Education and Peace

ONJILA: Rehabilitating the Education System in Angola

Tuesday 30 March 2004

The prolonged war in Angola had a serious impact on the quality of its schools.There is limited pedagogical material available and during recent years continuous flight from combat zones has limited the ability of parents and teachers to ensure an education for their children. This situation threatens the country’s potential for human development, social dialogue and ultimately, the strength of Angolan democratic institutions.

Program ONJILA is set up by Angolan Alternatives and our partner ADRA (Acçao para O Rural Desenvolvimento y Ambient - Action for Rural and Environmental Development). It aims to improve the education of 18 000 pupils in the province of Benguela (mid-west of the country) by integrating school curriculum into the community’s general activities. It works to:

- physically improve participating schools
- reinforce the pedagogical teaching technique in school syllabi at the primary school level;
- strengthen the relationship between schools and their communities; and
- develop partnerships between the schools, the ministry for
education and other institutions.

At the beginning of the program, of the 432 participating professors 197 did not have any teacher training. Over five months, our partners ADRA delivered CAT teacher trainings (To know - To analyze - To transform) to these teachers.

Of the 26 schools in the program, seven schools were rehabilitated and three new schools were built and desks, chairs, slates and schoolbooks were distributed in order to fill the needs and different requirements of the various schools.

At the time of our last visit in May 2003, we noted various improvements including: various extra-curricular activities implemented by the pupils including community gardens, vaccination campaigns, reforestation activities and aid to flood victim programming, increased parent involvement through the establishment of parent committees, rebuilding and/or rehabilitation activities and citizen forums and teacher interaction through th integration of training objectives within community activities in participation with pupils and parents, their support for children groups and their efforts to adapt the school syllabus to realities of the community.

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