service teacher training, particular attention should be given to the production of various teacher aids, and in particular, emphasis should be on those materials produced with local means. No teacher should leave the training centre without a set of self-produced materials during his/her training. During the training, the teacher should learn to produce teacher aids and how to use them. During this time the teacher should learn about the local physical and human environment as his/her great pedagogic resource.

During pre and in-service teacher training, particular attention should be given to the identification of children with special educational needs, which are certainly more than those identified by the target teachers. The results of the study also suggest the need to prepare the infrastructure of some schools, at least, in order to accommodate children with special educational needs.

The creation of libraries in ZIP’s and schools may also contribute to minimize the low level teachers’ academic and professional training of the teachers, as well as diversify the teaching-learning and evaluation methods, two necessities evidenced by the results of the survey.

In case of institution of the System of Basic Education and Evaluation, per Learning Cycles the ZIP’s should be play a important role in sensitising and preparing the teachers.

The fact that the female teachers represent only 20% of all teachers target by the survey, reflect the need to stimulate their recruitment and permanence in the profession. This is given the important role that they may play, either in the child adaptation process at school or to ensure the retention of girls at school, as after Grade 4 parents are reluctant to trust their children to male teachers. However, it is important to bear in mind that it is not having more female teachers in schools that will automatically ensure the adaptation of the children and retention of girls. To guarantee these objectives, particular attention should be given to these issues during pre and in-service training in teacher training centres and ZIP’s.

According to the results of the survey, class observation by the class/subject head and the discussion of the results should be encouraged as ways of minimising the negative effects of the low academic level and professional training of the teachers and guarantee their monitoring and objective evaluation.

The fact that given the possibility, a large part of teachers would be ready to change their profession, and their motivation to do so in order to improve their working conditions, promotion and career development prospects, shows the need to improve the real salary of the teacher and to start giving importance to their working conditions and the way that career promotion mechanisms are applied. It is important once again to stress that over 75% of the teachers do not have a teacher-room and a lounge to spend their break time in. This situation is even worse if we consider that a significant number of teachers do not live near their schools and work in two shifts. A fair career promotion requires the creation of supervision mechanisms, inspection and capable evaluation to guarantee it.

The School Well-Fair Fund should create conditions to guarantee at least, basic learning material namely exercise-books, eraser, pen, pencil, sharpener and ruler to pupils who cannot afford to buy them. Also, conditions should be created so that groups of 5 to 8 pupils, according to their Grade, can avail of carefully selected material kits for Portuguese, Mathematics and Science/Biology, according to the requirements of the curriculum and mental development of the child.

The lack of adequate air-ventilation and natural lightening in most schools shows the need to demand that teaching institutions are built according to established rules. On one hand, this presupposes the clarification to the communities and, on the other hand, the existence of supervision on the school construction.

The lack of toilettes/latrines in schools is a condition that has been seriously considered and resolved with brevity, as, apart from putting at risk vital needs, has serious educational, sanitary and health consequences. Male and female toilets should be built in order not to hamper the permanence of girls at school.

The results show the need to develop efforts in order to put fences around the schools in order to improve security and avoid incidents (no matter how small they can reach great proportions considering that for the majority of the schools the medical assistance centre is over 5 Km away). First-aid kits and fire extinguishers should be provided where necessary.

Fencing and creation of an adequate recreation area should be done in order to maximise the use of the school-space for extra-curricular and community activities, thus, making the school an enjoyable place where pupils, teachers and the community can have pleasure in staying. Pupils do not drop-out of school if they enjoy being in it. They are even capable of using their own means to convince their parents to let them continue at school, despite the fact that they may be needed at home for activities of family subsistence.

There is need to revitalise the creation and development of School Councils, management organs that apart from the Head include teachers, staff, parents and other community members democratically elected by their partners in order to solve the multiple problems faced by the schools. School Councils should contribute to the identification of the causes of pupils’ drop-out especially girls, as well as identify and implement measures for rectifying the situation.

In order for the efforts of the State, the community’s and partners in improving the learning conditions to be largely valued and preserved, it is necessary to encourage Education at schools. It is very important to ensure that School Board and teachers always bear in mind that the instruction is only part of their mission and that it is difficult to instruct while basic education principles such as discipline, organisation and respect for others rights are not interiorised. It is necessary to demand that schools mainly fulfil their educational mission, an important objective if we consider the great changes observed in the Mozambican society in the last 25 years and the fact that the large majority of the population lives below poverty level.


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