Children from 5 communities in Chibuto, Mozambique, can now go to the Primary School

Children from 5 communities in Chibuto, Mozambique, can now go to the Primary School

Children from 5 communities in Chibuto, Mozambique, can now go to the Primary School

As part of the project “Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância”, AIDGLOBAL and its partners promoted the opening, in the 2022 school year, of five Community Schools in the District of Chibuto, Gaza Province, Mozambique, which received the enrolment of 271 children.

The opening of the Schools took place throughout the month of February, in each of the five communities where AIDGLOBAL has been intervening in the context of the project. On February 7th, the Community Centres of Chaimite, Bairro 25 de Junho and Malehice opened, and on February 14th, the Community Centres of Chiconelane and Maivene opened, an action that is in itself a response to the investment in Early Childhood Education, in a country that has around 4.6 million children aged 0 to 4 years. With this initiative, more than two hundred children, aged between 3 and 5 years old, who live in the District of Chibuto, can now go to their own Little School.

After a month of activities, the Kindergarten teacher, Ledieta Bombe, responsible for the pedagogical component of the Little Schools, makes a positive balance: “In this first month, the activities were planned, taking into account the concern with the adaptation of the children to their Escolinha, socialization with other children and with their Educators and the creation of a routine, along with learning to make their physical description and the physical description of others, through games and songs, in changana, the language spoken in the communities of Chibuto, and also in Portuguese”, she concludes.

The pedagogical plan of these Schools was always built in articulation with the public guidelines for Early Childhood Education, namely those of the Mozambican Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action, to support the promotion of the Community Schools, such as the Educational Program for children from 1st to 5th grade, the Activity Manual of the Community Schools, and the Resource Book for Early Childhood Educators.

The verification of a growing and progressive awareness of this issue that intersects with the recognition of Preschool Education as a broader strategy against poverty is now visible, particularly in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second goal of SDG 4, for example, states that by 2030 it is a priority to “ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, early childhood care and education so that they are prepared for primary education.

This quality early childhood development is crucial for several reasons, one of which is that 85% of children’s brains are developed by the time they reach the age of 6. According to UNESCO (2006) what this figure tells us is that from birth until entry into elementary school, there is a “window of opportunity to shape the development of a child’s brain” since during this period, their “brain connections form at an unrepeated rate shaping and deepening cognitive, emotional, and social development and influencing the ability to learn, solve problems, and relate to others.

The Community Schools created by AIDGLOBAL are a project that wants to contribute to this quality development in early childhood, with the particularity of being based on a community management model that wants to give the opportunity to enroll even the most disadvantaged families.

For this reason, it is believed that the construction of these Little Schools and their promotion will contribute, in the medium/long term, to the reduction of poverty and to greater equity and inclusion of children and youth.

The concern about the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development of the child is now widely recognized and taken into account when designing preschool programs that seek to present children with an organized education outside of their family context, according to an informal and holistic approach, but it is necessary to continue.

Take a look at the photo gallery where we have gathered some photographic records illustrating the first activities with the children on the occasion of the opening of the three above-mentioned Little Schools.

“Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” (EeM) (Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for Early Childhood) has the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as main sponsor, Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language I.P. as co-financier, as promoter AIDGLOBAL, Project Manager; as co-promoter the Chibuto Vocational and Residential Center (CVRC) and as partners the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria) (IPL), its scientific-pedagogical coordinator, the Center for International Studies of the University Institute of Lisbon (CEI-Iscte) – coordinator of the anthropological component by District Service for Youth, Education and Technology of Chibuto (SDJET) and District Service for Health, Women and Social Action (SDSMAS) – entities that guarantee the articulation of the project with public policies.