Too few school children
The consequences of the civil war, which ended a long time ago, are still felt by the children in school today. There are still too few well-trained teachers teaching. But there is also progress, because from 2017 all children should attend a primary school. In 2015, 80 out of 100 children had the chance to go to such a school. Schooling is now compulsory in Angola.
But what is improving in the elementary schools is still looking bad in the secondary schools. Only ten out of 100 children attended secondary school in 2011 and only four out of 100 were later able to study at a university, even though there are universities in the country. But the number of applicants is always higher than the places that are ultimately awarded.
Cons for girls
The girls in particular still feel their downsides. Fewer girls go to secondary schools than boys. Since 2004 the government or the Ministry of Education has started an “education offensive”. So you try to improve the situation.
More teachers are to be trained, better schools built and the classes to be reduced. However, despite some improvements, too many children are still dropping out of school in Angola. More money is still being put into the military budget than into children’s education, for example.
In schools it is compulsory for the children to wear a school uniform. Most of the time, lessons are given in the national language, which is Portuguese in Angola. Angola was a Portuguese colony for a very long time and people still feel that in their everyday lives.
Work instead of school
Children in Angola often have to work and support their parents. Unfortunately, this is the case in most African countries. More than a quarter of all children between the ages of five and 14 work in Angola.
Rich and poor
Rich country – poor people
Angola is a rich country because there are many raw materials here that could bring the country money. Above all, these include diamonds and petroleum. The economy in Angola is actually growing, but the people still remain poor. There is not enough clean drinking water and food is scarce. Many grow what they need to live themselves. If the country did not import food from outside, many people would not be able to feed themselves. There are too few schools, too few hospitals and too few doctors.
There are still diseases that people die from because the drugs are insufficient. These include malaria and diarrheal diseases, but also tuberculosis. Since the hygiene is not always the best, annoying worm diseases spread.
The disease AIDS is also widespread in Angola, although not quite as severe as in other countries in South Africa, but in the Kunene province ten out of 100 residents are infected with AIDS. Many children are also part of it. And many children are so-called AIDS orphans, their parents died of AIDS and they themselves and often their siblings somehow have to support themselves.
Life expectancy in Angola is still very low at under 50. And 29 out of 100 people can neither read nor write, which is a shockingly high number. The wealth in Angola is very unevenly distributed.
The child mortality rate is one of the highest in the world. For example, out of 1,000 children who are born, 157 die before they are five years old. Many mothers also die before, during or after the birth of their children because the medical and general medical care is very poor.
As child soldiers in the civil war
Today there is peace in Angola. But until 2002 there was a terrible civil war in which many people had to die, including children. And many children had to go to war themselves. They were kidnapped from their families and made soldiers against their will. Why then children? Children are usually more obedient than adults and can not defend themselves as well.
They could also be used as scouts during the war. They often move faster and are less visible. So these children did not have a childhood. They didn’t go to school, they didn’t learn to read or write, but they learned to kill. Often times they had no choice. They either had to die themselves or they had to take up arms.
The consequences of the war
Only after the war could the children go to school again. But it was a long time before they realized that they were still children. That they were allowed to play and fool around like other children. Today many of these former child soldiers are adults, adults who are missing a very important part of their lives: their childhood. A time that is difficult to catch up later.
In Angola, many landmines were scattered in the soil during the nearly 30 year civil war. These mines are still there today, but nobody really knows where. It is expensive to clear the mines and Angola is still a poor country.
The mines must be tracked down and defused. We are working on that too, but there are just too many. Children in particular are often hit by exploding mines, because these are located somewhere in the ground, including where children like to play. There are many children in Angola who have lost a leg because of the mines.