Education Fact Sheet
Minister of Education & Culture: Hon. Mr Augusto Jone Luis
The National System of Education (SNE) was introduced in 1983. It is the first system designed by Mozambicans themselves after independence. Before 1975, Mozambique’s education system consisted of missionary schools, public schools and private schools. The missionary schools catered for the “natives”, mainly in the rural areas. The public schools catered for the Portuguese and the “assimilados”. These were located mainly in the urban areas. The private schools (mostly church owned) were mainly for the well off Portuguese and “assimilados”. One of the characteristics of the pre-independence education system was that it was very selective and this has been retained by the post-independence education system.
The SNE comprises five sub-systems, namely General Education, Adult Education, Technical/Vocational Education, Teacher Training and Higher Education. The education system is organised into three levels, namely, primary, secondary and higher education.
Pre-school education is provided in the crèches and kindergartens, usually under the Ministry of Health or private institutions. This education is not compulsory and is beyond the means of the majority of Mozambican citizens. As a result, only a small percentage of the target age group participates in formal pre-school education.
In Mozambique primary education is free and compulsory. It is subdivided into two levels, namely, the lower primary which consists of five years of schooling (Grades 1 to 5) and upper primary which comprises two years (Grades 6 and 7). The official age of entry into school is 6 years. Usually, primary schools operate in two shifts. Because of the shortage of school places at this level, some primary schools operate three shifts. After seven years of primary education the pupils have a choice of enrolling for general secondary education, lower primary teacher training colleges, basic technical and vocational schools or secondary education for adults.
General secondary education is divided into two stages. The first stage, junior secondary, comprises three years (Grades 8 to 10). The second stage, senior secondary (also known as pre-university) comprises two years (Grades 11 and 12). Both levels of education are offered on the same premises.
Public and private universities, higher institutes, and schools of higher education and academies provide higher education to those who have completed Grade 12. As a result of the stiff competition for limited places at this level, all pupils have to sit for an entry examination.