Improving basic education and vocational training

Programme description

Title: Programme for basic and technical education and vocational training (Pro-Educação)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Mozambique
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education and Human Development and since 2015 also Ministry of Science, Technology, Vocational, Technical and Higher Education
Overall term: 2003 to 2019



Access to basic education has improved greatly in recent years for many girls and boys in Mozambique. The primary school enrolment rate for six-year-olds has risen from just under 30 per cent in 2000 to over 80 per cent in 2015. Nevertheless, the quality of education remains unsatisfactory and a large number of pupils still drop out of school. In 2014 only 44 per cent of all pupils completed the seventh grade, thereby graduating from primary school. This applies in particular to girls. Absenteeism, especially among teaching staff and school management, is a fundamental problem.

Despite some progress, there are still insufficient qualified teachers to cater for the growing number of students. Only one teacher is available for every 62 pupils. Shortcomings in the quality of the basic education system likewise affect technical education and vocational training. Three quarters of those completing vocational training fail to find a job in their chosen occupation because their training is not sufficiently geared towards the needs of the labour market. Young people are therefore not sharing in the benefits of the country’s economic growth. Substandard basic education and vocational training that is out of sync with the working world lead directly into poorly paid, unproductive jobs and permanent poverty.


Children and youths, especially girls and young women, receive basic education relevant to the real world and employment-oriented vocational training, both characterised by good quality.


The programme is fully integrated into the Mozambican Government's education strategy and vocational training reform. Pursuing a programme-based approach coordinated with all donors, it works both at national and decentralised level, in the provinces of Sofala and Inhambane.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) commissioned GIZ to implement the programme. The consulting firm Integration GmbH is working on behalf of GIZ, in particular on the introduction of curricula geared to the labour market and the in-service training of vocational teachers. The consulting company Health Focus GmbH is providing support for the implementation of the HIV workplace programme in the education sector.

Results achieved so far

Overall access and gender-equitable access to basic education have improved

  • In 2015, 84 per cent of six-year-olds were enrolled in the first grade. Around 82 per cent of girls now start school. As recently as 2005, only about half of all six-year-old females entered first grade.

Education planning and management are more effective

  • Working together with the education ministry and other key actors, the programme developed POEMA, an innovative concept for administrative management, together with the related training modules. Twelve training modules are being used throughout the country at various administrative levels and in different sectors. A POEMA trainer pool and POEMA meetings ensure the sustainability of the concept. By 2015, 45 per cent of staff working in the district education offices in the priority provinces had attended training in POEMA.
  • All administrations draw up annual plans. Implementation of the plans is monitored and adjustments are made where necessary. Greater consideration is given to cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS and gender.
  • The programme assisted in preparing a manual for the supervision of schools by the districts. The manual has now been introduced across the country.
  • In 2015, 73 per cent of the district education offices in the provinces of Sofala and Inhambane drew up and prepared budgets for their annual plans. They also carried out monitoring tasks in accordance with the national regulations. In 2012 this figure stood at only 22 per cent.

Teacher training has improved

  • In 2016, 70 per cent of teacher trainers in Sofala and Inhambane were using learner-centred and participatory teaching methods, compared with only 27 per cent in 2013. The advice provided by the programme is thus resulting in better quality instruction for primary school children on a lasting basis.
  • A manual produced by the programme on participatory teaching methods is being used for in-service teacher training throughout the country.

Technical education and vocational training are more closely geared to the labour market

  • A new basic law on technical education and vocational training has been drafted and adopted with a view to improving coordination and quality assurance in this sector. A regulatory authority is being established and preparations are under way for a contribution towards training to be paid by companies.
  • Skills-based curricula have been developed and introduced in cooperation with the private sector. They define standards and skills that trainees should be able to demonstrate at the end of their training. They help to bring training into line with labour market requirements.
  • 180 teachers have attended in-service courses in skills-based vocational training, vocational education and technology in Mozambique and Germany. So far, 57 of them have been certified. Better qualified teaching staff ensure that young people are better prepared for the labour market.
  • The management of the vocational schools covered by the programme is improving through the establishment and support of quality management teams. These teams draw up quality plans and are responsible for implementation and monitoring.
  • Working with the German internet company Strato AG, the programme has been able to improve the quality of training for IT technicians in Mozambique.
  • A training curriculum for renewable energy technicians was developed and launched. In cooperation with the Energising Development Programme, a training laboratory for renewables was set up at a vocational school.

More HIV tests are carried out  

  • In 2016, 60 per cent of the teachers taking part in annual information and education measures under the HIV workplace programme had taken an HIV test in the preceding 12 months, as against 53 per cent in 2014.
  • Target-group-specific materials for information, education and communication activities are regularly used in prevention work, where they are very well-received.