1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Multi-level regulations 

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring 


  1. Terminology

The Constitution of Mozambique (2004) affirms that the State is in charge of the development of the national education system but recognizes the existence of private entities as education providers. The Lei no. 18 of 2018 on the National Education System which governs all education levels establishes that communities, corporations, companies, and private actors may participate in the education process. 

Law no. 27of 2009 defines private higher education institutions as the institutions belonging to private or mixed legal persons, whose sources revenue mains are private, and can be classified into profitable and non-profit and take the form of association, foundation, commercial society or cooperative. 


  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools 

In Mozambique, primary education from ages 6-13 is free and compulsory. Primary education  is composed of 3 years of pre-school education (ages 3-5), followed by 7 years of compulsory primary education (ages 6-13) divided in two cycles first cycle primary education lasting 5 years and second cycle primary education lasting 2 years. The big majority of students at this education level attend public schools following efforts by the government of Mozambique to abolish fees at the primary level. Less than 2% of pupils pursue their primary education in private or community schools.  

General secondary education comprises grades 8, 9 and 10 (ages 13-16) and second cycle secondary education comprises grades 11 and 12 (ages 16-18). According to the Ministry of Education and Human Development of Mozambique, general secondary education is not free of charge and there are no entrance examinations. To meet the high demand for secondary school places, many schools at this level operate with evening shifts mainly for older pupils (over 15 years old). In 2011, these public schools were attended by 10% of all secondary school pupils. Recently, the Ministry introduced a distance General Secondary Education program whose coverage is still limited. 

After the senior secondary education, students can opt to continue in technical vocational basic education, technical vocational medium education or primary teacher training. A bachelor’s degree lasts in average 3-4 years. Public higher education institutions enjoy financial autonomy under the terms of the Lei do Sistema de Administração Financeira do Estado, are supervised by the State and have as the main source of revenue the State budget.  

The number of schools at all education levels varies widely depending on whether schools are public or private. Enrolment also varies widely between public and private schools, with lower enrolments in private schools at all levels. The public education system is taught almost entirely in Portuguese. English is introduced to students during secondary school and is a compulsory course from sixth grade onwards. Many parents from the richest households will chose international schools were English is taught at all grades.  

While primary school is free and compulsory by law, many schools charge associated fees for books and uniforms which are an obstacle for many Mozambicans. There are three main types of schools in the country: public, private and community schools.  

Non-state managed, state schools 

No information was found.   

Non-state funded, state schools 

No information was found.  

2.2 Non-state education provision

The low quality of private schools has pushed many parents towards private education. There are several private schools across Mozambique which vary depending on their value orientation, the fees charged and the language of instruction. Most of the private schools are located in Maputo and Beira.  

The most prevalent types of non-state provision are private and community schools.  

Independent, non-state schools 

Private schools are one of the most prevalent type of non-state education provision in Mozambique. They are owned by non-state actors and financed through private funds.  

Private international schools are often located in Maputo and tend to attract the wealthiest families. According to an ActionAid report, private international schools charge around MT 190,000 ($2,220) per year in primary education and around MT 210,000 to 230,000 ($2,425-$2,650) per year for secondary education. One example of an international school is the American International School of Mozambique that was founded by the US Embassy and its staff 30 years ago to provide an American-style education for the children of those who worked in the embassies, NGOs, and multinational corporations. Over time, the student population has increased from 60 to 600 students. Tuition fees vary depending on the education level.  

State funded (government-aided), non-state schools 

Some community schools receive support from the government, mainly in the form of teacher postings, and do not charge fees to parents. However, these schools do not represent a big share of the total number of schools in the country and there is not enough evidence to determine whether these schools are fully funded by the government.  

Contracted, non-state schools 

No information was found.  

2.3 Other types of schools


No information was found.  

Market contracted (Voucher schools) 

No information was found.  

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools 

No information was found.  

Community schools  

As in many other developing countries, low-fee private schools exist in Mozambique, but they often take the form of community schools. This type of schools account for the highest share of private education enrollments in primary and lower secondary.  They are characterized by charging low fees, being managed by communities and receiving financial support from the government to pay for teachers’ salaries and other expenses. In some cases, communities may also come together and ask religious leaders to start a school as an alternative to the government system.  

 In Maputo, individuals started their own small private schools in low-income areas serving the communities. A study commissioned by DFID in 2016 found 53 non-state schools as compared to 55 government schools. While the non-state schools were smaller, the government schools were characterized by their size serving thousands of students and working under several shifts per day. Of these schools, the majority of them (36 schools) were serving the pre-primary level only. Only 21 schools could be considered as being fully private as they were managed and operated by communities or religious leaders and received fees from parents, while 5 schools received teachers posted from the government and did not charged any fees.  


  1. Governance and regulations

The Ministry of Education and Human Development governs the provision of private and public education in Mozambique. There is National Directorate that governs the provision of public education at each education level. Public schools receive financial and technical support through different programmes such as the Programa Apoio Directo às Escolas Primárias públicas (ADE) and the Fundo de Apoio ao Sector de Educação (FASE). The governance of private schools falls under the authority of several directorates and regional and provincial entities. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Provisional Directorate for Education together with the Provisional Directorate of Health carried out an inspection of public, private and community secondary schools to see if they fulfilled the conditions for reopening.  

Vision: The Education Strategic Plan 2012-16 of the Ministry of Education sought to guarantee inclusion and equity in access to and retention in school by improving internal efficiency of institutions, diversifying teaching modalities and expanding the provision of education by the private sector, among others. The expansion of private education through incentive packages was encouraged, as well as an increase in the contributions by the productive sector through their corporate and social responsibility programmes. The Plano Estratégico da Educação 2020-29, sought to introduce new partnerships and innovative modalities for the provision of education that include communities, local governments, NGOs and the private sector. The involvement of the private sector is encouraged to expand the capacity of the education system.  

Law no. 6/92 on the National Education System establishes that the governance of ECCE is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Women and Social Action.  

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

Pre-school education is provided by day-care centres or kindergartens run by the Ministry for Women and Social Action (MMAS), non-governmental organisations or communities and by the private sector. This sub-system, coordinated by the MMAS, is divided into two levels: day-care level, catering for children between 0 to 2 years of age, and kindergarten level, which caters for children between 2 and 5 years of age. Enrolment in Early Childhood Care and Education programmes is not mandatory. 

One of the main challenges according to UNICEF is the lack of an early childhood service. According to the Plano Estratégico da Educação 2020-29, there are 750 community schools, 609 private centers, 12 public child centres and 45 schools who are implemented or accelerated school readiness programs at this education level. There are only 4,300 teachers working in these institutions. In addition, only an estimated 5% of children between ages 3 and 5 in Mozambique benefit from them, with most services located in urban areas. The majority of children enrolled in this education level attend private or community ECCE centres.  

 The Presidential Decree no. 7/2010 of May 19 attributed to the Ministry of Education the responsibility of developing an holistic strategy for early childhood education. As a result, in 2012 the Ministry created the Integrated Development Strategy for Childhood in Idade Pré-Escolar (DICIPE) for 2012-19 which included a series of measures to related to early childhood care and education.  

ECCE is regulated under the Lei no. 18 of 2018 on the National Education System. However, there are not specific provisions related to the establishment, financial operation, quality, equity and safety and well-being in these institutions.  

Primary education has been officially free and compulsory since 1994, and from then onwards the number of students enrolled in public institutions has grown steadily. The growth of the primary education system as put enormous pressure on the public education sector due to the raising demand for teachers, learning materials, classrooms, and sanitation facilities. According to the Education Strategic Plan 2012-16, primary schools normally operate in two shifts of 6 classes (45 minutes per class), one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. In order to accommodate the expansion of the system, some primary schools, particularly in the cities, operate in 3 shifts of 5 classes (40 minutes each). At the secondary level, in order to meet with the large demand evening classes are offered to older students (over 15 years of age).  

These factors have driven a growing number of parents to enroll their children in private or community schools. The number of students enrolled in private primary schools increased by 66% between 2011 and 2016; however, the share of primary private enrolment remains very low with less than 2% of the total enrolment.  

Private schools have grown in number in recent years, particularly in Maputo and other urban areas. Nevertheless, primary private schools only accounted for 3.5% of the primary schools across the country in 2016. The number of private schools are higher at the secondary level, where 10.5% of secondary schools were private according to the MINEDH.  In lower secondary education, private and community schools cater for 10% of the student population and enrolment increased by 69% between 2011 and 2016.  

Tertiary education includes public and private universities, schools and higher institutes as well as Academies. To enter a Higher Education institute, students are required to complete grade 12 of General Secondary Education or the equivalent at the technical and vocational level and pass an entrance exam. A scholarship system is in place in order to avoid the exclusion of students from low-income households.  

Tertiary education is regulated by the Law no. 27 of 2009 which defines higher education as a subsystem of the national education system which comprises different types and processes of teaching and learning provided by public and private post-secondary education establishments. Tertiary education institutions are defined as legal persons governed by public or private law, with a legal personality, which may enjoy scientific and pedagogic administrative, disciplinary, financial and patrimonial autonomy and are classified according to their mission or type of property and funding.  

Private tertiary education institutions belong to private or mixed legal persons and have as a main source of income private resources. Higher education institutions are classified in the law according to their mission, as follows:  

  • Universities: institutions that have the human and material capacity for teaching, scientific research and extension in various fields of knowledge, providing theoretical and academic training, and are authorised to confer academic degrees and diplomas; 

  • Higher Institutes: specialized institutions affiliated or not to a university, which are devoted to training and research in the field of science and technology or the professions, as well as to extension, and are authorized to confer academic degrees and diplomas; 

  • Escolas Superiores: higher education institutions affiliated or not to a university, higher institute or academy, which are devoted to teaching in a certain branch of knowledge and to extension and are authorized to confer academic degrees and diplomas; 

  • Polytechnic Higher Institutes: higher education institutions affiliated or not to a university, which offer general studies or professional training and are authorized to confer certificates and all academic degrees, excluding the Doctoral degree, reserving the conferral of post-graduate degrees to affiliated polytechnic institutes 

  • Academies: higher education institutions dedicated to teaching in specific areas, namely, the arts, literature, technical skills such as military and police, specialized training and commerce, and authorized to confer academic degrees and diplomas 

  • Faculties: primary academic units of a university or higher institute concerned with teaching, research, extension and learning in a particular branch of knowledge, involving the interaction of several academic departments and the provision of teaching leading to a degree or diploma. 

Mozambique has 14 universities, half of which are public and half of which are private. Most universities are located in Maputo and have Portuguese as their language of instruction. The Conselho Nacional do Ensino Superior regulates private and public higher education institutions.  


Registration and approval: The proposal or request for the creation of a higher education institution must be accompanied by information related to the type, name and place of the institution that will be created, an indication of the areas of study, and indication of the courses that will be taught including the expected start date, and indication of the training plan for the teaching staff and technical materials and an economic and financial plan that guarantees the coverage of expenses inherent to the initial investment.  

Licence: According to the Law no. 27 of 2009, associations, foundations, commercial companies or cooperatives may request authorization for the creation of higher education private institutions. The license for tertiary institutions is granted by the Conselho de Ministros following the advise of the Conselho Nacional do Ensino Superior.  

Financial operation

Profit-making: Private education institutions are considered as independent private entities. The law establishes that private educational institutions may be for profit or not for profit.  

Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.  

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: The Ministry of education must approve the courses offered by the private higher education institutions.  

Teaching profession: According to the law, the regulation of the staff of private higher education institutions are subject to the labour legislation in force in Mozambique. They must meet minimum requirements regarding professional qualifications, salary scales, and rights and duties.  

Equitable access

Fee-setting: No information was found. 

Admission selection and processes: The law establishes that Scholarships can be awarded to lower-income students of public and private higher education institutions.  

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: No information was found.  

Reporting requirements: No information was found. 

Inspection: No information was found. 

Assessment: No information was found. 

Diplomas and degrees: No information was found. 

Sanctions: No information was found. 

3.2 Multi-level regulations

The Law no. 18 of 2018 on the National Education System governs private, public and community institutions that are part of the education system. The law has different sections devoted to each of the education levels: Pre-Primary education (article 10), primary education (article 12), secondary education (article 13) and higher education (article 17). It also includes provisions for distance education, special education and TVET. There are not specific provisions related to the establishment, financial operation, quality, equity and safety and well-being of private schools.  

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring

According to a study on private tutoring in Africa, in Mozambique, SACMEQ data indicated that 9.7% of sampled Grade 6 students in 2007 were receiving private tutoring. The proportion increased to 20.8% in 2013.  


No information was found. 

Financial operation and quality

No information was found. 

Teaching profession

A 2014 Ministry of Education circular, the Diploma Ministerial No.119, addressed tutoring in homes. It indicated a requirement for tutors to secure approval from the district education authorities, providing evidence of qualifications and the intended types and levels of tutoring. Teachers in both public and private schools were forbidden to offer paid private tutoring to their existing students. 

Last modified:

Fri, 03/12/2021 - 09:37