Gorongosa National Park (PNG), in the central Mozambican province of Sofala, has pledged to disburse US$15M for the construction and furnishing of 40 new primary schools and associated facilities such as housing for teachers, water supply, school toilets and libraries, over the next five years.
To that end, the Ministry of Education and the PNG on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), under which the PNG will support the Ministry through ensuring access to education by the six communities in the park’s buffer zone.
The MoU, signed by Education Minister Carmelita Namashulua and the Gorongosa Programme Chairperson, Gregory Carr, also envisages the implementation of programmes intended to improve not only school access, especially for girls, but also learning quality as well as the strengthening of institutional capacity.
Namashulua said the main objective of the MoU is the creation and expansion of learning opportunities, but also ensuring access to schools and the retention of pupils, particularly girls, in the communities of the park’s buffer zone districts of Cheringoma, Dondo, Gorongosa, Nhamatanda, Maringue and Muanza.
The memorandum, she said, results from the growing awareness about the pivotal role education has to play, not only in the progress of a society, but also in building an even more enlightened nation.
“It is in this context that the Gorongosa Restoration Project will build 40 schools as well as other education infrastructures complying with the standards and rules established by the ministry,”, she said, adding “we are happy with the programmes envisaged, especially because they place girls in the limelight”.
The rules and standards include technical specifications for resilience to tropical cyclones, drought, and earthquakes, and management of the Covid-19 respiratory disease.
Namashulua said the project will also offer scholarships for both secondary and professional and technical education, and will develop a permanent teacher training programme.
She pointed out the need to strengthen girl’s education through the Girls Club Programme, as the country’s education sector is still grappling with gender inequalities in the communities. “Our goal is to establish partnerships which will help us bridge the current disparities, because educating a woman means educating a family, community and maybe a whole nation”, she stressed.
Source: AIM via Club of Mozambique