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Part III  Prospects

The Future: Education Sector Strategic Plan


The Strategic Plan of Education defines the Ministry´s fundamental objectives for Basic Education System and defines the means by which the Ministry - acting in concert with domestic stakeholders and international partners – will move to accomplish them.

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 Strategic Plan was drawn by the Ministry of Education with the participation of the international community and it was adopted by the Government and partners following Joint appraisal, in May 1998, for the five years period 1999-2003.

The main characteristic of the planning and preparation process for the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan are:

The central objective of the strategy is universal access to primary schooling for all Mozambican children.

Universal access to primary school is of fundamental importance for four main reasons described in the following in the following paragraphs:

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.

The Ministry’s strategy has been developed through a process of broad consultation. Continued consultation with stakeholders and encouragement of widespread participation in implementation will be essential determinants of the strategy’s success.

The key to the implementation of the Education Strategic Plan is the acknowledgement by the Ministry of education of its limited fiscal and administrative capacity and the corresponding acceptance by the Ministry’s domestic and international partners of shared responsibility for achieving the strategy’s main goal.

Accomplishing this goal will required the participation of all Mozambicans - parents, communities, employers, NGOs, religious organisations - and from the Government's international partners as well.

In the future the Mozambican educational system will comprise a diverse array of institution- public and private, formal and non-formal - supported by contributions from and governed in collaboration with stakeholders. This implies a new and in some senses diminished role for the Ministry of Education and greatly expand roles for other actors as they assume a greater share of responsibility in the system.

    1. Policy Option

Expanding access to education

Rapid progress toward universal primary schooling is the central goal of the Education Sector Strategic Plan. The right to education for all Mozambicans is inscribed in the Constitution, and the goal of universal basic education was affirmed by the Government in 1990, at the World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien. The Government will devote every effort to making this right a reality in the coming decade.

Universal access to primary school is of fundamental importance for the Government’s development strategy, for four main reasons:

Universal primary schooling

The central objective of the Ministry’s strategy is to ensure that all Mozambican children have the opportunity to enrol in school, which will require the construction of large numbers of new schools and classrooms. This task is complicated by rapid growth in the school-aged population, estimated at 3.7 percent per year. Accommodating all of these additional children will require the provision on average of approximately 1500 new EP1 and EP2 classrooms each year, between 1998 and 2002. Expansion on this scale will also require the recruitment and training of large numbers of new teachers, as is discussed in a subsequent section.

In this construction program, the highest priority will be assigned to providing schools in regions and communities where children now lack effective access. The Ministry will undertake a school mapping exercise in order to ensure that new schools are built where they are most needed. Inappropriate or inadequate building standards may represent a particular obstacle to the enrolment and persistence of girls in school, so the Ministry will seek to ensure that new schools and classrooms are built with attention to the special needs of girls. Local leaders and educators will encourage households and communities to enrol their sons and daughters in school in the year they reach the official enrolment age.

Increased access for girls and women

The Government assigns particular importance to increasing female enrolment at all levels of the educational system, as most of the children who do not now enrol in school are girls. The Ministry therefore proposes to increase the representation of girls in EP1 by 2 percent per year, with a particular focus on the Northern and Central regions where female enrolments are currently lowest. Encouraging the enrolment and persistence of girls in school may require a variety of policy shifts, including expanded recruitment of female staff, revision of curricula, modification of school construction standards, and the provision of targeted financial support for female students in areas or on courses (e.g., agriculture) where they are severely underrepresented. More generally, it will require the systematic incorporation of gender issues into the Ministry’s planning process, and the collection, analysis, and publication of educational data desegregated by sex.

The lack of female teachers has been identified as one of the main causes of low enrolment among girls, with some districts employing no female teachers at all. This shortage is in turn partly attributable to the social problems that young women may encounter when assigned to schools in unfamiliar areas. The Ministry will therefore expand the recruitment and training of female teachers, and will simultaneously seek to minimize the problems that they face on the job by for example allowing young women to teach in their home areas or assigning female teachers to schools in pairs. The Ministry will also take immediate steps to increase the representation of women among school directors, teacher trainers, provincial and district administrative staff, and in the Ministry itself. In secondary schools the Ministry will encourage the employment of matrons for boarding facilities.

In the curriculum development process that is now underway, the Ministry will ensure that curricula and learning materials are adapted to the learning needs of girls, and that they reflect the diverse roles that women play in Mozambican society. Curricula in training programs for teachers and administrators will also be revised to include attention to gender issues and the specific problems that girls and young women encounter in schools.

In addition, the Ministry will conduct studies in different regions of the country to investigate the gender constraints that make girls less likely than boys to enrol or persist in school. The Ministry will develop policy responses based on the findings of these studies, including support for provincial and district officials as they devise strategies to overcome the social and cultural obstacles that girls and young women face in particular regions. At the national level the Ministry will develop policies that support the continued education of pregnant students, and strengthen enforcement of its current policies barring the sexual harassment and abuse of female students and teachers.

Enhanced internal efficiency

The Ministry is currently developing policies to increase the internal efficiency of primary schools, in association with the continuing process of curriculum reform. Reducing currently high rates of failure, repetition, and dropout will improve learning outcomes for many students, and free resources currently lost to "wastage" in schools for more productive uses. Reducing repetition rates also frees the school places now occupied by repeaters for new students, thus making way for a substantial increase in enrolments at virtually no additional cost. Estimates included in the Financial Plan suggest that improving the efficiency of the system is the single best use of scarce financial resources in the education sector. Reducing the dropout rate among girls in the upper grades of EP1 and in the transition to EP2 is especially important, as this is the point at which disparities in enrolment rates between girls and boys are most powerfully established. Among the possibilities under consideration are the introduction of automatic promotion in primary schools and the establishment of multi-year learning cycles in order to reduce the salience of annual evaluation and promotion.

Complete primary schools

In addition to providing initial access to schools, the Ministry will encourage the expansion of existing EP1 schools to include Grades 6 and 7. This will require not only the construction of additional classrooms but also a significant revision of the curriculum in EP2 to bring it into closer integration with the curriculum in EP1. Revising the EP2 curriculum to reduce the number of independent subjects will also reduce the number of new teachers needed at this level as enrolments rise. The opportunity to complete primary school close to home should reduce dropout rates and increase the rate of transition from EP1 to EP2, especially for girls.

Low-cost construction

An additional factor determining the feasible pace of expansion in the educational system is the cost of constructing schools and classrooms, which has in the past varied widely across projects and across funding agencies, from less than USD$5000 to more than USD$45,000 per classroom. Pilot projects under the auspices of various agencies provide valuable examples of schools and classrooms constructed at significantly reduced cost. GEPE is now in the process of developing and implementing low-cost models of classroom construction for all regions of Mozambique, and the Ministry will shortly convene a national seminar to consider different models and possible variation across regions. Based on the outcomes of this seminar, the Ministry will encourage the various agencies participating in classroom construction to adopt standard low-cost models so as to maximize the number of classrooms they are able to construct. The Ministry will also encourage these agencies to rely to the greatest possible extent on local materials and local labour in school construction, so as to generate employment and maximize the impact of construction projects on local economies, and will develop administrative and financial procedures to provide funds and materials to communities that seek to construct their own schools and classrooms.

Encouragement for alternative providers

Increasing access will necessarily involve the construction and management of schools by actors other than the Ministry of Education. As the Ministry’s capacity to meet the social demand for education and training remains limited, the contributions that these agencies can make are urgently important. Through tax incentives and other mechanisms the Ministry will encourage religious organizations, NGOs, entrepreneurs, and employers to expand their own provision of educational facilities and opportunities. For example, NGOs can play an especially important role in the provision of adult and non-formal education, while employers can make valuable contributions in providing opportunities and support for technical and post-secondary education. The Ministry will also continue to support the establishment and expansion of private schools, especially in areas not sufficiently served by public institutions. Private providers can also play an important role in expanding national capacity at the secondary and post-secondary levels of the education system.

Pre-service and in-service training for teachers

The main constraint on the expansion of primary school enrolments is the supply of teachers. The current output of trained teachers graduating from teacher training institutions is approximately 1360 per year, which is expected to rise to approximately 2200 per year with the opening of new IMAPs in additional provinces. Continued progress toward the Ministry’s goal of universal access to primary schooling will require far larger numbers of new teachers, which is clearly beyond the capacity of the teacher training system as it is now organized. The Ministry anticipates a cumulative shortage of approximately 8,000 teachers in 2001. The Ministry has undertaken a study of the teacher training system aimed at measuring the potential capacity of the system and at developing strategies for significantly increasing the system’s output.

The rapid expansion of enrolments in the years immediately after Independence was accomplished in significant part by recruiting large numbers of under qualified teachers, some with as little as four years of primary schooling. The Ministry is unwilling to accept further deterioration in educational quality as the price of increased enrolments, but significant gains in enrolments are clearly not attainable without a major expansion in the capacity of the teacher training system and the introduction of innovative instructional strategies in primary schools. Of necessity, this will have to be achieved through the revision of curricula and the intensification of production in all teacher training institutions, supplemented by increased provision of in-service training and instructional support services for new teachers.

The Ministry is now developing accelerated training programs for IMAPs, so that new teachers can complete their pre-service training in 12 months and quickly assume teaching positions in schools. The goal is to move to a 10+1+1 model, in which prospective teachers who have completed ten years of schooling will be provided with one year of intensive pre-service training, followed by a year of supervised practice accompanied by in-service training and support. The pre-service year will focus on mastery of curriculum content and classroom "survival skills," while the in-service year will focus on the refinement of pedagogical practice and work with parents and other community constituencies.

However, the IMAPs will not be able to produce enough new teachers to accommodate the planned increase in enrolments. The CFPPs will therefore continue to recruit candidates with seven years of schooling, and to provide them with a somewhat more extensive pre-service training program in order to equip them for teaching positions. The Ministry will explore ways in which the CFPP curriculum can be revised to accelerate the production of new teachers and shift a greater share of their preparation to in-service work at the school site. Until all of the IMAPs are fully on-stream, the Ministry will also continue recruiting new teachers with ten years of schooling and no professional training. Most of these teachers receive some brief professional orientation before they enter the classroom, and subsequent in-service training in both residential and distance programs. The Ministry will provide supervision, pedagogical support, and continuing in-service training on a priority basis for new teachers. Over time the Ministry will seek to ensure that all teachers in primary schools have at least 10 years of schooling and full professional training, but it is clear that this goal will be achieved only in the very long term.

As an additional response to the shortage of teachers, double (and sometimes triple) shifts will unfortunately continue in most primary schools, as will relatively high pupil/teacher ratios. To ameliorate these problems, the Ministry will ensure that all pre-service and in-service training programs for teachers provide them with skills and techniques that will enable them to work effectively with large classes. The Ministry will also explore the possibility of introducing alternative organizational models including multi-grade classrooms in some schools.

Incentives for teachers

Another potential constraint on the expansion of primary school enrolments is the recurrent cost of expansion, the main component of which is teachers’ salaries. The Government recognizes that the current salaries and conditions of work of public sector employees are not conducive to high morale or effective performance, and is therefore working with its international partners in the Consultative Group to develop a strategy to improve their wages, benefits, and working conditions. The Ministry of Education strongly supports this effort, which will benefit teachers as well as other public sector workers. At the same time, the Ministry will seek to provide teachers with access to alternative forms of compensation (e.g., opportunities for promotion, housing, community support) so as to restrain growth in the wage bill. The Ministry will also take steps to minimize the particular obstacles faced by female teachers (see above), in order to increase the recruitment and retention of women in the teaching profession.

Improvements in teachers’ conditions of service is essential in order to attract better-qualified teachers, increase their time for class preparation and teaching, and reduce their dependence on second jobs and "unofficial" sources of additional income. In addition, of course, improving teachers’ conditions of services makes the teaching profession more attractive relative to alternative employment, and so may help to reduce the rate of attrition among current teachers. Improvements in the compensation of teachers will be closely linked to improvements in their qualifications and performance as teachers are provided with increased opportunities for in-service training.

Distance education and alternative technologies

Increasing access to primary schooling is mainly a matter of building schools and training teachers, but the scale of expansion required to bring about universal primary schooling and increase access in other parts of the educational system means that alternative delivery mechanisms must also be explored. The Ministry of Education is committed to this exploration, which may be carried out in association with a multi-country project ("Learning without Frontiers") that seeks to determine whether distance technologies can be employed to provide a variety of educational services more efficiently and effectively than can be done in traditional classrooms. The in-service teacher training program now being provided by IAP represents one successful example of distance education as a strategy for reaching large numbers of highly dispersed learners at a relatively low cost. Similar strategies may be useful for expanding access in other parts of the system, in adult and non-formal education and even EP2. The Ministry will continue to explore the application of new technologies in the education system, and will develop a policy framework that provides educational opportunities to the greatest possible number of Mozambicans in the most efficient available ways.

    1. Improving educational quality
    2. The second major objective of the Education Sector Strategic Plan is to maintain and improve the quality of education in Mozambican schools. The Ministry is aware of the potential tradeoffs implicit in the goal of rapidly expanding enrolments, and is therefore committed to policies that will enhance rather than diminish educational quality as Mozambique moves toward universal primary schooling. To accomplish this goal the Ministry will rely on a number of different strategies.

      Review and revise the curriculum

      The Ministry will review and revise the basic education curriculum, in close cooperation with representatives of civil society. There is widespread agreement that the present curriculum in primary schools is increasingly inappropriate to the rapidly changing requirements of Mozambican society, but there is no consensus as to what a new curriculum should look like, as different constituencies seek to ensure that what is taught in schools reflects their interests. Given this lack of consensus, the Ministry cannot develop a new curriculum on its own, nor impose a single model on all regions and schools. The Ministry has therefore initiated an ongoing democratic and participatory curriculum process under the leadership of INDE that involves teachers and other key stakeholders (e.g., religious organizations, employers) in the development of a new curriculum framework that is both sufficiently rigorous to provide young Mozambicans with the academic skills that they need and sufficiently flexible to accommodate the diverse demands and expectations of a plural and democratic society. The new framework will incorporate explicit attention to gender issues and the specific learning needs of Mozambican girls, in order to encourage their access to higher levels of the education system. On the principle that the curriculum should build on the knowledge that children bring to school, it will allow regions and communities to adapt the curriculum in their schools to local demands and preferences, including the increased use of maternal languages and teacher-produced materials in the classroom. It will also support the closer integration of EP1 and EP2 in order to increase the number of students who are able to complete their primary schooling.

      Provide training for teachers

      The Ministry will continue to assign the highest priority to pre-service and in-service teacher training, with a special emphasis on building up an institutional infrastructure to provide in-service training and instructional support for teachers in the field. In this effort, the Ministry will seek to ensure equitable treatment for women, both in their initial recruitment to the teaching profession and in their subsequent access to training opportunities and promotion within the education system.

      Unqualified and under qualified teachers recruited in the past will remain in the classroom for the foreseeable future, and significant improvements in educational quality in all but the very long term therefore require additional training for them. Initiatives that will provide training for this group include the expansion of IAP’s current distance education program to include all "Level E" teachers, the introduction of systematic in-service training for newly-recruited teachers with ten years of schooling and no professional training, the establishment of training and resource centres (NUFORPES) in CFPPs and IMAPs, the strengthening of capacity for inspection and instructional supervision at provincial and district levels, the revitalization of ZIPs, and closer coordination between ZIPs and IAP’s Pedagogical Nucleus (Núcleos Pedagógicos). In-service training for teachers is also an essential complement to curriculum reform. Teachers must be introduced to the gender and other perspectives incorporated into the new curriculum frameworks, and made aware of the curricular and pedagogical options that are now available to them.

      Enhance the qualifications and training of school directors

      Ministry will review the criteria employed in the recruitment of school directors, and will begin to develop strategies for improving their qualifications and training. One key objective is to increase the representation of women in these positions, and to ensure that women have equitable access to administrative training.

      School directors occupy a critically important role in the educational system. The leadership that they provide (or fail to provide) in their schools will determine to a significant extent whether key elements of the Ministry’s strategy succeed or fail. On the one hand, the qualification and training of school directors is an important complement to the training of teachers. Substantial investments in teacher training can have very little impact if school directors do not create a climate supportive of innovation and collaboration in their schools. Moreover, qualified school directors can provide supplementary "on the job" training for their teachers, either formally or informally (e.g., through classroom observation and subsequent discussion.)

      On the other hand, school directors provide the immediate connection between schools and the communities they serve, and few are adequately prepared for the effective performance of this role. As the Ministry seeks to increase the autonomy of schools and to enlist the participation and support of stakeholders and local communities in their governance and finance, school directors will have to assume large new responsibilities. Among many others, these will include working with school councils and other community structures to identify and respond to community expectations for their schools. As schools assume greater autonomy and responsibility in the educational system, school directors will also require training and expertise in financial management.

      Improve monitoring and assessment

      The Ministry will develop and implement a system for the collection of data on student achievement in primary schools, including a review of the present examination system. Systematic monitoring and assessment will enable the Ministry to track the performance of the educational system, and identify aspects of curriculum or pedagogy where improvement is needed. In addition, the Ministry will continue to work with educators to modify instructional and assessment practices that contribute to high rates of failure and repetition, and will encourage school directors and teachers to develop procedures for conveying information about students’ performance to their parents and guardians on a regular basis.

      Ensure that all children have essential learning materials

      The Ministry will continue to provide learning materials to the neediest students through the School Welfare Fund (Caixa Escolar), along with "kits" of basic educational materials for teachers and classrooms. In order to reduce costs, the Ministry will also take steps to ensure that the textbooks distributed to schools are sufficiently durable to be used by more than one student. In order to ensure that all students have access to textbooks and other basic materials, the Ministry will simultaneously call on parents, local communities, and other agencies (e.g., NGOs, religious organizations, and the private sector) to bear a larger share of the cost of maintaining schools and providing learning materials for students. A study of households’ willingness to pay for education that will help to define the potential scope for cost-sharing at various levels of the educational system is now nearing completion. Establishing the principle that schools are a joint responsibility of the Government and the broader society they serve is one of the key aims of the Ministry’s strategy.

    3. Sustaining expansion and improvement
    4. The third major objective of the Education Sector Strategic Plan is to ensure that the short-term accomplishments of the Ministry’s strategy in terms of expanded access and improved quality can be sustained in the longer term. The goal of sustainability has three main dimensions: institutional, financial, and political. With respect to the first, the expansion and improvement of the basic education system require corresponding increases in the capacity of the Ministry of Education to manage the system and respond to the changing economic and social demands placed upon Mozambican schools. With respect to financial sustainability, expansion and improvement require increased levels of expenditure, and a key question is whether the recurrent costs of the changes proposed in the plan can be supported out of local resources. Political sustainability requires the Ministry to establish forums and occasions for regular consultation with representatives of stakeholder groups (e.g., teachers, parents) and other domestic constituencies (e.g., religious organizations, employers) in order to hear their views on educational issues and ensure their support for the Government’s policy initiatives.

      The Ministry of Education is considering the establishment of a National Education Council in order to institutionalise the consultative process, and parallel institutions might also be established to accomplish similar purposes at provincial and local levels

      Decentralization, organizational development, and capacity building

      Implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan will impose new and difficult responsibilities on officials at all levels of the educational system. Most obviously, the decentralization of significant administrative authority will greatly complicate the lives of provincial, district, and school administrators. At the school level, for example, school directors will be expected to take on unfamiliar tasks including curriculum development, teacher training, building maintenance, financial management, and liaison with the surrounding community. The effects of these changes will also be felt in the Ministry, where central officials will have to learn to manage a system characterized by local autonomy, experimentation, and diversity rather than compliance and conformity.

      In the first instance, building the management capacity necessary for the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan will require a comprehensive restructuring of the Ministry of Education, to ensure that personnel, resources, and administrative authority are assigned to the levels of the system where they are needed. It will subsequently require the reassignment or recruitment of key personnel to fully staff provincial and district offices, and the provision of orientation and training to equip them for their new responsibilities. Within the Ministry it will require the development of procedures for monitoring and supporting the implementation of change at lower levels of the system. Capacity-building is also required in the area of policy analysis and policy research. Capacity for policy research also needs to be strengthened at INDE.

      The Ministry will undertake a study of administrative decentralization in the educational system, including a review of the division of authority and responsibility among officials at national, provincial, district, and school levels. One outcome of the study will be a plan for building administrative capacity at all levels of the system, and for shifting personnel and administrative functions between levels in order to ensure the continued effectiveness of the system as responsibilities are decentralized.

      Fiscal capacity and cost sharing

      To a large extent, the financial sustainability of the changes proposed in the Education Sector Strategic Plan depends upon the success of the Government’s macroeconomic strategy. If strong economic growth can be sustained, if the burden imposed by debt service can be reduced, and if tax revenues can be increased, then significantly higher levels of public expenditure for education can be supported. If growth slows, however, sustaining increased levels of educational expenditure will be far more difficult.

      Under any but the most optimistic assumptions, however, a funding gap is likely to persist between the financial capability of the Ministry and the growing requirements of the educational system. In the short to medium term, it should be possible to finance this gap through the assistance of bilateral and multilateral donors acting under the auspices of the Special Initiative for Africa. In the longer term, however, the Ministry will have to rely on a variety of domestic partners (parents, communities, NGOs, religious organizations, and the private sector) to sustain the higher levels of expenditure associated with expansion and improvement. Eliciting financial and other commitments from stakeholders and representatives of civil society will require the Ministry to share information and administrative authority with them to a much greater extent than has been common in the past.

      Public information and debate

      Given the critical role that local communities and other stakeholders are expected to play in financing the expansion of enrolments and supporting improvements in educational quality in Mozambican schools, retaining the political support of these constituencies for the Ministry’s strategy is urgently important. This will require on the one hand the sharing of information about the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan, and on the other the establishment of forums and occasions for consultation and debate on the Ministry’s educational policies. The Ministry will publish and disseminate an annual report in popular language on the implementation of the Government’s education strategy that measures progress toward the achievement of universal primary schooling and other key objectives including increased equity for girls. The Ministry will also support the creation of school councils in order to encourage participation, transparency, and accountability in school administration, and will develop procedures for regular consultation by Ministry officials with stakeholders and representatives of civil society at national, provincial, and district levels.

    5. Scenarios for implementation
    6. The process of implementation

      The central objective of the Education Sector Strategic Plan is accelerated progress toward universal primary schooling for Mozambican children. The Ministry of Education will pursue this goal in association with measures to maintain and improve educational quality in primary schools, and to establish an institutional framework for the educational system that will support further advances and sustain past gains at all levels. The critical tasks in the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan are an acceleration in the construction and rehabilitation of schools and classrooms, an increase in the number of teachers receiving pre-service and in-service training, and the continued provision of textbooks and basic learning materials to the neediest students.

      The design of the Education Sector Strategic Plan is flexible, in order to allow regular modifications in response to changing circumstances. The plan will be reviewed annually, to assess the availability of financing, shifts in Ministry policies and priorities, and progress toward the achievement of key objectives. This review will include the participation of key stakeholders, including the Ministry’s main domestic and international partners.

      The pace and phasing of implementation will depend primarily on the development of increased capacity in key areas of the educational system, including classroom construction, teacher training, curriculum development, and school administration. Capacity constraints in these and related areas are both financial and organizational. Success in overcoming them will require close cooperation between the Ministry of Education and the Government’s domestic and international partners. With respect to classroom construction, for example, the pace of implementation will depend on the development and adoption of low-cost models for classrooms, on the willingness of local communities to contribute to construction and rehabilitation projects, and on the continued financial support of the Government’s external partners. With respect to teacher training, implementation will depend on the Ministry’s ability to recruit acceptable candidates for teaching positions, on the rate of increase in the output of pre-service teacher training institutions, and on the expansion of capacity to provide in-service training and support for new and under qualified teachers. Overcoming these constraints will enhance flexibility and make the system more responsive to the demands of particular communities and constituencies, thus contributing to the attainment of the Government’s central objective.

      Within the Ministry of Education, general oversight for the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan will be provided by the Consultative Council and a Steering Committee comprising representatives from the Ministry’s principal donors. Operational responsibility for coordinating the day-to-day implementation will be assigned to a Technical Council chaired by the Vice-Minister, with representation from each of the operational units in the Ministry. The Technical Council will direct and monitor the implementation process, and will prepare and present regular progress reports to the Consultative Council and the Steering Committee. The Ministry will convene formal review meetings for the Ministry’s domestic and international partners annually.

      Successful implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan will also depend on the establishment of an effective process for monitoring implementation, in order to identify and address problems and adjust plans and targets in a timely fashion. Developing criteria and procedures to track the progress of implementation and devise appropriate and effective responses to changing circumstances in the economy and the educational system will require the establishment of a Policy Analysis Unit within the Ministry of Education. The Policy Analysis Unit will be located in the Planning Directorate, which will need some medium-term technical assistance to support the Unit’s establishment. Staff in the Policy Analysis Unit will work closely with officials and policy researchers at INDE, the Universidade Pedagógica, the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and other agencies to conduct policy research and develop policy options for the Ministry. The work of the Policy Analysis Unit will also include the preparation and publication of an annual report on the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan, and periodic roundtables with the Ministry’s principal donors to track the progress of implementation and address problems as they arise.

      Successful implementation will also require regular consultation with civil society and stakeholders, through the National Education Council and provincial and local councils, and periodic roundtables with the Ministry’s principal donors to discuss developments. An important element of these consultative processes will be the establishment of transparent procedures for financial administration, including regular audits of the Ministry’s accounts and the sharing of financial information with domestic and international stakeholders.

      The Ministry’s annual report will provide wide access to information on progress toward the Government’s strategic objectives, with data desegregated by gender to provincial and district levels. Among the indicators to be reported on in the annual report will be enrolment rates in primary schools, the percentage of females enrolled at various levels of the educational system, measures of internal efficiency including repetition and drop-out rates, completion rates in training programs for pre-service and in-service teachers, numbers of classrooms constructed or rehabilitated, and measures of school quality including the availability of qualified teachers, textbooks, and basic learning materials.

      Financing implementation

      In cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and Finance and its main external partners, the Ministry of Education has prepared a Financial Plan for the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan. This document sets forth estimates of the quantity of resources needed to implement the Ministry’s strategy, including estimates of the resources to be provided from the Government’s budget and from external agencies. The document also identifies the quantity of resources to be obtained through cost-sharing by households and communities, based in part on a study of households’ willingness to pay for education.

      The scenario presented in the Financial Plan provides preliminary estimates of the cost and feasibility of implementing the Education Sector Strategic Plan. The estimates presented are based on the Government’s current education policy framework, which aims at a gross admission rate to EP1 of 86 percent in the year 2000 and 90 percent in 2002. (The gross admission rate in 1997 was 79 percent.) The financial implications of even more ambitious enrolment targets are currently under review.

      With respect to investment, the Education Sector Strategic Plan calls for significantly increased expenditures for school and classroom construction. Reaching the Government’s target of an 86 percent gross admission rate in 2000 will require the construction of approximately 8,000 new classrooms for EP1 and EP2. At current construction costs, providing these new classrooms will require approximately USD$47 million worth of investment per year between 1998 and 2002. It is quite likely that the construction costs that the Ministry now pays can be reduced in the future, as a model of low-cost construction is defined and implemented, which means that funding requirements may in fact be considerably less.

      Another key area for investment in the Education Sector Strategic Plan is pre-service and in-service training for teachers and school directors, and capacity-building for officials elsewhere in the education system. The goal is to create an integrated teacher training system, in which educators at every level of the system from the Universidade Pedagógica to the school participate in improving the quality of instruction that Mozambican children receive. Necessary investments in training include both support for the direct costs of training and expenditures to increase the capacity and effectiveness of training systems (i.e., the establishment and equipment of additional núcleos pedagógicos and NUFORPES, strengthening of inspection and instructional supervision services at provincial and district levels, the revitalization of ZIPs). As above, the Government will continue to seek funds for training and capacity-building from its international partners on a project or program basis. Additional elements of the strategy (e.g., curriculum revision) will also be funded on a project basis.

      To the greatest possible extent, the Government will continue to seek to obtain investment funds from its international partners. The Financial Plan estimates that the Ministry’s capital investment will amount to slightly more than USD$10 million per year between 1998 and 2002, so implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan will depend upon a large but nevertheless feasible increase in external support. External grants and loans to the education sector in Mozambique have amounted to more than USD$40 million per year in recent years. (This figure excludes support provided by NGOs and other "unofficial" sources, and also excludes loans from IDA and other multilateral agencies.) Maintaining or gradually increasing the total quantity of external support should therefore suffice to cover the investment cost of the Government’s strategy, as the Government will simultaneously seek to reduce its own commitments in the area of school construction by encouraging the participation of other domestic agencies including local communities, religious organizations, NGOs, and the private sector.

      With respect to recurrent costs, the main implication of the Education Sector Strategic Plan for the Government’s budget is a significant increase in expenditures for teachers’ salaries, as the number of teachers increases in response to rising enrolments and as teachers improve their qualifications through in-service training. Cost projections in the Financial Plan suggest that the annual salary bill will increase from USD$46 million in 1998 to USD$67 million in 2002, on the assumption that there is no real increase in teachers’ salaries apart from the increases associated with improved qualifications. Real wage increases for teachers would significantly increase the recurrent costs that the Government must bear.

      The expansion of enrolments and the construction of new schools and classrooms will also entail increased costs for learning materials and school maintenance. The Government will seek to shift the greatest possible share of these costs to parents, communities, NGOs, and the private sector, in order to reserve its own resources to assist the poorest communities and households. If the Ministry maintains its current policy of providing books and materials for all students, however, the Financial Plan estimates that the total cost of the Caixa Escolar will increase to approximately USD$45 million, although approximately two-thirds of this cost has historically been borne by the Government’s donors. Additional recurrent costs will arise from the strengthening of administrative and training systems. The Financial Plan estimates that the Government will need to provide approximately USD$4 million per year in counterpart funding to maintain new schools and classrooms.

      The estimates presented in the Financial Plan suggest that the Government’s annual recurrent budget for education (excluding higher education) will have to increase by fifty percent between 1998 and 2002, from approximately USD$62 million to USD$95 million, if the Ministry is to move toward universal primary schooling. To achieve this goal, the public resources available for the basic education system will have to increase by slightly more than 8 percent per year, and the share of Government recurrent expenditure going to education will have to rise from 14.5 percent to 18.1 percent over the course of the period. Under a scenario that leads to universal primary schooling at the end of the decade (i.e., in 2006) a similar rate of increase in the recurrent budget must be maintained for another five years. The Ministry will seek to extend these resources by tightly restraining costs in other parts of the educational system and by shifting costs to households and communities. For example, if the percentage of students receiving books and materials through the Caixa Escolar can be reduced from 100 percent to 66 percent by 2006 the Ministry’s annual expenditures will fall substantially. Similar savings can be achieved by limiting annual increases in teachers’ salaries.

      The feasibility of the Education Sector Strategic Plan nevertheless depends decisively on the willingness of the Government’s domestic and international partners to assume a significant share of the costs of implementation. The Government’s bilateral and multilateral partners will have to supply approximately USD$50 million per year to support implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan. Feasibility also depends on a variety of other factors. On the cost side, the key variables are the per classroom cost of construction, the rate of growth in teachers’ salaries, and the percentage of students receiving support through the Caixa Escolar. On the revenue side, the key variable is the rate of growth in government revenues, which in turn depends on the rate of GDP growth and the effective rate of taxation.

    7. Strategic priorities

The Education Sector Strategic Plan identifies the Ministry of Education’s main strategic objectives for the basic education system, and defines the strategy that the Ministry will pursue to attain them. The principal focus of the Ministry’s strategy for the next decade is expansion and improvement in primary schools. As the Política Nacional de Educação makes clear, however, other sectors in the education system require attention as well. This section of the document identifies operational priorities in other sectors of the education system, and in some cases links these to specific project proposals.


Pre-school opportunities are of special importance for the children of the poor. They can provide children from poor households with the basic knowledge and skills that they need in order to enter primary school ready to learn, and they can provide nutritional and other support services for these children that increase their chances of success in school. Expanding access to pre-school programs for otherwise disadvantaged children may therefore serve two purposes, improving the internal efficiency of primary schools and increasing social equity.

Pre-school programs are now scarce in Mozambique, though the number in operation undoubtedly far exceeds the number officially known to the Ministry of Education. With only a few exceptions pre-school programs are organized and staffed informally, under the auspices of religious organizations, NGOs, and neighbourhood associations, and they consequently vary widely in the range and quality of services that they provide.

The Ministry of Education does not foresee a large role for the state in the direct provision of pre-school education programs. The Ministry will, however, encourage the expansion of opportunities for pre-school children and will, to the greatest extent possible, support initiatives by other agencies to improve existing programs or establish new ones. Support from the Ministry might take the form of training programs for pre-school educators, or access to space in public school facilities for pre-school programs.

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