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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday called for an inclusive and good quality education system, capable of guaranteeing the development of human capital, which he regarded as the essential factor for the country’s economic and social growth.
To attain this goal, he called for greater commitment from teachers, pupils, parents, school mangers and all other education professionals, each playing their roles so that quality and inclusion become the major reference points for education in Mozambique.
Nyusi was speaking in Muembe district, in the northern province of Niassa, at the official opening of the 2020 school year, an act which coincided with the inauguration of the first secondary school in the district.
The launch of the 2020 school year occurred under the motto: “Towards an Inclusive, Patriotic and Quality Education”.
Nyusi said that promoting an inclusive, effective and efficient education system, which guarantees that pupils acquire knowledge and skills, will remain a priority in the new period of governance (2020-2024), in order to make education a key part in the development of Mozambique.
“Education influences the formation of human capital and of social justice”, he stressed. “Hence, in this five year period we must continue to guarantee resources in order to ensure equity in access to education, and the retention of children at school”.
Other priority matters were strategies to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and establishing a national curriculum, aimed at the development of skills and of attitudes towards life.
As for inclusion, Nyusi recognized the efforts made by the education sector to ensure education for all, but over the next five years, he said, there must be more actions to ensure the inclusion of children and adolescents with special educational needs, and the promotion of gender equality from the viewpoint of educational opportunities.
“We have to continue developing actions to provide inclusive education which does not leave anybody behind”, he said. “We shall continue to train competent teachers to assist pupils with special educational needs”.
On the question of gender disparity in access to education, Nyusi admitted that, despite encouraging results achieved in the past five year period, the problems persist. He recommended specific interventions to ensure that girls remain at school until the conclusion of their studies.
Nyusi was concerned at the high levels of illiteracy, despite the reduction in the adult illiteracy rate from 44.9 per cent in 2015 to 39 per cent in 2019. This decline of only 1.1 per cent a year, he said, was too low for the challenges imposed on the sector.
At this rate, he warned, “it would still take many decades to eradicate illiteracy. The country needs to step up the pace”. There is also a startling gender differential in literacy rates. 27.2 per cent of men are illiterate, but the figure soars to 49.4 per cent among women.
This year, Mozambique has a total of 13,116 primary and 667 secondary schools, for slightly more than eight million pupils.
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