Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Friday called on the country's teachers to avoid corrupt practices, so as not to compromise the quality of education.
He was speaking at the opening of a new secondary school in Rotanda, in Sussundenga district, in the central province of Manica, which coincided with the start of the 2018 school year.
The education statistics show that the number of pupils in primary and secondary schools has grown by 6.8 per cent, from 7,243,965 in 2017 to 7,734,623 at the start of this year. They will be taught by 141,136 teachers.
Over the same period, the number of primary schools has grown by two per cent, from 12,498 to 12,732. There has been a five per cent increase in the number of secondary schools, rising from 537 in 2017 to 567 this year.
Rosario called on all Mozambican citizens to distance themselves from all damaging phenomena that could undermine the quality of education.
“Corruption is a reality and the education sector is not foreign to this”, he said. “It is an evil that undermines the country's development. It is urgent that we all take part in the fight against this evil”.
It was up to each and every citizen to say “no to corruption!”, he declared. Teachers, as educators, should never be involved in illicit practices.
But some teachers, he continued, instead of teaching, preferred to sell examination results. “They have to be denounced and punished”, Rosario insisted, calling on parents and guardians to join the struggle to root out corruption from the schools.
The development of human capital is crucial for the growth of Mozambique, said the Prime Minister. Hence the government intended to continue prioritizing education as one of the pillars of the country's development.
The Education Ministry, he continued, is pressing ahead with initiatives to build, rehabilitate and equip schools. The opening of new schools would reduce the number of pupils studying in the open air, and also cut the distances that many pupils have to travel to reach their nearest school.
“These are efforts that will help improve the quality of education”, said Rosario. “We cannot have the results we desire, if we do not have improved facilities. We want to end the situation where, after they have concluded primary education, children have to walk long distances to reach a secondary school”.
The Rotanda Secondary School that Rosario inaugurated is an example of this policy. There has never been a secondary school in this locality before. It has 12 classrooms, an administrative block, a library, a sports field, laboratories, a computer room, bathrooms, a school canteen and houses for the teachers. 632 pupils are enrolled in the school for the 2018 academic year.
The school cost 75 million meticais (about 1.24 million dollars), entirely financed by the Mozambican state budget.
“The school is entirely yours”, Rosario told his audience. “So it is important that you conserve it. When you use it, think about the future generations, since this school is to alleviate the sufferings of the children of today and of tomorrow”.