In Mozambique, Marists Brothers take care of circa 3400 students in 3 schools, with almost 80% of the children coming from low-income families. In a country where around 45% of the adult population is illiterate (and illiteracy rates for women are even higher, at 58%), it is always urgent to implement interventions that are able to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and illiteracy. The education sector faces challenges in terms of low retention and learning outcomes. Around 50% of children drop out before finishing the primary grade. High numbers of children are in delays in completion. Learning outcomes are weak: national assessment showed that less than 7% of third grade students have basic literacy skills.
Basic education cycle comprises two primary levels: lower (starting at age 6) and upper primary. Students who complete upper primary can go on to secondary school. There are various technical and vocational education and training opportunities for graduates of lower and upper primary, or lower secondary. Tertiary education (university) is open only to graduates of secondary schools. Mozambique education system strives to ensure equity of access to education, due the number of schools available, which is insufficient for the growing number of students.
This problem is particularly affecting those living in rural areas, where there are no schools at all and children must walk for miles to reach the premises, putting themselves in danger especially if albino or female. Many teachers do not have a specific preparation in pedagogy or child protection policy. Gender disparities are still present especially in rural areas: patriarchal norms, low status of women and preference for male children are the primary reasons for school drop out of girl students in Mozambique.
AIM OF THE PROJECT:
The project aims to provide adequate school infrastructure that can increase educational opportunities for children from rural areas and families with limited financial resources. It also plans to raise awareness among local communities about the importance of education.
On June 11, 2022, St. Marist Preschool in Manhiça was officially opened.
The Manhiça Marist School consists of eight different main infrastructures, including the one housing the kindergarten, which accommodates 80 children who will be guaranteed a proper environment where they can receive a quality education. The new building, financed by one of FMSI‘s major donors, will accommodate an additional 40 children for a total of 120 children per year.
The Manhiça Marist School, recognized by the Ministry of Education, provides an educational environment to support boys and girls living in remote and rural areas.
The new school will be attended by vulnerable children, ensuring their right to inclusive, quality education and promoting learning opportunities for all.
THE PROJECT IN BRIEF:
The project is enhancing pre-school education and promoting the teaching and learning conditions with the establishment of brand-new school block and the purchase of related equipment at Marist School in Manhiça (Mozambique).
THE PROJECT IN NUMBERS:
- A pre-school block at Manhiça Marist School to support the educational needs of the rural children.
- An appropriate facility to benefit small children.
- 120 children to be offered an appropriate environment up to expected standards.
- A favourable impact on the entire school population.
- The average number of students for each classroom of the school will drop from 56 to 40.
SDG goals: 4, 9
Laudato Si’ goals: 5, 7