Education in Mozambique - An Overview
The geographic location of Mozambique is on the southern coast of Africa, opposite to island of Madagascar. The country extends 1,253 mi NNE–SSW and 480 mi ESE–WNW. The countries bordering Mozambique are Tanzania to the north, the republic of South Africa to the south, Switzerland, South Africa and Zimbabwe to the west, and Zambia and Malawi to the northwest.
The Indian Ocean lies on the east of Mozambique. Mozambiqe is 44% coastal lowland. The highest mountains are Namuli 936 ft in Zambezia Province and Binga 7,992 ft in Manica Province on the Zimbabwean border. The most important rivers are the Zambezi (flowing southeast across the center of Mozambique into the Indian Ocean), the Limpopo in the south, the Save (Sabi) in the center, and the Lugenda in the north. The most important lake is the navigable Lake Malawi (Lake Niassa); Lake Cahora Bassa was formed by the impoundment of the Cahora Bassa Dam.
During colonial era the educational facilities for Mozambicans were limited. More than 93% population was illiterate and unable to speak Portuguese language. Only a few were able to read and write. Education was largely provided through missionary schools. After Mozambique became a self-dependent nation the government focused much on education, penetrating education at all level and everywhere became the government first cause.
The efforts made by independent government proved fruitful and illiteracy rate reduced to about two-third as enrolment in primary classes increased. Though there still required more to be done to provide Mozambique education a solid platform.
Mozambique is a member country of Commonwealth of Nations and learning English is compulsory. On October 11, 1976 Mozambique has join hands with UNESCO. The country has UNESCO office based in Maputo. In association with UNESCO, Mozambique has launched a pilot project of preventive education to fight HIV and AIDS. In a bid to contain the epidemic, an agreement was signed in 2004 to create an information centre for young people with the virus.
Mozambique is one of the 35 countries implementing the UNESCO Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), a 10-year initiative aimed at achieving the goals of the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012).