12 September 2012

Mozambique: Round Table On Adult Education

Maputo — The Mozambican government should draw up a wide-ranging policy on the education of young people and adults, which clarifies the concept of this sort of education and what it implies, in order to make it possible to develop strategies and choose between priorities.

This is one of the recommendations from a report on the Teaching and Education of Youths and Adults in Mozambique, by the "Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa" (OSISA) which was presented publicly at a Maputo round table on Wednesday.

The study, also undertaken in four other southern African countries (Angola, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland) was aimed at obtaining a greater understanding of the current availability of education and training for young people and adults outside of the schools, and to identify effective institutions and educational practices that could be used to improve adult education in quantity and quality.

"Mozambique needs an inclusive, systematic and verified data base on the provision of adult education and its practice in the country", the report suggests. "This data base should contain detailed explorations of reports, research, assessments and other documents that are available on the Internet".

OSISA also urged the government to draw up a realistic estimate of the financial needs of adult education, and a strategy for obtaining the funds (including from foreign donors). The report calls on the government to earmark 10 per cent of the total education budget for adult education by 2015.

Laurindo Nhacune, the national director of Literacy and Adult Education, in the Education Ministry, told the meeting that the OSISA study will serve as a basis for a reflection on the challenges in this sector of the educational field, bearing in mind the targets that the government has set itself.

Nhacune noted that across the globe there are 775 million young people and adults who have yet to enjoy their right to education, and about 100 million children of school age who are not yet covered by school systems.

The illiteracy rate among adult Mozambicans is currently calculated at 48.1 per cent, and the government's target is to reduce it to 30 per cent by 2015.

"We are aware that achieving this desired goal is not easy", said Nhacune, "but since we are confident that the task of educating belongs to everybody, we have embarked upon partnerships and the involvement of all actors in implementing our National Literacy and Adult Education Strategy.

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