Increased literacy is necessary to eliminate poverty

The Government of Mozambique has made poverty reduction through labour-intensive growth one of its central goals in its long-term strategy for development. Priority is given to poverty reduction in rural areas where 90% of Mozambicans are poor, as well as in urban areas. The Government acknowledges that the long-term success of this strategy for poverty elimination will depend on the expansion and improvement of the education system.

Long-term, universal access to quality education is crucial for development.
Mozambique’s human resource base is dependent on its ability to educate and train its labour force. It is vital to create a critical mass in a highly skilled and qualified workforce. This will help improve literacy, intellectual development, and technical skills in different areas of the country’s economic and industrial growth.

In the short-term, improved access and quality in basic education can be powerful tools for wealth redistribution as well as the promotion of social equality. This policy is in line with Articles 113 and114 of the Constitution of Mozambique, which deals with higher education and education. The Government of Mozambique made a decision to abandon the centrally planned system it had inherited from communism and adopt a western-style free market system. This was around 1990. It was also decided that fundamental changes would be made to the education programs. Because of the dramatic changes and broad-ranging consequences of adopting the new economic and politically oriented, it was necessary that new guidelines and rules were established for the management of institutions of higher learning.

The struggle goes on: “aluta continua”

Legislative and regulatory reforms were gradually introduced to bring about economic and political change. It has been difficult to change cultural and social norms in an even manner. The most vulnerable generations of the younger generation are particularly affected by rapid changes in society. However, the reference model and values that they expect from the elders in modern Mozambican society appear to be changing very quickly. In some cases, it seems that there is no model. The Mozambican new wave of economic liberty, better known as “deixa” andar, which literally means “laisser-faire”, was wrongly adopted by education and social development.

Economists and entrepreneurs are better able to understand the “laisser-faire” principle in an open market system. Entrepreneurs can also use this system to their advantage. The Government’s role is limited to exercising minimal regulatory agency. This free market policy is responsible for the recent substantial economic growth achieved by the Government of Mozambique (8% of successive growth indexes over four years). This principle must be distinguished from “laisser aller”, which in French means lack of discipline in academic and economic environments.

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