The restoration of peace, political and socio-economic stability is a reality in the country and is showing some dividend. The party MPLA, in power since decolonization in the mid-1970s, has being officially declared the legitimate ruling party in Angola, after the elections in September being considered free and fair by the African Union, although contested by the opposition parties. Nevertheless, in the political and social spheres, there is still a long wayto walk, and the country is currently ranking 148 out of 187 on the Human Rights Development Index, 168 out of 183 on the Perception Index and 87 out of 153 on the global Peace Index.
The economy remains favourable as a result of large strategic natural resources, namely, the estimated 5.4 billion barrels oil reserves and important diamond mines. But the paradox is shown on human development and social indicators: An estimated two thirds of the population live on less than US2 per day, primary school enrolment (54%), life expectancy (41.7 years), maternal mortality (1.700 per 100,000) and infant mortality rates (134 per 1000). Access to improved sanitation and water sources stands at 31% and 53% respectively, and 35% of the population is undernourished. Some of the MDGs, especially those relating to extreme income poverty, health and environment seem difficult to achieve without profound reforms.
The situation of Angolan children is especially serious and troubling. This country is seriously ravaged by poverty and related problems (malnutrition, lack of water, health…). The infant mortality rate in Angola is one of the highest in the world and the average life expectancy of is extremely low. On education, structures, material, as well as qualified personnel are largely insufficient. Hygiene, healing, and care are not offered to everyone, a deprivation that greatly affects the SAN population who live in the peripheries and are the key target group for tdh in Angola.
More than 40% of Angolan children are not educated. School is, in principle, free and mandatory. However, education in general leads to numerous additional expenses, thereby contributing to raise rates of absenteeism and drop outs especially for the SAN who are often jobless and illiterate at the same time. Schools are few and sometimes completely absent in the most remote regions, such as Huila and Cunene where tdh projects are. Additionally, classrooms are deplorable: lack of sanitation, ruined buildings, limited teaching, and untrained teachers are the main problems. For the SAN language becomes an added barrier to learning.
In Angola, close to 1 in 4 children is forced to work to support the needs of their family. However, legislation in the country forbids child labour for those younger than 16 and is subject to parental authorization, if between 14 and 16 years old. However, the control of these standards is too weak to be fully respected. Numerous children are employed on plantations or as fishermen. They only receive a pittance, enough to prepare a meal.
Close to 70% of births are not officially recorded by Angolan public authorities. Because of this, these children don’t have an official identity or a nationality. The costs incurred by birth certificates are much too high for these poor families. Children without an identity often find it impossible to access education, a problem that tdh has tried to alleviate through its birth certificate project that was initiated in 2011, but experienced some delays.
Of great concern is the high urban unemployment, particularly with regard to women and youth, mainly due to insufficient education and marketable skills. As a result, poverty is prevalent, especially among women, youth, small-scale farmers, petty traders and micro-entrepreneurs.
In 2002, the Government of the Republic of Angola (GRA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) signed a memorandum of understanding that ended over 30 years of conflict.</p><div>During this period, 500,000 to 1 million Angolans died of war related causes and over 4.5 million people were displaced. Large areas of the interior were cut of from government services, and much of the infrastructure was destroyed or abandoned, more than 7 million landmines were planted which severely hinders the country‘s ability to rebuild as humanitarian access, trade, agricultural production are limited and the full impact of the war and almost total neglect of the national education system
STRENGTHEN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT EDUCATION FOR ALL
The Angolan government and the UN system has set up the following objectives:
- Strengthened institutional capacity of the Ministry of Education for planning and management of the sector
- Improved quality of primary education through teacher training and provision of teaching and learning materials
-increased access to primary education through school construction and rehabilitation
- Study possible incorporation of the mothers tongues into schools up to grade 4
Angolan government has not set specific priorities addressing the San issues (despite having signed the ILO Convention 107), in the above mentioned project, the San fit within the following objectives. Angola has serious problems with education that affect large percentanges of the population. In this setting, San communities experience some of the most extreme problems and discrimination especially living in Kunene and Kuando Kubango provinces.Huíla provincial government has set up specific provincial government committee of which OCADEC is member, this committee is to set up strategies and plans to address education, health, agriculture, land, water and social needs of the San communities.