Angola officially has compulsory schooling for eight years. The children should start school at the age of seven, but only a minority of them do so. The reason is that many children need to help raise money for their families. Some children start school later, and a significant proportion go to several classes.
The percentage of pupils who go on after elementary school is small, especially among the girls. In rural areas, there is a dearth of high school, so students often have to be accommodated in some major place, which not many families can afford.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Angola, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Most of the teaching takes place in state schools and should be free of charge, but most parents have to pay a small fee to the teacher. Private schools were allowed in 1991. Many of these are run by Christian communities. They are chargeable, which means that most Angolans cannot afford to send their children there.
The Civil War 1975–2002 hit the education system hard. Four out of five schools were destroyed or abandoned. Especially outside the capital Luanda there is still a serious shortage of educated teachers, school buildings and teaching materials. There is a big difference between the city and the countryside in the quality of teaching as well. The shortcomings in education also have repercussions on the country’s development. For example, less than a tenth of the civil servants received some higher education.
In an attempt to address these problems, the government has greatly increased funding for the education sector in recent years. Investments have been made in obtaining more classrooms and in educating more teachers. A little into the 2010s, the government started to build a number of high school and technical vocational schools, while the state-run Agostinho Neto University in Luanda began to be expanded. There are several private universities and colleges, such as Universidade Católica in Luanda, considered by many to be the best universities in the country.
Since independence from Portugal in 1975, ambitious investments have been made in free education. Through a mass campaign for literacy, a campaign that is still ongoing, the proportion of literate adults has increased from 15 percent in 1975 to 82 percent for men and 61 percent for women (estimate 2015).
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Angola in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
77.5 percent (2011)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
66.0 percent (2014)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
8.7 percent (2010)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
8.7 percent (2010)
Court freezes the ex-president’s daughter’s assets
A court freezes bank accounts and other assets belonging to ex-President José Eduardo dos Santos’s daughter Isabel and her husband. The measure is linked to an investigation of billion-class fraud. According to prosecutors, the state through the diamond company Sodiam and the oil company Sonangol transferred large sums to foreign companies, which favored Isabel dos Santos and her husband. Isabel dos Santos was head of Sonangol until the fall of 2017 when she was ousted by the country’s new president João Lourenço.
The ex-president’s son is on trial
The trial begins with José Filomeno “Zenu” dos Santos, son of former President José Edauardo dos Santos. Zenu is accused of trying to steal US $ 500 million from the state investment fund he headed until the end of 2018 when he was ousted by current president João Lourenço. Zenu’s lawyers claim that he had not participated in any decisions regarding the transfer of the money to a foreign bank account.
The ex-president’s daughter is kicked out of parliament
Parliament votes to exclude Welwitschia dos Santos, daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos. Welwitschia “Tchize” dos Santos moved to the UK in the fall of 2018 and thus has not participated in parliamentary work for a year. Tchize condemns Parliament’s decision, saying that she did not give up voluntarily but felt compelled to flee because of threats from the country’s security services.
Mass deportations are criticized
The government announces that over half a million people have been expelled to neighboring countries during a campaign to curb illegal mining and diamond sales. During “Operation Transparency” which started in September 2018, 527,725 illegal migrants have been repatriated, 96 illegal diamond cooperatives closed as well as four mining projects and 289 businesses, a government spokesman said. Human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch have criticized the government’s actions and claimed that the campaign was committed during the campaign. According to Human Rights Watch, both refugees and registered migrant workers have been forced out of the country against their will.
Ex-minister gets jail for corruption
Former Minister of Transport Augusto da Silva Tomás is sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption. He will thus become the first high ranking member to be sentenced after the change of power in 2017 when João Lourenço succeeded José Eduardo dos Santos, who sat in power for 38 years. Da Silva Tomás and other officials are found to have transferred millions of dollars from the state’s assets to their own companies. Da Silva Tomás is convicted on six counts including embezzlement, money laundering and abuse of power.
Unita leader Savimbi gets new burial in his home town
Long negotiations between the government and the opposition party Unita result in the former Unita leader Jonas Savimbi’s remnants can be moved and buried in his native village in accordance with his wishes. Savimbi was killed in battle in the province of Moxico in central Angola in 2002 and his body was buried in a simple tomb in the provincial capital Luena. The dispute over where Savimbi would lie could only be settled after José Eduardo dos Santos resigned as President in 2017 and was replaced by Joâo Lourenço. Thousands of Unita supporters attend the ceremony, but no government representative is present.
Ex-president’s daughter loses mega contract
President Lourenço cancels a mega-major construction assignment involving the company Urbinvest, where the former president’s daughter Isabel dos Santos is the majority owner. In a decree , Lourenço says that the contract with Urbinvest and the other companies in the project has been annulled when the companies made a commitment to charge too high fees. The project included the construction of a brand new suburb of Luanda. Isabel dos Santos and Urbinveste dismiss the allegations and state that the company followed all the rules. Since taking office as President in 2017, Lourenço has sought to dissolve the empire that the dos Santos family built up during José Eduardo dos Santo’s long-standing presidency.
Spaniards are charged with corruption in Angola
A Spanish judge initiates a legal process against former executives at the state-owned arms company Defex, which was dissolved in 2017. The chiefs are accused of having set up a complex system for bribing contracts in Angola. According to Judge José de la Mata of the Supreme Court of Spain, there is evidence that Defex paid bribes to deliver material to the Angolan police force.
Gasoline crisis gives rocket among oil company executives
Carlos Saturnino gets fired as head of state oil company Sonangol. A few others in the company’s management are also set aside. The reason is that the company has failed to solve the problem of the fuel crisis that paralyzed parts of the country during the spring. Angola has large oil resources but not sufficient capacity to refine the oil but is dependent on petrol imports. Sonangol refers to the problems of shortage of foreign currency and the high indebtedness of state-owned companies.
Nice visit from Portugal
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visits Angola. The visit is part of improved relations between the countries. During former President José Eduardo dos Santo’s time in power, Portugal’s investigations into corruption in Angola caused some grumbling in the contacts, but after the change of power in 2017, the mood has improved (see May 10, 2018 and January 18, 2018).
Activists in Cabinda arrested
A lawyer representing separatists in the province of Cabinda says police have arrested more than 50 members of the Cabinda Independence Movement (MIC) group, which is fighting for independence from Angola. According to the lawyer, the arrested have been charged with illegal conspiracy and insurgency. The activists were arrested the day before they would conduct a political manifestation. The governor of Cabinda confirms that there have been arrests but is downplaying the extent. Just over two months later, on April 24, 40 of the 51 arrested are released.
Homosexuality is allowed
Parliament amends the Criminal Code and abolishes the ban on homosexuality and introduces rules designed to curb discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. It now becomes criminal to refuse to hire someone because of their sexual orientation or to refuse to service a person on the same grounds.