Education in Mozambique: Serving Children with Disabilities
Volunteers spent the day with disabled children and adults at the Matola Children’s Home. In Mozambique, disabled people may be abandoned by family members and are often seen as a financial burden.

Currently, the Matola Children’s Home houses 42 children from many local areas and has 67 young children in their daily preschool. The center relies solely on donations from the international community. The most difficult situation for disabled children is the limited assistance and opportunities they have to pursue an education in Mozambique.

According to the African Disability Rights Yearbook, 103,276 people with disabilities were children between the ages 0 to 15 years, which makes up approximately 21 percent of the total population of people with disabilities. One of the main problems within the confines of the country with such children is the issue of schooling.

Public schools aren’t developed with this demographic in mind making, which makes it difficult for these children to partake in education provided by the government. In 2013, UNICEF partnered with world-renowned photographers to create a collection of multimedia films that centers on the troubles surrounding the children of Mozambique.

In “The Rights Responsibility: Invisible Children” directed by Francisco Carlos Zevute and photographed by Patrick Zachmann, many children and families are interviewed in order to shed light on how grave the situation pertaining to disabled children and education is in Mozambique.

The film goes on to state “children with disabilities are almost twice as likely to fall victim to violence and are at heightened risk of abandonment and intimidation.”

One of the direst situations for special needs education in Mozambique is a lack of qualified teachers able to teach these children as well as the infrastructure of schools which is not conducive for a child with disabilities.

Mozambique is slowly but surely making an effort to improve education as a whole in the country. In 2015, 51 percent of the country’s primary schools taught all seven grades in one school, and in 2016 the proportion increased to 56 percent.

Although great strides are made toward improving the education in Mozambique, little is being done to help disabled children.

Poverty plays a pivotal role in the scarce resources and availability of appropriate education for the disabled community. Ending global poverty proves to be a catalyst towards the accessibility of inclusive education in the developing world.

Mariana Camacho

Photo: Flickr