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U.S Government provides $5.8 million to improve reading skills of 450,000 Mozambican primary school students
February 24, 2021 – In celebration of International Mother Tongue Day, the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique announces two new bilingual education projects. In close collaboration with the provincial governments of Zambézia and Nampula, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will invest $5.8 million over three years to help improve the quality of primary education. The two projects will support more than 1,500 primary schools and reach more than 17,000 community leaders, parents, guardians, and community volunteers. Activities include providing parents and guardians practical tools and techniques to help their children at home in reading and math, establishing community reading centers led by community volunteers, and creating community discussions about gender and girls’ rights to education. An estimated 450,000 students will benefit from these projects.
Mozambique has made progress in increasing children’s access to primary school, but the provision of quality education remains a long-term challenge. A 2016 Ministry of Education National Assessment found only 5 percent of children in Mozambique achieved the required reading and writing skills. Teacher absenteeism, poor oversight from school administrators, and a lack of educational materials are additional challenges to improving educational outcomes in Mozambique. Global evidence shows that most children who attend school in resource-deprived contexts, learn to read better in the language they speak at home. The U.S. Government supports the Government of Mozambique’s bilingual education policy – where young children are taught to read in the local language and then transition to Portuguese – which aims to address one of the major underlying causes for poor academic performance.
USAID selected Centro de Aprendizagem e Capacitacao da Sociedade Civil (CESC) and Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo (ADPP) to implement these two bilingual education projects, which will support the Ministry of Education and Human Development and bring communities together for a more holistic approach to improving education in Mozambique.
USAID’s education programming also focuses on improving girls’ access to and completion of secondary education by providing mentoring programs for girls, gender-sensitive training and materials for teachers and administrators and community engagement programs stressing the importance of girls’ education. Such programming represents a critical component of broader U.S. Government assistance in Mozambique, as better education is associated with higher wages, higher political participation, and leads to healthier life choices. In close collaboration with the Government of Mozambique, the U.S. Government provides more than $500 million in annual assistance to improve the quality of education and healthcare, promote economic prosperity, and support the overall development of the nation.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. For more information about USAID work to foster sustainable development and advance human dignity visit www.usaid.gov.
For more information about this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Maputo Press Office at MaputoPress@state.gov.