The government of Cabo Verde has not officially defined Information and Communication Technology (ICT), though they do use the term “Tecnologias da Informação e Comunicação (TIC)” in official policy documents such as the 2010 Law of Bases of the Educational System (LBSE), the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for Education (PEE), the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development (PEDS), 2005 Strategic Program for the Information Society, and the Digital Governance Strategy 2021-2024.
Ciências, Tecnologias e Inovação (CT&I) is also used in documents such as the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for Education (PEE).
Distance education and e-Learning are also common terms used in the 2005 Strategic Program for the Information Society, and the Digital Governance Strategy 2021-2024.
Constitution and laws: The 2010 Constitution of the Republic of Cabo Verde establishes the “freedom to learn, to educate, and to teach" and the "right of everyone to education." Education must “Promote the development of scientific ways of thinking, of scientific research and invention, as well as of technological innovation.” The state must also “promote education, scientific and technological research, knowledge and application of new technologies.”
Cabo Verde sought to expand the education system with the 2010 Law of Bases of the Educational System (LBSE) as amended in 2018 which advocated for the increase of secondary educational opportunities such as distance education and expanded the use of new information and communication technologies available; the law also focuses heavily on scientific and technical skills. One of the main objectives of the law is to provide education and training in scientific and technical skills which will allow the individual to participate in the socioeconomic development of the country. Schools are responsible for strengthening the assimilation of scientific and technical knowledge into the system and for encouraging a creative spirit and adaptation to changes in society, science and technology in the modern world. Technological training is a mandatory part of the second cycle of the basic education system (year 5-8). At the secondary education level, the system aims to enable the “acquisition of the scientific, technological and cultural bases necessary for the continuation of studies and entry into active life and through technical, artistic and professional means, and allows for the acquisition of professional qualifications for insertion in the labour market.” Students are able to choose areas of specialization for the 10-12th years of schooling, one of which is “Science and Technology.”
Chapter IV in the LBSE titled, “Information and Communication Technologies and the knowledge society” promotes the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the educational system. The state, in order to contribute to the rising scientific level and technology of society, “develops training and research actions aimed at the different segments of society through the integration of ICT in the educational system."
Policies, plans and strategies: The 2005 Strategic Program for the Information Society: New Development Opportunities was the first to call for ICT in Schools. Through its commitment to “virtual campuses”, distance learning, and e-learning through ICT, the program noted that a cultural change from higher institutes and an adaptation of teaching processes and methodologies was required. The strategy planned to equip and connect schools with technology; promote equitable access to ICT in primary and secondary schools; streamline the management processes in the Educational System and the sharing of information between schools and the Ministry; train teachers and managers of the educational system to teach with ICT and for the use of ICT in teaching processes; and invest in the ongoing training of primary and secondary school teachers.
Cabo Verde’s Government Guidelines for the IX Legislature (2016-2021) seeks to develop an educational system capable of “providing young Cape Verdeans with a deep command of languages, sciences and technologies, a cosmopolitan profile in their relationship with the world, bearer of values and motivator for lifelong learning of life”. This theme is found repeated in the strategic plans that follow.
“Raising the knowledge of Science and Technology in the qualification of citizens” is one of the main values of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for Education (PEE). The strategic plan shares the government’s commitment to education set by the IX Legislature’s guidelines. Technology related goals include expanding the technical specialization pathway for secondary education, encouraging more students to specialize in ICT, and improving teacher training in ICT. Manuals and support materials will be prepared in order to strengthen ICT classes in the 2nd cycle of study.
Cape Verde's 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development (PEDS) considers the Digital Economy as one of its priorities and an essential area for the country's development. This led to the creation of the Digital Governance Strategy 2021-2024 which envisions a “Digital Cape Verde, an agile, capable, resilient, reliable and transparent State, closer to citizens at all stages of life and of companies.” The strategy has several intervention areas, some of which include improving infrastructure, access, security, digital literacy, and digital public services. Objectives include improving the security and resilience of technological and institutional infrastructures; deepening digital literacy; and ensuring adequate technological and legislative resources. In regards to education, the strategy specifically states that the “priority of digital transformation must be directed to the feasibility of distance learning and to the online availability of services in areas that are more sought after, have a higher level of coverage and are easy to modernize, as is the case with enrolling and issuing declarations and certificates.” The strategy also calls for better e-learning and a Digital Strategy for Education is proposed.
Digital competency frameworks: The National Qualification System (SNQ) determines professional qualifications in the National Qualifications Catalog (CNQ) with an indication of the corresponding qualification level. Information and Communications Technology is one category of professional qualification with three levels: 3) Installation and Maintenance of IT and Telecommunications equipment; 4) Administration of computer systems and database systems; and 5) Development of computer applications.
Reinforcement of actions for the development of digital competences in the education system: According to the Government Program and Motion of Confidence (2021-2026), the Government will reinforce actions for the development of digital competences in the education system in the following areas: professional training and in reconversion professional with the Digital Education for All Program in schools and high schools; the expansion of the weblab initiative (contact with computing and robotics) in school groups; the intensification of ICT in the teaching/learning system; the reinforcement of learning and fluent command of the English language; the development of new approaches and teaching methods for Mathematics, Science, Physics and Chemistry; the continuation of Tele-escola and Educational TV; the increase in training offers with a focus on ICT aimed at training young people and professional retraining of young graduates; reinforcement of financial and fiscal incentives for access to computer equipment; and the reduction of internet costs in schools, universities and professional training establishments.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: Resolution No. 65/2020 was developed as an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution determined distance education methods to be provided during social distancing which makes it impossible for face-to-face teaching to function. The new Digital Governance Strategy 2021-2024 mentions COVID-19 as the reason for encouraging the use of technological tools and services, in addition to teleworking. Therefore, the strategy is able to “take advantage of the capacity for resilience and implementation of new technologies to establish national and international partnerships that benefit the country's digital governance.”
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: Decree-Law No. 54/99 establishes the basic law for the Electricity System of Cape Verde. It comprises of the following principles, “a) ensuring a safe and reliable supply of electricity, as well as an increasing the coverage of service to all consumers, at a reasonable, fair and non-discriminatory price in use; b) increasing the use of renewable energy sources and cogeneration for electricity production; c) promoting efficiency in the production, transport, distribution and use of electricity in the country; d) attracting national and foreign private investments into the Electric System, including self- and independent producers, through the definition of stable, equitable, favourable and transparent conditions for investment; e) encouraging healthy competition and competition in the Electric System.” Schools are not mentioned.
Decree-Law No. 1/2011, began Cabo Verde’s goal to achieving independence from fossil fuels through incentivizing renewable energies and increased energy efficiency.
Computers and devices: The 2005 Strategic Program for the Information Society sought to provide each primary school with at least one computer with an Internet connection; all secondary schools with one internet-connected computer room with a ratio of one computer per 100 students; and all school libraries, national and municipal public, with publicly accessible computers with an Internet connection. All teachers were to be provided with a computer in order to help promote computers as a pedagogical tool.
The 2010 Law of Bases of the Educational System (LBSE) states that the State will “promote free access to information and communication technologies (ICT) by all public educational establishments, with a view to universalizing access to knowledge and promoting research habits.” The Ministry of Education is ensuring that technological laboratories will be installed in all secondary schools in accordance with the Digital Governance Strategy 2021-2024.
Internet connectivity: The 2016 National Broadband Strategy as part of Resolution No. 21/2016 sought to provide affordable broadband to all islands, with a direct impact on the education system. Goals included increasing connectivity availability, promoting public-private partnerships (PPPs), as well as expanding digital learning programs. More recent goals, as a part of the Digital Governance Strategy 2021-2024, include the construction of a convergent communications network made up of submarine fibre optic cables which link the Atlantic coast to the African sub-region.
Also mentioned in the Government Program and Motion of Confidence (2021-2026) The Government will make the internet an essential asset and increase digital literacy, ensuring high penetration and generalization through cost reduction as well as the attribution of asset status digital public to technological platforms that are considered of essential value for the citizen. It will create the social internet fee. It will intensify the initiatives carried out and in progress, namely partnership with telecommunications operators, reduction in the rate of use of the radio spectrum, massification of Internet access through the creation of the Universal Internet Access Fund, creation of the Internet Exchange Point (IxP).
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
According to the 2010 Law of Bases of the Educational System (LBSE), “educational authorities may resort to the means of social communication and information and communication technologies to ensure complementary, supplementary or alternative training to regular education.” The State also “may create radio and television programs aimed at promoting recurrent and distance learning, when circumstances so determine, either through public or private media or through the creation of radio and television educational media." Distance education is recognised as one of the educational modalities for secondary education by Decree-Law No. 28/2022 which establishes the secondary education curriculum.
The 2005 Strategic Program for the Information Society called for the development of distance education systems that covered the different areas of education, allowing a continuous recycling of knowledge and the technical levelling of teaching in isolated places, while taking into account the lack of teachers for such a young population.
Under Resolution No. 65/2020, the government of the Republic of Cabo Verde authorized for the implementation of the distance education modality using ICT with transmission through television, radio and distribution of handouts and other means available, for basic and secondary education. The broadcasts of the first week was essentially informative and helped to familiarize students, teachers, and their families with the teaching methodology. Content was produced for both television and radio classes, of 20 minutes each, covering the 1st to the 12th year. Five hours of classes were broadcasted daily, 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. Television channels which transmitted the classes include the Televisão de Cabo Verde (TCV ) and Green Estúdio channels, on the open channel, and on ZAP. For areas with poor coverage, classes were provided by Rádio Educativa, Rádio de Cabo Verde (RCV) and Community Radios. The teaching content was also available online on the "Learn and Study at Home” page of the Ministry of Education and was able to be accessed at all times by students, teachers, and families. In total, the project includes 640 classes broadcast on television and state radios and community radios. The Ministry of Education also reinforced the connectivity of teachers, through partnerships with telecommunications operators, and with the creation of a package of digital resources that facilitated communication between teachers and families. Teachers were also provided with additional digital training. For students who had difficulty accessing other remote learning options, due to a lack of network coverage or equipment, delegations and teachers tried to get printed learning resources to their homes.
The Digital Governance Strategy 2021-2024 also calls for improving the distance learning component. As such, an e-learning content development team will be responsible for supporting all government sectors in preparing e-learning courses, a distance learning platform, the designing of resources, and the management of necessary technological infrastructure.
As written in the 2010 Law of Bases of the Educational System (LBSE), technological training is incorporated into the curriculum of secondary education. ICT has also added also a mandatory modular area in the basic education study plan in accordance with Legislative Decree No. 13/2018, which amended the 2010 LBSE and Decree-Law No. 27/2022 that establishes the basic education curriculum, the guiding principles for its conception, organization, management and operationalization. The ICT module begins from the second cycle of basic education (5th year of schooling), is administered on a modular basis and has an annual load of 30 hours in one of the quarters of each year, with a duration of 2 hours per week. It aims to guarantee students the safe and proper use of digital resources, provide conditions for universal access to information, and is used in the various components of the curriculum. Performance descriptors in the basic education study plan (grade 1-8) for the ICT module include, “understands the importance of ICT evolution in the contemporary world; uses different types of software; safely browse the internet; respect copyright and intellectual property rights; searches, selects and critically analyzes the information available on the internet; produces various documents using computer tools; create and edit multimedia presentations; manages the data stored on the internet, ensuring their security; uses different platforms and social networks; uses collaborative environments on the network as an individual learning strategy; and uses social media safely to communicate, share and interact.” Outside of the ICT module, ICT skills necessary in other performance indicators include, “using technological tools as supports in the acquisition of knowledge; and relates scientific and technological development to the improvement of the quality of life of human populations.”
The ICT Program Module for the 2nd cycle of the basic education system (grade 5-8) states that the course promotes the development of knowledge and skills in the use of ICTs that allow generalized digital literacy. It aims to improve students’ capacity for critical analysis skills and understanding of the role and power of ICT. Students will also develop the competence to research, treat, produce, and communicate information through technology. The module lists expectations for students who have completed basic education in ICT. Some of which include: knowing the potentialities and constraints of the various digital tools for accessing information; select, analyze, verify, classify, and use information from digital research; design and create diverse digital documents; interact and collaborate with others in online environments; know the dangers of using digital tools and assume responsible safety behaviors; respect the copyright and intellectual property of online content; and respect the rules of online conduct (“Netiquette”). The module contains learning objectives, content, and methodological guidelines for each grade level.
The 2005 Strategic Program for the Information Society developed a training program for over 4000 teachers on the use of ICT in teaching and for around 60 school managers on the use of ICT in management. The program included the development and dissemination of educational software in classrooms, with consideration for the level of teachers.
The 2010 Law of Bases of the Educational System (LBSE) ensures that teacher training programs must pursue “promoting and facilitating research, innovation and the use of information technologies, oriented towards the exercise of the teaching function.” Initial training and continuing training must also be continuously updated “in order to adapt teachers to new techniques and to the evolution of society, science, technology and pedagogy.” The 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for Education (PEE) provides teachers with training that uses blended learning or mixed models in order to familiarize themselves with ICT in the classroom.
As a response to COVID-19 pandemic, Resolution No. 65/2020 tasked the MOE in the development of teachers' skills in the use of online resources, reliable and easily accessible, to help them design, transmit and provide pedagogical support solutions to students.
The Guidelines for the Academic Year 2022/2023 include a priority line of training teachers in digital skills, distance teaching, and new teaching and learning environments.
2.4.1. Data privacy
Protection of personal data is enshrined within Cabo Verde’s 2010 Constitution. Articles 41 and 46 call for the individual’s right to identity, personality, good name, image and intimacy. Article 45 details the protection of computerized data. All citizens have the right to access data that affects them and the use of personal data without consent is prohibited. Cabo Verde has also ratified the 1981 Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.
Cabo Verde has a comprehensive framework for data protection with its Law No. 133-V-2001 on the Protection of Personal Data ('the 2001 Law') as amended in 2013 and 2021. Under this law, personal data may only be processed with strict compliance with the fundamental rights, freedoms, and guarantees of natural persons, with the right to privacy and family life and the right to the protection of personal data. Children and schools are not explicitly mentioned. The 2013 amendment to the 2001 Law led to the National Commission of Data Protection ('CNPD') which was founded in order to, “control and monitor compliance with legal and regulatory provisions on the protection of personal data, in strict respect for human rights and the freedoms and guarantees enshrined in the Constitution and the law; and has powers of investigation and inquiry, authority and to issue opinions prior to the processing of personal data.”
The 2016 National Cybersecurity Strategy through Resolution No. 22/2016 presented guidelines for the creation of security incident response structures for the Government and private entities, the encouragement of cooperation between national institutions and international organizations, and the promotion of a cybersecurity culture.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The government of Cape Verde explains that it is up to teachers to implement cybercrime prevention sessions in the classroom, adapted to the risks that students may encounter online. The government, alongside the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has developed awareness materials that discuss good practices to protect against cybercrime, including cyberbullying, fraud, sextortion and sexual abuse of children online. The materials are being distributed in schools for students, teachers, and parents. Cyberbullying is also discussed in the ICT Program Module alongside other online safety behaviors and ensuring students are responsible and ethical in their internet use. The teacher is told to instruct the student “not to provide any type of personal information and to browse the internet with supervision or in a place visible to adults and regularly communicate with them their experience as a user, as well as share data of e-mail account access with Parents.”
A draft law, Crimes of Aggression and Sexual Abuse Against Children and Adolescents, was submitted in 2020. The law calls for the creation of a mandatory notification system, the strengthening of the assistance network, and increasing the age of sexual abuse as a public crime to 18. The crime of 'sexting' for children is also codified. Those who, "through mobile phones, tablets, computers or other computer equipment", send "written or sound messages of sexual or erotic content", to children under the age of 16 years, can be punished with a prison sentence of two to five years. The law has not yet been passed.
According to the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan for Education (PEE), the Ministry of Education is the government department whose mission is “to define, implement and evaluate the national policy of the educational system for pre-school education, basic, secondary and technical education, extra-curricular education, higher education, scientific research, technological development and innovation, as well as school social action.” Within the Ministry of Education, the Science, Technology and Innovation Office, is responsible for the promotion of innovations and technologies from basic to higher education.
In Cabo Verde, no regulatory framework was found on the roles of schools and devices. However, the General Guidelines Booklet (Academic Year 2022-2023), points to some guidelines on the Integrated School Management System, WebLab, boosting ICT in Education, and other aspects related to ICT that are the responsibility of schools and managed within the educational community.
This profile has been reviewed thanks to the support of the Direção Geral da Comunicação, Tecnologia e Multimédia (DGCTM)