- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The 2003 Basic Law of the Education System, which governs education from the pre-primary to the higher education level, establishes that the education system is organized according to a set of diversified structures and actions, under the responsibility of different public, private and cooperative institutions and bodies.
Education in São Tomé e Príncipe includes 6 years of non-compulsory pre-primary education (ages 0-6), followed by 6 years of primary education and 6 years of secondary education. Education is only compulsory from ages 6-12. There are private and public education institutions at all education levels; however, State provision is predominant across all levels.
According to the latest statistical bulletin available prepared by the Directorate for Statistics and Planning of the Ministry of Education for the period 2015-2016, at pre-primary and basic education level the number of public schools far outnumbered the number of private schools in the country. Enrollment in private institutions in primary education and in the first cycle of secondary education accounted for 1% of the total enrollments. In the second cycle of secondary education and in higher education enrollment in private education institutions increases steadily (12.1 % and 55.1%) in comparison with other education levels.
The decreto lei 212 of 2015 established an agreement with the Government of Portugal to create the Portuguese School of São Tomé and Príncipe functioning as a Portuguese Language and Teaching Centre. The Portuguese School of São Tomé and Príncipe was integrated into the network of Portuguese public schools of the Ministry of Education and Science, offering children and youth various cycles of professional training with a Portuguese curricular base.
Non-state managed, state schools
No information available.
Non-state funded, state schools
No information available.
Independent, non-state schools
Private schools are independent non-state schools, which are established, funded, and managed by private individuals, NGOs, or associations and charge tuition fees for student attendance. While non-state provision in primary and secondary education levels in São Tomé e Príncipe is almost inexistent compared to state provision (0.8% and 1.1%), provision is significantly higher in urban areas and in the island of São Tomé.
Most private schools in São Tomé e Príncipe are international schools such as the Escola International, the Escola Portuguesa, and the Glorious International School.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
In the Education Policy roadmap of São Tomé e Príncipe Vision 2022, the government committed to support private providers with teacher training opportunities and the supply of learning materials in exchange of lowering admission fees and improving quality.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information available.
No information was found regarding the extent of homeschooling in São Tomé e Príncipe or whether it is regulated by the law.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
Unrecognised or unregistered schools are not found in statistical sources elaborated by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEES) of São Tomé e Príncipe is in responsible for the regulation of the education system, including non-state actor’s involvement, at all education levels
Vision: The Education Policy roadmap of São Tomé e Príncipe Vision 2022 which covers the period 2012-2022, committed to financially support non-state education providers at the secondary and higher education levels by implementing attractive economic and institutional measures such as supporting the training of teachers and the supply of learning materials and school equipment. The purpose of these measures was to encourage providers to lower the costs of schooling for families and to improve the quality of learning offered in these institutions. Lastly, to improve and ensure national ownership of education policy instruments, the Ministry promoted a greater involvement of political and social actors in school management, namely, the municipalities, the private sector, NGOs, and local communities.
Even though there is a high demand for non-state schools at the early childhood care and education level according to the Education Policy roadmap of São Tomé e Príncipe Vision 2022, only one third of children attend pre-primary educational institutions;6.6% of these children are enrolled in private pre-primary institutions. In State schools, classrooms are populated by an average of 68 children and there is often scarcity of pedagogical materials and trained teachers and auxiliary staff.
Early Childhood Care and Education is regulated under article 5 of the 2003 Basic Law of the Education System. According to the law, pre-primary education is not compulsory for children aged 0-6. Early childhood education and care is regulated by the State thought the Ministry of Education and Higher Education which assumes the responsibility of the definition, creation, regulation, and monitoring of this education level.
In 2016, the government of São Tomé e Príncipe and UNICEF worked together on the creation of a Preschool Education Act as well as the Statutes of Education Institutions operating in this education level. However, there is no evidence on whether this Act was effectively approved by the government.
For more information about entry, establishment, financial operation, quality, and equity of non-state provision in São Tomé e Príncipe, see section on multi-level regulations.
According to the Basic Law of the Education System of 2003, primary education takes place in establishments of various types that cover different educations cycles. Secondary education takes place in secundarias pluricurriculares, which may use the facilities of private entities to hold classes or teaching and training activities.
For more information about entry, establishment, financial operation, quality, and equity of non-state provision in São Tomé e Príncipe, see the section on multi-level regulations.
Tertiary education in of São Tomé e Príncipe is governed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Since its independence in 1975, the country passed from having no higher education institutions to having an increasingly diverse offer of higher education programmes offered by the State and public providers. In 2019, 2759 students attended higher education institution in the country.
The University of São Tomé e Príncipe is the biggest higher education institution in the country. It was established in 2014 after three former higher education institutions merged: the Instituto Superior Politécnico de São Tomé e Príncipe, the Escola de Formação de Professores e Educadores and ICS Instituto de Ciências de Saúde. Despite its importance, the majority of students are enrolled in private higher education institutions such as the Universidade Lusíada de São Tomé e Príncipe and the Instituto Superior Politécnico. The University is public and has an estimate of 2,000 students enrolled.
The Constitution of São Tomé e Príncipe of 1975 establishes in article 55 that education can take place in private institutions.
The 2003 Basic Law of the Education System governs all education levels in São Tomé e Príncipe, from early childhood to tertiary education. The law establishes the right to establish private and cooperative schools. The State should promote the cooperation between public, private and cooperative schools. The Basic Law establishes in article 54 that the Law 11 of 1993 governs private and cooperative education (Ensino Particular e Cooperativo).
The Decreto-lei 75 of 2008 approved the regime of autonomy, administration and management of public establishments of pre-school education and basic and secondary education. This decree was modified by the Decreto-lei 137 of 2012.
Registration and approval: The decreto lei 212 of 2015 establishes that public schools in São Tomé e Príncipe are of the same nature as public education and teaching establishments in the Portuguese education system. As part of its pedagogical autonomy, a school may enter into protocols or collaboration agreements with other public and private entities with a view to expanding its educational or training offer, with the approval of the Government.
License: No information available.
WASH: In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of São Tomé e Príncipe approved a contingency plan which envisaged that private and public schools needed to ensure that water and sanitation facilities were available in all schools across the country.
Profit-making: No information available.
Taxes and subsidies: No information available.
Curriculum and education standards: No information available.
Textbooks and learning materials: In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, GPE has provided structured materials such as printed lesson plans or for tablets to teachers and early grade students, in Portuguese and local languages.
Teaching profession: The country faces challenges to ensure that all teachers are qualified and have access to teacher training. It is estimated that 60% of primary education teachers are unqualified. With the support from GPE, the country is implementing a training and high-level training policy for teachers and other education officials to address the quality and efficiency challenges within the education system, however there is no information on whether training opportunities will also be made available to teachers working in private education institutions.
Corporal punishment: There is no regulation prohibiting corporal punishment in private or public schools.
Other safety measures and Covid-19: The Ministry of Education and Higher Education of São Tomé e Príncipe approved a contingency plan in March 2020 which ordered school closings and adjustments to school calendars for private and public schools across the country.
Fee-setting: No information available.
Admission selection and processes: No information available.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information available.
Board: No information available.
Reporting requirements: No information available.
Inspection: No information available.
Assessment: No information available.
Diplomas and degrees: No information available.
Sanctions: No information available.
No information available.