Primary school years
In Mozambique, children now have a much better opportunity to learn than before. Today, 83 per cent of the children are enrolled in primary school, up from 32 per cent in 1992.
The number of primary and secondary schools has tripled and 3,500 new teachers have been recruited every year since 1992. School fees were abolished in 2004, and a programme of direct support to schools has been introduced.
However, investments in the quality of education have not been able to keep up with the expanding school system. Many schools are still not child-friendly. In the lower primary level, there is an average of one teacher for every 74 learners and only 58 per cent of teachers at this level have teacher training.
Around 70 per cent of the schools do not have water and separate latrines for boys and girls. More than half of primary school aged children leave school before they complete grade five.
Inequalities persist in terms of access to education, based on where a child lives, whether the child is a boy or girl, and on the level of household poverty. In the poorest families, for example, only 39 per cent of girls compared to 52 per cent of boys attend school. More than 650,000 children who should be in school are not.
The limited number of female teachers – in the upper primary level, only 23 per cent of teachers are women – means that girls often lack role models who could encourage them to continue and complete their studies.