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Massive teacher training to send 1 million Angolan children back to school

Angola on the brink of reducing the number of children out of school by 90 percent.

LUANDA/GENEVA/ NEW YORK, 24 OCTOBER 2003 – Angola will take one of its strongest peacetime strides next week when the first stage of the country’s massive teacher training is launched.

Angola’s National Education Capacity Building Program begins this Monday when the first of three national teacher training workshops opens.

Earlier this year Angola’s Ministry of Education and UNICEF launched a ‘Back to School’ campaign in two of Angola’s 18 provinces. The campaign benefited 500,000 children and its success prompted the Government of Angola to commit $40million for 29,000 new teachers, so as to take ‘Back to School’ across the country.

The 29,000 new teachers will enable approximately 1million Angolan children (grades one to four) to enter the education system. Upon implementation this would slash the number of (grade one to four) children out of school from 1.1million to around 100,000. The funding has the potential to initiate Africa’s biggest education push for 2004.

Angola’s average education expenditure from 1997-2001 was just 4.7 percent of GDP. This rose to around 7 percent in 2002 and, on the back of this latest education drive, 10 percent this year. UNICEF strongly supports the Government reaching, or bettering levels among Southern African Development Committee (SADC) members of 16.7 percent.

“All of us share a common objective – namely to restore for the children of Angola a strong national system of education,” said UNICEF Representative Mario Ferrari. “This $40m investment for 29,000 new teachers is an important step forward in re-establishing services for children on a large scale, and is occurring at a critical time as millions of Angolans resettle.

“However, for the investment to reach its potential, a massive teacher training exercise must be implemented.  Three decades of war almost destroyed the education system. Although the 29,000 teachers have been identified, most have only basic education skills and so rapid reinforcement is urgently required.”

In 2003, and as a part of ‘Back to School’ in two provinces, UNICEF developed effective teaching methodologies and training. These were used for the successful training of 5500 new teachers. With international support, UNICEF will now implement these teacher training methodologies for all 29,000 new teachers, and help take ‘Back to School’ nationwide.

“We must seize this opportunity,” said Ferrari. “Angola has already lost two generations of children to war. This $40m and the engagement of the Ministry of Education mean that with international assistance, Angola can cut its number of first level children out of school by 90 percent. This is virtually unprecedented in Africa.”


  • UNICEF has already committed $1million into the teacher training seminars, but requires approximately $1.3million to train the newly recruited teachers and a further $1.7m for the procurement of teaching material kits.
  • From UNICEF’s revised Consolidated appeal for education of $4.9million, UNICEF has received just $453,000 (or nine percent)


  • 44 per cent of Angolan children do not attend the first level of basic education (grade 1 to 4)
  • ‘Back to School’, an initiative of The Ministry of Education and UNICEF, was made possible due to partnerships and the commitment of provincial leaders in Bie and Malange, together with Church leaders, community groups and donor support.  
  • ‘Back to School’ laid the foundations for quick expansion of education nationwide.

For further information, please contact:

James Elder, Communications Officer UNICEF Angola
(244) 91 - 219 524, jelder@unicef.org

Jose Lois Mendonca Information Officer UNICEF Angola
(244) 91- 233 468,jlmendonca@unicef.org






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