Mozambique: Project hopes to boost primary education

JOHANNESBURG, 5 February (IRIN) - The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is to inject CA $20 million (about US $13.2 million) into a project to support education in Mozambique through the procurement of learning and teaching materials.
It was hoped the current project, which began in January, would "build on the previous educational materials project which provided more than 30 million textbooks and workbooks to students in primary grades 1-7, as well as a limited amount of technical assistance to the Ministry of Education (MINED)", a CIDA statement said.

The current target is to get 32 million textbooks into schools that need them, with the aim being "to contribute to the creation of a healthy, educated and productive human resource base in Mozambique by improving access to and the quality of basic education materials".

The project also aims "to strengthen the capacity of the GoM [government of Mozambique] to provide and manage the supply (publishing, printing and distributing) of quality, gender sensitive educational teaching/learning materials to primary school students and teachers throughout the country", the agency added.

According to UN core indicators, Mozambique's adult literacy rate stands at 44 percent, with female adult literacy at just 35 percent. The same gender bias is reflected in a net enrolment rate in primary schools (for six to 12-year-olds) of 29 percent - with girls at 26 percent and boys at 33 percent.

"Strengthening MINED's capacity to source, produce and distribute quality textbooks in a cost effective manner and through an efficient and effective system is key to the sustainability of the system," CIDA noted. It hoped the ministry's capabilities to efficiently manage the financing of as well as the procurement and distribution of educational materials would be improved in the process of MINED's involvement in the CIDA procurement project.

The expected outcomes of the project are: increased numbers of children in primary grades 1-7 using text and/or exercise books in the learning process and gaining awareness of gender and health issues, particularly HIV/AIDS; increased numbers of teachers in primary grades 1-7 using teaching manuals and materials in the teaching process; and improved quality of instruction and learning through improved access to appropriate teaching and materials.

Funding would also be used to ensure there were adequate storage facilities in districts and schools preventing spoilage and damage to materials, CIDA said.


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