Access to education remains an important concern for children, who constitute between 45 and 50 per cent of the population displaced across Mozambique.
In Cabo Delgado, displaced children face issues to access schools in at least 18 per cent of the localities, in particular in Pemba, Quissanga, Necuapa and Mapupulo. Although access to learning spaces is relatively easy across the rest of the region, in 94 per cent of the localities students need more support with school materials. More classrooms are needed in 39 per cent of the localities and more teachers in 20 per cent, according to IOM/DTM.
In Nampula and Niassa, rapid assessment reports indicate that education and active learning have been significantly disrupted in localities hosting internally displaced people, who are hosted in schools.
In the three northern provinces, further assessments are needed to evaluate the specific needs in each of the relocation centres and transitional sites. The affected learner and teachers require better access to some distance learning through material or radio messages in local languages.
Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic puts more than 8 million children and 136,000 teachers at risk, due to the closure of all schools since 23 March. More than half of the parents and guardians do not understand or read texts in Portuguese, limiting knowledge about the disease and infection information. Services for distance education need to be strengthened through radio lessons, learning materials and should include COVID-19 prevention measures.
Home methodology for learning are limited or not yet developed and many children and teachers do not have adequate facilities or resources for digital learning. Teachers do not have enough resources to manage teaching from home and collecting tasks done at home by children. In addition, many children do not have conducive learning environments at home, particularly those in lower-income neighbourhoods and among refugees and displaced groups.
For children benefiting from school feeding, the suspension of classes had an impact on their food security and nutrition, creating an extra burden to the families that relied on it as an indirect income transfer.
In December, Tropical Storm Chalane aggravated the situation as at least 130 schools were affected, impacting about 41,00 students and more than 820 teachers, according to preliminary reports from the Government (INGC). Muanza and Nhamatanda districts, in Sofala Province, where particularly affected.
District authorities in Sofala Province have requested 400 tents, 2,000 tarps, 24,000 student kits, 300 teacher kits and 400 blackboards to meet the immediate needs for affected children and teachers, whose actual needs are yet to be determined. At least 390 school tents and 1,685 tarps are needed.
Education partners, led by Action Aid, reached 6,150 children (2,956 boys and 3,195 girls) with hygiene kits and information materials for COVID-19 prevention in Nhamatanda District in Sofala Province.
Education partners produced over 13,000 lessons for community radios for primary, secondary, adult and technical/vocational education, of which 58 per cent (7,594 lessons) for primary schools were in Portuguese and local languages. UNICEF supported 25 trainers and 62 teachers to preparing the radio and TV lessons.
Education partners, led by UNICEF, provided distance learning services to 23,832 children (11,837 girls and 11,995 boys), of which 1,360 children (680 girls and 680 boys) were supported with distance learning materials for home studies in Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Sofala provinces.
We World/GVC supported 61 teachers in Pemba with distance education methodology and trained 84 teachers in psychosocial support. At least 802 children and 200 teachers were informed about COVID-19 prevention, in addition to the distribution of about 100 posters on COVID 19 prevention.
In Cabo Delgado, at least 170 school-in-a-box kits, 15,403 learners’ kits, 600 tarpaulins (6,000 children) and 298 chalkboards have been distributed to the district education offices in the south of the province.
Education partners are providing psychosocial support in Ancuabe, Balama Chiure, Namuno, Metuge, and Pemba, districts for 363 teachers, out of a target of 1,110 affected teachers.
In Manica Province, at least 740 students received COVID-19 prevention information.
Due to limited access to TV, radio and internet, there are concerns that most children had no access to education over the last months.
Muanza District, in Sofala Province, which was affected by Tropical Storm Chalane, has reportedly the least number of beneficiaries and humanitarian actors operating. The district has hardly recovered from the impact of Idai.
With limited stock, the cluster is not able to provide sufficient temporary learning spaces and additional basic education services are needed to respond adequately to the impacts caused by Tropical Storm Chalane.