Overview of education in the country
The reform of the Angolan education system started in 2004 and includes new divisions of education levels, changes in the student evaluation system, and reformulation of curricular content. Angola has now a unified system consisting of seven subsystems (pre-school education, general education, technical and vocational education, teacher training, adult education, higher education) and structured under three levels (primary, secondary, and higher education).
Primary education is free and compulsory, lasting for six years. In practice, however, there are neither enough schools nor teachers to enforce the law.
The secondary education system is divided into two cycles (lower secondary and upper secondary) of three years each.
There is a parallel technical education system divided into three years of vocational education and four years of middle technical education.
University education is offered only in major urban centers and tuition fees are higher when compared to other countries from the region such as Namibia and South Africa.
Challenges in education
- Access to education is hindered by poor access to the internet and poverty. Children are often withdrawn from compulsory attendance and girls are being affected, due to local values and traditional practices. This reflects in the country’s education indicators that show a national enrolment rate in primary education of only 54% for men and 46% for women. For the secondary school, the enrolment rate was found to be 20.6% and 17.6%, respectively (PNUD, 2008).
- The lacunae in the education system are present across all education levels, with teacher absenteeism, lack of support structures including access to resources, textbooks, libraries, laboratories, and an overall sub-standard level of quality.
- Conflicts have left many students, including former child soldiers, severely traumatized and physically disabled. War-affected girls are especially vulnerable, and some have young children requiring care during school hours.
- Though access to education has improved, both quality and quantity remain a concern, with rural areas continuing to be disadvantaged due to a lack of sufficient investment.
- There continues to be a need for more relevant and adequate teaching techniques; resources, curricula, and teaching tools; formal, vocational, and alternative educational programs; life skills training; social services; community support; education and social policies and programs; and opportunities for young people to develop into productive and responsible citizens.
- There are six years of compulsory education in Angola.
- Even though it is difficult to assess literacy and education needs, 2014 World Bank reports estimate the literacy rate in Angola to be 77%.
- Literacy is quite low, with 67.4% of the population over the age of 15 able to read and write in Portuguese. 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women were literate as of 2001.
- Since 1980, education funding has been low, and all areas of education are in dire need of facilities, materials, and teachers. Civil war has consumed most of the country's financial gains.
- The quality of teaching at the primary level is reasonable.
- There is a need for more quality training by certification, especially in technical areas, health, and safety, accounting, economics, architecture.
- There is a need for recognized and certified vocational and practical training in a variety of sectors.
- There is a need to increase demand for English language providers for secondary education and a professional level, particularly for the Oil & Gas, aviation, tourism, and hospitality industry.
- UNICEF and the Government of Angola expanded their existing Back-to-School campaign by recruiting and training 29,000 new primary school teachers for the 2004 school year. As a result, student enrollment has increased by nearly 1 million, primarily in grades 1 to 4.
Current education sector plan and strategy
Currently, within the framework of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners, has been supporting the Ministry of Education in the preparation of the proposal for the National Action Plan to keep schools open and safe, to avoid a greater impact of school closures on learning, as well as on deworming campaigns for school-age children (5-14 years old), carried out in communities and primary schools.
The government is committed to addressing all education lacunae through various initiatives and programs.
- Angola Learning for All Project
- List of Schools in Angola
- List of Universities in Angola
- Profile of education in Angola from UNICEF
- Profile of higher education in Angola from UNESCO
- Profile of information communication technology in education in Angola from infoDev
- WHO Angola supports the education sector improve school health