The National Action Plan on Disability II 2012-2019 (PNAD II) calls for inclusive education as a strategy for education of persons with disabilities at all levels and subsystems of the education system.
Article 29 of the Law no. 6/92 on the National Education System, defined special education as the type of education tailored for children and youth with physical, mental and sensorial deficits. According to this law, children with severe deficiencies or with ‘mental retardation’ should receive non-formal education.
The Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2012-2016 (extended until 2019) recognizes the right of all children, youth and adults to basic education, including those who have physical and/or learning difficulties/disabilities and who, therefore, need special educational attention. The principle of inclusion drives the ESP and there is a call for ensuring that children, youth and adults with special education needs and/or disabilities can attend regular schools, instead of being segregated in special schools. At present, approximately 24,000 children with special educational needs are enrolled in primary schools. Their participation in secondary education is limited to just over 200 students.
Despite these efforts, special schools still exist in the country. According to the Combined 3rd and 4th periodic reports submitted by Mozambique under article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2018, there are three special schools in the country for people with mental deficiencies and for deaf people in Maputo and Beira, one institute for the visually impaired in Beira and three regional centers in Nampula, Manica and Gaza provinces which annually cater for about 600 pupils. In addition, there is a school for deaf children belonging to the Association of Disabled People of Mozambique and a school for children with mental disabilities, belonging to CERCI in Maputo City.
Three Resource Centres for Inclusive Education (CREI) are reference laboratories for school inclusion processes and strategies. They provide teacher capacity building, modular courses and develop campaigns to sensitize communities. They are multifunctional and directed at the primary and secondary levels. Of them, the Eduardo Mondlane Resource Center for Inclusive Education, welcomes children with hearing, visual and mental disabilities, as well as children without disabilities. They train teachers from neighbouring schools on how to work with children with special needs.
Article 38 of the 2004 Constitution provides that: "All citizens are equal before the law, and they shall enjoy the same rights and be subject to the same duties, regardless of color, race, sex, ethnic origin, place of birth, religion, level of education, social position, the marital status of their parents, their profession or their political preference."
Law no. 6/92 of 6 May 1992 on the National Education System, guarantees basic education for all citizens and ensures that all Mozambicans have access to vocational training, establishing educational support and complementary measures to promote equality of opportunity in school access and achievement. The new law of the National Education System in 2018 extended compulsory education to Grade 9.
Mozambique has prioritized the creation and expansion of opportunities to ensure that all children, including children with disabilities can go to school. Specific interventions have been designed to increase access, retention and student learning across the country. In addition, Mozambique is trying to reduce geographic and gender disparities and to strengthen institutional capacity at all levels.
The mission of the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) is to create a fair and inclusive education system; a system where students gain the required competencies, in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes to achieve the main goal of Education as reflected in the long-term vision. It promotes specific interventions targeting cross-cutting areas including HIV and AIDS, gender, special needs and inclusive education. Inclusion and equity in the education system is ensured by improving the internal efficiency of institutions, diversifying teaching modalities, expanding the provision of education by the private sector and implementing social support programs for the most vulnerable children.
Article 37 of the Constitution states that “citizens with disabilities enjoy fully the rights enshrined in the Constitution and are subject to the same duties, except exercising or complying with those for which, because of their disability, they are incapacitated”. Likewise, Article 12 states “children, particularly orphans, children with disabilities and abandoned children, are protected by the family, society and the State against any form of discrimination, ill-treatment and the abusive exercise of authority in the family and elsewhere”.
At the international level, Mozambique ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its Optional Protocol 2012. Resolution no 29/2010 ratified the CRPD. At the national level, a National Action Plan on Disability (PNAD II), elaborated in 2012 promoted a multisectoral approach towards the promotion and inclusion of persons with disabilities at all levels and subsystems of the education system.
The Education Strategic Plan 2012- 2019 is promoting specific interventions for the inclusive education of children with disabilities. These include, improving access for children with special education needs by expanding the inclusive schools project in terms of improving identification system, promoting sign language and the Braille system and encouraging families to keep their children in school through social protection programmes.
An Operational Plan "A escola é nossa!” was created to support the implementation of the ESP. The implementation of inclusive education is treated transversally at all levels of education and comprises:
- Elaborating an Action Plan for Inclusive Education
- Adjusting the curriculum of Primary Education to the specificities of students with SEN
- Reducing teacher-student ratio in inclusive classes
- Training teachers in Diagnosis and Guidance, methodologies and communication strategies
(sign language of Mozambique and Braille)
- Continue to update the database of students with SEN in order to ensure a better provision of resources
- Improving accessibility
- Developing specific material to support teachers
Education Strategic Plan 2012-2019, seeks to reduce gender disparities across all levels of education. Girl’s participation at all levels and in all provinces has improved. In addition, some progress has been achieved in terms of integrating cross-cutting issues, particularly in gender equality and equity. However, many barriers still prevent girls in Mozambique to access education such as poverty, child marriage and teenage pregnancy. The lack of HIV and AIDS prevention and mitigation is also a challenge.
People living in rural or remote areas
Reducing geographical disparities is one of the priorities of the ESP.
Ethnic and linguistic groups
The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese. However, with more than 16 national languages in the country many children do not have Portuguese as their mother tongue. This leads to significant barriers in access to education and makes reading and learning in Portuguese a serious challenge for teachers and students. But the ESP wants to ensure that children in Mozambique at the primary level know how to speak, read and write in Portuguese and to prepare students at the first cycle of General Secondary Education (ESG1) to acquire general skills for communicating in Portuguese, Mozambican languages and in at least one international language.
The Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) is in charge of developing and implementing the national education policy. The Department of Special Education (Departamento de Educação Especial, DEE) is in charge of the education of persons with disabilities. The National Disability Council has a coordinating and monitoring role in relation to the PNAD II. MINEDH has started the decentralization of some key functions in education in order to increase efficiency, accountability and participation.
The National Institute of Social Action (INAS) is a branch of the Ministry of Women and Social action (MMAS) that implements the Ministry’s activities for all vulnerable groups countrywide.
Several international organizations, NGOs and foundations play important roles in the design and implementation of inclusive education programmes, in particular in relation to persons with disabilities. Humanity and Inclusion provides quality inclusive education for girls and boys with disabilities in targeted peri-urban areas of Maputo and Matola. Light for the World is building up a multi-stakeholder pilot programme on inclusive education in Sofala, through community-based rehabilitation programmes. UNICEF has designed a temporary accelerated school readiness model and is supporting the implementation of the national gender strategy. Through The Rights Responsibility: Invisible Children initiative it is raising awareness of the situation of children with disabilities. Plan International is working to include children with disabilities in preschool education. They partnered with Light for the World and the Uhambo Foundation, a South African based organisation, to support families and strengthen community preschools in which children with disabilities can play and learn alongside their peers.
To promote the accessibility for persons with disabilities through the construction of ramps and adequate sanitation infrastructure, the Decree 53/2008 approves the Regulation of Construction and Maintenance of Technical Equipment for Accessibility, Circulation, and Use of the Systems of Public Services for People with Disabilities or for People with Reduced Mobility, Technical Specifications and Use of International Symbol.
One of the priorities of the ESP is to continue to build and equip small secondary schools in rural areas, close to the community, giving priority to the first level of secondary education, through the new accelerated construction approach, complying with the norms established to cater for girls and children with special educational needs. Classrooms are being equipped for children with disabilities.
The PNAD II promotes the adaptation of the curricula according to the needs of students with disabilities. Under the framework of the ESP, the curriculum and lesson plans are being revisited in terms of the learning methodologies promoted, the treatment of cross-cutting issues and the treatment of children with special educational needs. The integration of gender issues in the curriculum and in teaching materials is being promoted in all educational subsystems. Finally, the revision of the primary education curricular in the form of monolingual teaching is in an advanced state.
The ESP recognizes that implementing the concept of inclusive schools is complex and requires teachers to have additional competencies and skills to deal with the different physical and cognitive skills of their students. The Resource Centres for Inclusive Education (CREI) are working in teacher training for inclusive education.
The PNAD II promotes training of teachers for auditory, visual, mental and physical disabilities. A component on disability will be introduced in all training for teachers and pedagogical assistants. In addition, to ensure caring for the needs of children with disabilities, social welfare, health and other staff have been trained in sign language and other matters linked to disability.
Escolas de Professores do Futuro, a community-based teacher training college, run teacher education programmes for primary teachers in rural areas. Teacher Training College (TTC) Nhamatanda has been training visually impaired primary school teachers for more than ten years, and since 2008 with financial support from Light for the World. Each year, visually impaired graduates from mainstream schools are identified, with assistance from the local School for the Blind, and encouraged to apply for a scholarship at the college. All teacher educators have been trained in Braille by the school for the blind and the national Union of the Blind. During their training, the visually impaired student teachers teach in practice schools nearby. Communities have become familiar with their children being taught by visually impaired teachers, resulting in a positive change of attitude and helping create a more welcoming environment for teachers and students with disabilities.
No evidence of indicators to measure inclusive education in the country has been found.
The profile has been reviewed by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE)