Child-Friendly Schools: Annual Assessment Report
Mozambique, May 2009 – The Ministry of Education and Culture and UNICEF conducted in 2008 an annual assessment of the Child-Friendly Schools (CFS) programme in Mozambique.
The CFS programme is gradually being implemented in all primary schools in seven districts over a six year period, from 2006 to 2011. The programme started in 2006 in the district of Maganja da Costa, Zambézia Province. By 2008, the programme had expanded to five new districts in five provinces (Búzi and Mossurize in 2007 and Chibuto and Changara in 2008). The programme will cover two more districts in 2009 (Montepuez and Angoche).
The districts were selected by the Government on the basis of very low education indicators, low enrolment rates, low completion rates and high gender gap.
The main purpose of the assessment was to obtain meaningful and qualitative insights on aspects related to the CFS intervention, assess the extent to which the intervention is making a difference in schools and learn lessons for strengthening and improving the programme on a continuous basis.
The CFS annual field assessment was conducted in 5 districts – Maganja da Costa, Búzi, Mossurize, Changara and Chibuto – in October 2008.
Given the qualitative nature of the assessment, the following tools were developed:
- Structured observations on teaching methods and school environment;
- KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices) questions to sample pupils in the area of HIV/AIDS, Health, Nutrition and Sanitation;
- Interviews with key informants such as school directors and group discussions with teachers and school councils;
- Interviews with local relevant authorities;
- Short structured questionnaire to sample audience on mobile units.
The result of the assessment was positive on the overall outcomes of the CFS intervention, particularly in the three districts where the programme has been implemented for two years or more, namely Maganja da Costa, Búzi and Mossurize:
- The Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) has been improving at rates above the national average (approximately 15 per cent). In these three districts, the number of pupils in last two years has recorded significant increase from 108,381 to 145,058 with greater improvement amongst girls.
- The drop-out rate in the earlier 3 CFS districts improved from 2006 to 2007 faster than national average (1.1 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively).
- The Pass rate also shows a positive trend. The average improvement in pass rate for 3 earlier districts is approximately four per cent, which is significantly higher than the national average of 1.4 per cent.
- Teachers’ performance has been improved especially in terms of motivation/attitude, teaching methods and preparation for class (lesson plan prepared, participatory methods etc). In some cases, they produce teaching materials by using local materials.
- Community participation is more proactive and positive, particularly in the contribution of materials such as bricks for school construction.
- School councils are more active after they understood their role and acquired knowledge on issues such as sexual abuse and schools work with them better. The council also includes pupils, normally in Grade 5.
- School environment has been improved with the provision of water and sanitation facilities.
- The result of interviews with pupils particularly in the first three districts also indicates that they have basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS, health and sanitation, gender and children’s rights.
The available data on GER, drop-out rate and pass rate points at a positive impact of the CFS approach to quality education. The main determinants of the improvement are related to:
- Enhanced quality of the learning environment (change of teaching methods, life skills development such as sensitization activities on basic health, hygiene and HIV/AIDS, health check-ups);
- Enhanced quality of school atmosphere;
- Increased availability of learning materials (kits for pupils and teachers) and facilities (desks, first aid kits, separate latrines and boreholes);
- Change of attitude of stakeholders especially towards girls’ education;
- Positive relationship building between teachers and pupils and between school and school council members.
To download the full report please click on the blue box on the right.