2000 MOZ: Assessment of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Education Sector in Mozambique
Author: Verde Azul; Consult Lda.
Mozambique is currently estimated to have the world's seventh highest HIV infection rate. HIV infection rates within the education sector based on those for other countries in Southern Africa may be as high, if not higher, than the national average. The system is, as a result, losing key personnel. This is taking place within an educational system that, despite major achievements in recent years, is already suffering from severe constraints that negatively affect its ability to meet its mandate - to provide education to all young Mozambicans and to improve the quality of that education. At the same time, the epidemic in Mozambique has not yet reached the levels reached in neighbouring countries. This implies that early and effective planning intended to both mitigate the anticipated reductions in the demand for and supply of education, including preventative measures, could assist the Ministry of Education in managing these negative impacts.
Purpose / Objective
The main aim of the study was to provide the Ministry of Education and the Government of Mozambique with information, for strategic planning and advocacy purposes.
The objectives of the study were:
- Determine the impact of the epidemic on the education sector at the national level
- Determine the medium- and longer-term effects on the education system's ability to meet its stated strategic objectives over the next ten years
- Strengthen the capacity of the Ministry's directorates to implement and manage similar assessments
- Increase awareness within the Ministry about the nature and extent of HIV/AIDS in Mozambique and its impact on education
Three approaches were employed when preparing this report:
- Secondary materials reviewed included documents about HIV/AIDS at the international, regional, and national levels, reports on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the education sector in other countries, and policy documents and other studies of the Mozambican educational sector.
- Primary data collection consisted of key informant interviews in Maputo and Beira with school directors, teachers and Ministry officials. These interviews filled some of the gaps in available data on the education sector, assessing what is already occurring in terms of HIV/AIDS prevention in schools and the Ministry itself, and more specifically to solicit opinions on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the education sector in Mozambique.
- The demographic impacts of HIV/AIDS are contained in the study undertaken by INE and the Ministry of Health which models these effects using the SPECTRUM group of programmes, including the AIDS Impact Model (INE, 2000a). Considerable use was made of these data in order to determine the with AIDS and without AIDS projections for school age children, and the impact of AIDS on the teacher population and managers/administrators under these scenarios. The projections for demand for education were made by comparing population groups of those likely to be in school from the with AIDS and without AIDS scenario in this model. The impacts on the supply of education were based on the AIDS mortality data contained in the demographic assessment. The model is explained in more detail in Appendix B - Discussion on Modelling and Projections.
Key Findings and Conclusions
Demand for Education:
There are at present some 2.6 million children in the Mozambican education system. The vast majority (85%) of these are in EP1. While the number of children in EP1 will continue to increase even in the face of the AIDS epidemic, the rate of increase will decline. This results from fewer children being bom as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and because those who are bom with HIV will normally die before they enter the schooling system. By 2010 it is expected that there will be 13% fewer children in EP1 than would be the case without AIDS.
Demand at other levels (EP2, ESG1, ESG2, technical and higher education) should not be affected by HIV/AIDS. At these levels the demand for education will continue to be constrained by the lack of available schools and their location, not by a decline in the number of students. As a result the number of children qualified for entry into higher levels of the system will continue to substantially exceed supply, despite a decline resulting from HIV/AIDS in the number of young Mozambicans of relevant ages for these levels.
The findings presented above do not account for the likely reduction in demand for education due to the impacts of HIV/AIDS at the household and community levels. These impacts result from the systematic decline in household economic status as AIDS progresses. Studies elsewhere uniformly conclude that children in households where one or more adults are affected by AIDS, or where the children are orphaned, are the first to lose access to education. This will challenge Mozambique's efforts to increase attendance of girts. Further children who come from AIDS-affected households or who are orphaned are traumatised and suffer emotionally. These emotional impacts affect their ability not only to stay in school, but also to learn and progress. This has an additional impact on drop-out and repetition rates.
Supply of Education:
Over the period 2000-2010, the AIDS epidemic is projected to result in the education sector losing some 17% of its personnel. Across all levels, some 9,200 teachers will die, and an estimated 123 senior managers, planners and administrators will be lost. For each of these educators some eighteen months of productive work time will also be lost before they die.
Because the central region has the highest levels of HIV prevalence, they are projected to lose the greatest percentage of teachers (23.3%). And because the region has the highest number of educators in the system, half of all teachers who die will come from the central provinces. In order to maintain the system as projected based on recent trends, trained teachers and senior personnel will need to be replaced.
In order to accommodate the loss of trained teachers alone, CFPP/IMPA will need to expand the number of trainees in the system by 25% solely due to HIV/AIDS. In order to replace teachers with university degrees who die of AIDS, training at this level will need to be expanded by 28%.
While the HIV/AIDS epidemic will increase demands on the teacher training institutions to produce greater numbers, it is unlikely that these institutions will be able to meet this increased demand. It is therefore likely that trained teachers will be replaced with untrained ones, lowering quality in the sector. While this may seem to be an easy solution, it must be remembered that the education sector will be competing with other sectors, including the private sector, in attracting those who have obtained at least some education. In other words, the epidemic will increase the competition for trained personnel and may make it more difficult to attract people into the teaching profession.
In current dollars, the total estimated loss to the educational system arising from HIV/AIDS is US$ 110 million, or Mt 1,900 billion. This represents additional costs to the system of 6.9% just due to HIV/AIDS. It should be noted that this is an underestimate of the actual costs because some costs cannot be quantified based on available data. It is also an underestimate because it assumes that the Ministry will bear no costs associated with expanded HIV/AIDS prevention activities by, or within, the sector.
The bulk of these costs arise from HIV/AIDS related sick and death benefit costs, and to a lesser extent by expanded teacher training costs. There are also costs associated with increased inefficiencies in the system, most notable increased drop-out and repetition rates. With education currently receiving some 14% of the national budget, these losses will have a significant impact on the ability of the state and the Ministry to cover these additional expenses.
Once the new surveillance data are available, it is recommended that the Assessment of the Demographic Impacts of HIV/AIDS in Mozambique model be revised to reflect these new findings. Once this has occurred, it is strongly recommended that the projections in this report be updated, as new findings from will have a significant impact on the projections for the Ministry.
It is recommended that the Ministry of Education begin collecting data at the school level on orphans, reasons for drop out and absenteeism among pupils. These data collection efforts should be included in the annual submissions to the Ministry's planning section, and could initially provide information from a representative sample of schools at the district level. The data would allow the Ministry to set a baseline against which to measure increases in these indicators and begin planning for their mitigation.
The school system is viewed as a vehicle for informing children about HIV/AIDS and empowering them to be able to respond to it effectively in order that they may protect themselves from infection. It is also viewed as a vehicle for assisting affected children, their families, caregivers and communities in coping with impact of the epidemic. The implementation of these aims requires planning for the re-orientation of curricula, assisting teachers to develop the skills needed to deal with emotional pressures on children (and themselves) and planning for coping with the impact of the epidemic on the classroom and school.
It is also recommended that the Ministry consider targeted educational and preventive measures for its educators. This can only occur with the assistance of key non-governmental organisations, including the teacher's unions.
Despite numerous constraints, there seems little alternative but to expand teacher training opportunities. This can only be accomplished with the increased understanding of, and support from, donors and the Ministry's other partners in development It is therefore recommended that teacher training opportunities be expanded to accommodate the impacts of the epidemic.
Finally, it is recommended that a policy on non-discrimination regarding HIV and AIDS-affected children in school be developed. This can only be effective, of course, within the context of increased understanding about HIV/AIDS. While the educator sector is generally viewed as a place where the HIV/AIDS epidemic can best be stemmed, it should be recognised that the school system itself is a place of risk, and these risks will need to be eliminated. Schools are locations where children are subject to peer pressure, where the rules may differ from the situation at home (especially for children who have had to leave their homes to attend school) and, unfortunately in some cases, where the unwanted advances of older teenagers or adults occur.
Full report in PDF
PDF files require Acrobat Reader.