Education in Mozambique
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.
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). Education is compulsory and free through the age of 12 years, however, matriculation fees are charged.