A result of two training courses in Early Childhood Education (EI), held between 2019 and 2021, within the scope of the project “Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” (Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for Early Childhood), which completes, in 2022, its last year of activity.
Safeguarding the right to Education and promoting better education for children has been one of the priorities in the policy line of action of the Government of Mozambique and is one of the main concerns that crosses the project “Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” “Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for the First Childhood”.
To ensure better training for children, it is important to invest in the training of local human resources for a proximity response in the area of Early Childhood Education. For this reason, the project has been focusing on the empowerment of women in the five communities in which it has been implemented since 2017. For this reason, several training initiatives have been promoted that have already involved 46 women.
The training program, which led to the training of these 46 women, began in 2019, on the occasion of a training course in Early Childhood Education (EI), between October and November 2019, aimed at 30 young mothers with a vocation to work in the field of EI and nominated by their communities for their level of integrity. This training involved 22 women aged between 30 and 50 years old. From this group of participants, 10 women were selected and recruited who had already been notified by the community for their level of integrity, and who, after being trained, received the status of “Educadores em Movimento” (Educators in Motion).
The training – translated into 120 hours in theoretical and practical sessions, followed by 40 hours on the job – addressed topics such as pedagogy, itinerant education, learning through nature, early intervention, approach to Portuguese as a second language, entrepreneurship, leadership, among others. The initiative included international trainer Bru Junça, Childhood Educator and Storyteller, and local trainers Argentina Nhamuave, from the Provincial Directorate of Gender, Children and Social Action and Rodrigues Paulo Matusse, from the District Service for Health, Women and Action Social, advised by the AIDGLOBAL team, consisting of Castigo Tchume and Rita Lopes.
The outbreak of the pandemic, in March 2020, conditioned the start of the Itinerant Childhood Education (EII) activities, making these activities unfeasible for 10 women – Educadoras em Movimento (Educators in Motion) – in each of their communities: Bairro 25 de Junho, Chaimite , Chiconelane, Maivene and Malehice.
Despite the impact caused by the pandemic, and in order to keep the group united and motivated, we continued to invest in strengthening the skills of these Educators, through the holding of 16 Pedagogical Workshops that took place between March and October 2020, in each one of the five communities.
Followed and led by the community educator, Ledieta Bombe, with the support of the Auxiliar de Ação Educativa, Vitória Mucavel, the Pedagogical Workshops also had the support of Susana Damasceno, project coordinator, and consultant Sara do Rosário, in their preparation and dynamization of the various pedagogical moments.
According to Susana Damasceno, Project Coordinator and President of AIDGLOBAL, “these Pedagogical Workshops were a complement to the initial training work for these women who will have a fundamental role in implementing the itinerant educational approach that the pilot project “Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” (Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Early Childhood Education) aims to achieve.
In 2021, still in a pandemic context and in order to ensure the containment measures determined by the Mozambican government, it was necessary to recruit and train more women from each of the five communities to participate in yet another theoretical and practical training in the context of Early Childhood Education, and in this way, increase the number of Educators in Motion available to ensure activities with children.
This second training in Itinerant Childhood Education took place from March 9th to April 16th in the communities of Maivene, Chiconelane and Chaimite, and was given by Castigo Tchume and Ledieta Bombe. 24 women participated in it, joining the 6 Educators in Movement, trained in 2019.
In the context of this training, it was decided to group women from two communities, having formed three training groups with which 8 theoretical-practical sessions were held. The advantage of the groups meeting in three of the five communities where the project is being implemented was to get to know the spaces – also known as Escolinhas – in which EII activities are planned.
Throughout the various training moments, future Educators were trained to think critically about the concept of childhood, about what it means and what it means to be a child, without forgetting all the precautions that must be taken in terms of nutrition, particularly during the period of pregnancy. The training also included a set of contents related to the rules that should guide and monitor the activities carried out by the Educators in the Community Schools, such as the approach to Early Childhood Development and the functioning of the Little Schools. Safeguarding the safety and hygiene conditions of the space, guaranteeing the good use of school material and guaranteeing a good relationship between all the elements involved in school life were also some of the topics highlighted in the context of each of the training moments.
“Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” (Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for Early Childhood) has as its main funder the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, as co-financier Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language I.P., as promoter AIDGLOBAL, project manager, as co-promoter the Vocational and Residential Center of Chibuto (CVRC), and as partners the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (IPL) (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (IPL)), its scientific-pedagogical coordinator, by the Center for International Studies of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)(CEI-IUL), coordinator of the anthropological component, by the District Service for Youth, Education and Technology of Chibuto (SDJET) and the District Service for Health, Women and Social Action (SDSMAS) – entities that guarantee the articulation of the project with public policies.