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Mozambique 2016 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | FOCUS: STATE PRIMARY TEACHER PROGRAM

This year, the government will introduce a new model to educate primary school teachers in hopes of reducing poverty and advancing democracy.

Studies show that education is a driver for inclusive growth and plays a central role in poverty reduction and strengthening democracy. According to the 2014 IMF report Mozambique Rising: Building a New Tomorrow, time and effort are needed to improve the low average education levels in the country. In fact, the report states that “more than 90% of the labor force has either none or only up to five years of formal education."

A proper education system will be an essential tool for Mozambique to be able to produce a skilled labor force that will support the promotion and sustainability of a healthy manufacturing industry. Whether or not the country succeeds in this will determine if it will be able to retain the high levels of FDI it has enjoyed and if its planned ventures will benefit its citizens.

Along with increasing private and public investment in higher education, primary education is also a priority for the government. In developing countries, a number of studies have shown that not only access to basic material resources, but also teacher education and experience, have a significant impact on a child's achievement and even future behavior.

With this in mind, the government is introducing a new model for to educate primary school teachers. As Hon. Jorge Ferrão, Minister of Education and Human Development, told TBY, the training model for teachers will come into effect in 2017, and will improve on the current model and include a period of pedagogical internship. The current entry requirement for the teacher-training program is completion of grade 10. Under the new model, eligible teachers need to have completed grade 12. Graduates will be able to teach in primary schools as well as Adult Literacy and Education centers. According to the ministry, teachers trained on the new model will have an understanding of school management and the ability to inspire a taste for reading. The program will teach them to be creative, self-reliant, and responsible in a number of different situations, and will show them how to find solutions to complex education problems at the local level.

The new training system will be aligned with the ongoing review of the National System of Education, and the proposed new teacher's professional career. Hon. Ferrão explained to TBY that the goal of the review is to bring the school system to a basis of nine years, with three schooling cycles of three years each.

Prof. Dr. João Leopoldo da Costa, the Rector of Instituto Superior de Ciências e Tecnologia de Moçambique (ISCTEM), stressed the importance of teachers during an interview with TBY, stating that ISCTEM offers a master's program in quality control of the teaching process.