ADEA peer reviews Angola’s education and training sector

Peer review in Angola: the ADEA mission in a working session in a classroom in the Dandee Municipality of Bengo Province | Photo credit : Peer review team | Photo editing: ADEA

At the invitation of the Minister of National Education in Angola, a team of experts peer reviewed the performance of the country’s education system from 22nd October to 6th November 2016. The activity is within the framework of a Memorandum signed on 17th July 2015 by His Excellency the Minister of National Education for Angola, Dr. Pinda Simao, and ADEA’s Executive Secretary, Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda.

The peer review team outlined the mission’s mandate during a courtesy call to His Excellency the Secretary of State in charge of Technical Education and Vocational Training, Dr. Narciso Damasio dos Santos Benedito, before leaving for the field.

Furthermore, accompanied by members of national peer teams, the team visited schools and training establishments in 14 municipalities in Luanda, Bengo, Iuge, Kuanza Sul and Namibe – the 5 provinces chosen by the Angolan Ministry officials. The peer experts were very well received by authorities of decentralized and local structures, including governors of regions or their representatives, members of provincial governments, provincial directors of education, and heads of school establishments. These visits enabled them to not only follow ongoing classes but also to review the infrastructure and equipment, discuss with students and adult learners, and talk with teachers and school managers at various levels.

Once back to Luanda, the team of international peers met with their counterparts who had remained in the capital and held a debriefing session with the Minister of National Education, accompanied by his two Secretaries of State and all the Ministry’s senior staff, including Dr. Aldo, adviser to the Minister, Prof. Mayimona, the ADEA focal point in Angola and Dr. Cabral, the main author of the Action Plan under execution. During the session, the mission conclusions were presented and discussed. The entire process culminated in three speeches delivered by Angolan education sector leadership.

In his remarks, made on behalf of ADEA, the peer review coordinator, Prof. Ibrahima Bah-Lalya, underscored the key challenges and opportunities observed during review. Then he made some remarks on how to improve the external and internal performances of the education system in the six areas on which the review was supposed to focus and presented key recommendations of the peer review before giving the floor to the principal review consultant Mr. Jean Mary A. Byll Cataria, former ADEA’s Executive Secretary.

Mr. Byll-Cataria dwelt on the positive aspects of Angolan education sector, including: the vision of education/training at the service of the country’s social, economic and cultural development that translates into proximity administrative and technical management, adequate infrastructure at national, provincial and municipal levels, the quality of equipment, the quality of available human resources within the technical departments of provinces and municipalities visited, and also the resolve to be informed about what happens in other countries and share expertise and experiences.

At the end of these two addresses, experts presented the observations and short- and medium-term recommendations in their respective areas.

His Excellency the Minister underscored that: “ADEA’s mission accomplished excellent work that will contribute to bring peace and harmony in Angola. The keen observations made by the peer review team indicate that they did an excellent work. There was a real family dialogue. As suggested, we will continue to build areas of free literacy, to search for better balances among our regions, to operate a qualitative revolution in education, to reinforce the training of teachers to ensure such a quality education, and to provide capacity building for management staff. In a nutshell, Angola is a vast construction site where everything is priority but resources are limited. However, we will assure you that education is at the centre of our priorities. We await, with great interest, your final report, which will work as an enhanced proposal to Angola’s educational system. We will contact ADEA experts either collectively or individually to explore certain aspects. To this end, special emphasis will be laid on areas such as training for teachers and pedagogic supervisors, technical and vocational training, adult literacy, and school libraries.”

On the other hand, His Excellency the Secretary of State observed that: “ADEA mission has met all the expectations. ADEA’s work is geared towards the implementation of the vision outlined by the President of the Republic. The responsibility for achieving the recommendations that ADEA made is incumbent on all Angolan political parties and all stakeholders.”

The peer review mission took place under excellent conditions and contributed to some realistic and achievable recommendations. It is up to the two parties now to make sure that these actions will be carried out through policies and practices in line with the high stakes in a country that was profoundly affected by two painful wars and the oil crisis that may still undermine some of the achievements that have been so dearly paid for.

Contact:

Prof. Ibrahima Bah-Lalya, Coordinator of ADEA Working Group on Non-Formal Education (WGNFE), Tel. + 226 50 36 58 45 | [email protected]