Celebrating the Success of Bilingual Education in Mozambique

February 21st, 2022 | News


After five-and-a-half years of integrating the largest and most successful bilingual education program into schools in Mozambique, the Vamos Ler! (Let’s Read!) project is ending. The project reached nearly 2,000 schools in 21 districts in Nampula and Zambezia Provinces, improving the reading and writing skills of more than 700,000 children and training over 14,000 teachers and school directors in bilingual education delivery.

There are 19 recognized languages in Mozambique, but prior to the introduction of bilingual education, students learned in the country’s official language, Portuguese. Receiving education in a language students and parents are unfamiliar with led to high primary school dropout rates and poor reading outcomes. Vamos Ler!, expanding on previous bilingual education programming, aimed to provide bilingual teaching and learning materials, train teachers in the bilingual education approach, transition from learning in the local language to learning in Portuguese, and engage communities in education.

Vamos Ler! produced over 500 books, including student texts, teacher manuals, lesson plans, and supplementary reading materials in three languages of the 2 most populous provinces. These materials, of which nearly 12 million were distributed, will help sustain the impact of bilingual education on early-grade reading beyond the end of the project. The involvement of the District Education Office in book distribution transferred knowledge and skills to ensure effective distribution continues. In addition, World Education developed an online platform to monitor book distribution in real time, verifying that the correct quantities reach all schools as planned.

In December, World Education and Vamos Ler! partner Creative Associates International, the Mozambique Ministry of Education and Human Development, and local organizations gathered to celebrate the project’s achievements and look ahead to the expansion of bilingual education across the country. At the celebration, led by the Minister of Education and Human Development Carmelita Namashulua, Vamos Ler! leads presented results. Of the students evaluated at the end of the project, 43 percent attained at least the minimum grade-level proficiency in reading.

“The outcomes we have witnessed today are encouraging and demonstrate that bilingual education improves the results and quality of education, and it values the local languages and culture,” said Ms. Namashulua.

World Education and Vamos Ler! project stakeholders agreed on the need to increase capacity for bilingual education in schools, and committed to building on the foundation established by Vamos Ler! and Aprender a Ler over the past 10 years.

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