LUANDA, 19 August 2005 – The signing of an agreement contemplating financial support for the improvement of primary education in Angola took place on Friday between the Government of Norway, represented by Alida Andresen, Interim Trade attaché of that country’s embassy in Angola, and UNICEF, represented by the agency’s Representative in Angola, Mario Ferrari.
The protocol makes available 7 million dollars for a three-year project through which UNICEF will offer technical assistance for reinforcing the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Education in the planning and management, and in implementing educational reforms. Included, is attached the implementation of educational reform. The initiative also aims to improve the quality and relevance of primary education in Angola.
As stated in the agreement, a management information system will be created that will function as a database for accessing and using information on schools nationwide. The first phase for creating the system entails completion of a rapid survey of schools all over the country using a Geographical Information System.
Currently, 164 municipal and 36 provincial staff are training in use of hand-held micro-computers with Global Positioning System units with which teams will be able to record all statistical data about the national school network, including information about each schools physical condition and functioning. This technology enables the direct transfer of data via satellite from the most remote municipalities to a central database in Luanda.
With this information system, policymakers and stakeholders will be able to have a comprehensive vision of the real situation of schools, allowing for improved management and planning.
To improve the quality of primary education, 78.000 teachers will benefit from continuous technical training, and less experienced teachers will have access to distance learning. School directors will also be oriented to encourage teachers for pedagogic methods sensitive to children and girls.
One thousand educational supervisors will be trained for following up school inspectors and for introducing learned knowledge and results-based education methodologies.
The absence of teaching materials and texts is still a reality in a number of class rooms, having a highly negative impact on learning results. To address this gap, this project will facilitate the conception, production and distribution of manuals and other materials with life skills information that will capture the interest of students and improve instruction quality. Besides teaching materials, other basic school supplies and furniture will be distributed to 1.500 schools.
All these components are part of a medium term strategic plan of cooperation, agreed upon with the Angolan Government that includes research on quality education, support for interventions in girls´ education and national capacity-building of sector staff at all levels.
The Government of Norway has been one of the most important UNICEF partners at a global level and of UNICEF-Angola in particular. This cooperation between Norway and UNICEF for a medium term period – 2005-2008 – will allow a substantial input to the Ministry of Education Educational Reform Program.
For further information, please contact:
José Luís Mendonça, Information Officer
UNICEF – 912 653013 firstname.lastname@example.org