Mozambique: multi-lingual elementary school


When first graders in Mozambique, in the school, not understand the majority of your teacher: will be Taught in Portuguese, no matter which of the over 40 local languages students to speak. That should change now.

Students throw their arms up to answer questions, or the teacher in an excited flow of speech their experiences: The missing in the classrooms of the primary schools of Mozambique rooms. Many of the school beginner can follow the lessons, or not at all. Just ten percent of the students understand the school admission Portuguese, the official language of instruction. Until the start of school, most of the home, only speak one of about 40 local languages of the country. This has a strong impact on the children: “school failure is intended for 89.2% of Mozambicans at the entrance to the first class, if you exclude continues to be your native language from the classroom,” says Conceita Sortane, Minister of education and human development in Mozambique.

Only one official language, do not understand a lot of students

Portuguese, in spite of the linguistic diversity in Mozambique, the only official language – or just because. For many Mozambicans the language of the former colonial power, Portugal, is the only way to communicate with each other. Only, For most of the entrance is a Portuguese school, an unknown foreign language. Numerous studies have shown, however, that the mother tongue is especially important to Learn and Understand. In your “Global Education Monitoring Report” by 2016, the organization of the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) comes to the conclusion that children need a minimum of six years of mother-tongue teaching, in order to reduce knowledge gaps. Now Mozambique wants languages in addition to Portuguese and sign language 23 of the local country as languages of instruction in primary schools.

Many children in Mozambique are taught in Portuguese

The large-scale project there are plenty of supporters: “Associacao Progresso” for years for improved literacy in Mozambique. The aid organisation is, among other things, with First – and second-tutoring-graders in reading. The project “Food for Knowledge” (FFK) distributed books and teaching materials to the teachers, at least in the local language, The, spoken in the southern Parts of the country and in the capital, Maputo. The aid organizations also offer special courses for teachers.

So the teacher can keep in the first years of school teaching in The. Only from the age of about ten years, the students should switch to the Portuguese lessons. The new models, many young Mozambicans can begin their education in their mother tongue. For the teacher Armindo Ngunga is already clear: “We need to liberate ourselves”. For the teacher, the colonial language is like a bondage.

In the future, children should be taught only from the age of 10 in Portuguese

Before the concept to be effective, there are still some obstacles to overcome. In Mozambique a shortage of teachers now, and also the Budget for teacher training is low. In order to keep teaching in local languages, it is necessary to Training, because the teachers explain to their substance only in Portuguese. Minister of education Conceite Sortane sees this as no Problem: “Our teacher training institutions have ensured the training of teachers that can speak in the language of their country or teach,” she says. In addition, classes are missing, but the materials in the local languages. And then the parents are still there: many times you want, that your children are not only taught in Portuguese, to be later at a disadvantage.

Bilingual teaching in every tenth school

About one out of every ten of the country’s 13,000 primary schools now offers bilingual teaching. ADPP and FFK work with around 100 schools. More than 5000 students take part, of 67,000 books from the organization already. Even in rural areas of the native common language of instruction. Teacher Armindo Ngunga noted that the students who are taught in two languages, understand the teaching material better. For him, the Reform is also a necessary step for the salvation of the Mozambican identity: “We will bring our culture back,” he says. The mother tongue become an Instrument for the development of the country.

Employees: Romeu da Silva