Since the political situation has stabilized from the mid-1990s, basic education has improved and the country is on track to achieve the goal of all children starting school. At the beginning of the 2010s, nine out of ten children started compulsory school. But some did not complete the education and in the countryside the proportion of children attending school was lower than in the cities.
Three years before Mozambique’s liberation from colonial power Portugal 1975, fewer than a third of the colony’s children attended school. In 1979, when the Marxist Frelimo regime ruled for four years, the proportion had increased to over half. However, the civil war between the Frelimo regime and the Renamo guerrillas (c. 1980-1994) hit the school system hard. Half of the country’s schools were destroyed or forced to strike again due to guerrilla attacks. Many teachers were murdered and in 1995, only one in three children returned to school.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Mozambique, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The children start school when they are six years old and have compulsory schooling for seven years. Then comes a voluntary three-year post-graduate phase, followed by another two or three years of study. The teaching takes place both in the children’s mother tongue and in Portuguese. Almost a fifth of those who left primary school continue at the postgraduate stage.
Poverty and teacher shortages are still serious problems, despite the fact that the government is investing large sums to improve the situation; education was, as before, the largest government expenditure item for 2015. Tuition is free of charge, but the families of children have to pay for school supplies and uniforms.
There are three state and one private university in Mozambique. The shortage of educated labor is great. This is partly because the education system does not meet the requirements set by some professions, and partly because highly educated Mozambicans often apply abroad. In 2014, six new technical colleges and two new technical colleges were started.
At independence, almost a tenth of Mozambicans could read and write. The government has invested heavily in reducing illiteracy, but only over half of the adult population is still estimated to be able to read and write.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Mozambique, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
87.5 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
56.0 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
19.0 percent (2013)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
19.0 percent (2013)
Parliamentary inquiry dots the government
A parliamentary commission that has investigated the scandal with Mozambique’s unrecognized billion debt states that the government has violated the constitution by acting as a guarantor for loans that have not been approved by Parliament. In total, these are up to two billion US dollars that have not been reported. During the year, the value of the domestic currency metically dropped more than 80 percent against the US dollar, following a fall of 36 percent in 2015. Government debt is estimated to amount to 130 percent of GDP for 2016.
More political murders
Two local Frelimo politicians are kidnapped and killed in the city of Mutua in the north. According to one person who manages to escape were the kidnappers from Renamo. The next day, a regional head of Renamo in the port city of Beira is murdered by two unidentified men.
Discontinued dialogue again
The peace talks between Renamo and the government resume. The talks were suspended after the murder of one of Renamo’s dealers on October 7. Jeremias Pondeca was shot dead while jogging in the capital. The murder was widely perceived as an attempt to stop the dialogue. It was condemned by the outside world and the country’s president.
Proposed power sharing
A first step on the road to peace is reported after the government in the Maputo negotiations agreed to draft a law on decentralization of power. A special committee will draft the law with a view to its adoption before the next election, 2019. A spokesman for Renamo’s negotiating delegation says that renamed provincial governors from Renamo should be appointed “as soon as possible.” Renamo’s leader Dhlakama claims power in six of the country’s eleven provinces, where he believes Renamo won the 2014 election.
Six killed in assault
Police say six people killed in a vehicle were shot dead by Renamo. Two survivors, both from Bangladesh, claim that the army was behind the attack.
Try peace talks
The government and Renamo initiate peace talks in the capital Maputo. It is hoped that international mediators – including the EU, the Catholic Church and the Government of South Africa – will be able to achieve a peace agreement. Renamo demands, among other things, that a previous promise from the 1992 peace agreement for guerrilla soldiers to be included in the army and the police must be fully implemented. At the same time as the peace talks are being started, reports are being made of how rebels from Renamo attack a village in the north and burn down government buildings and a health center.
The IMF calls for action
The IMF appeals to the outside world to try to curb the downturn in the Mozambican economy. The country’s growth is expected to decline to 4.5 percent during the year, compared with 6.6 percent in 2015. The local currency metical has dropped 28 percent in value since the beginning of the year and the inflation rate reached 16 percent in May. According to the IMF, the discovery of a previously unreported debt of $ 1.4 billion means that the central government debt at the end of 2015 corresponded to 86 percent of GDP.
The World Bank is also responding
Following the disclosure of Mozambique’s unrecognized billion debt, the World Bank is also withdrawing planned support. The measure stops the payment of US $ 40 million to the state budget.
Loan scandal stops aid
International Monetary Fund (IMF) suspends aid payments after it was revealed that Mozambique has a “hidden” debt of nearly US $ 1.2 billion through unrecognized loans. The government recognizes that the state has guaranteed the loans taken by three state-supported companies in European banks in 2013 and 2014. In total, the three companies borrowed more than SEK 2 billion, but a loan of $ 850 million for the purchase of fishing boats was reported. The loans kept secret were used to procure equipment to protect shipping, shipyards and offshore gas sources from pirates. Other lenders follow the IMF’s example and the scandal triggers the worst financial crisis the country has experienced since independence.
Police action against Renamo
Police strike Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama’s home in Maputo and say there were 47 weapons used in various violent crimes in the capital. Dhlakama calls the campaign an “invasion” and says he will respond to it politically.
New wave of refugees
Renewed violence between Renamo and government troops has triggered a stream of refugees into Malawi. Since mid-December, some 10,000 Mozambicans have moved across the border to the neighboring country, the UN says.