To achieve the aims of CSTL – improved attendance, retention and performance of all learners – Mozambique approached implementation through three strategies: strengthening the education system, providing care and support to learners, and involving communities and partners.
At the start, the main activities focused on conducting a situational analysis, and the documenting thereof, and then the examination of policies and intervention strategies on child support. These were followed by advocacy, the establishment of coordination units at central, provincial and district levels, the strengthening of support teams (school boards) in schools and various activities in schools, all of which were effected through coordinated, multisectoral interventions.
CSTL is currently being implemented in 14 baseline schools. It impacts directly on 20 634 students – 10 458 girls and 10 176 boys – of whom 40% are orphaned or otherwise vulnerable children, who benefit from the integration of care and support into the system.
Infrastructure improvement in all 14 schools is one of the most important results of the integrated approach of the programme. For instance, Malhazine Primary obtained assistance with repairs to toilets and the installation of plumbing for the supply of drinking water. Through contributions by parents and guardians, Magoanine “A” Primary was able to erect a fence at the school. At Magoanine “B” Primary, after liaising with the local community, the school reached agreement on its boundary, and a perimeter fence could then be erected. In addition, the baseline schools have established programmes in which students become responsible for cleaning their own classrooms, the toilets and the grounds. Waste is collected by the council or disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
Gardens have become a source of nutrition and income. Three Inhassoro schools – Macovane, Nhamanhaca and Tiane – produced enough vegetables to make some available for the Children’s Day festivities on 1 June 2013, with the surpluses being sold at the district market to raise funds for school materials for needy students.
One of the most important results of CSTL has been a reduction in the dropout rate. The greatest improvement, according to school quarterly reports, has been in Maputo City, where previously the dropout rate was 10 – 15 students per class, but which now has been reduced to an average of four.
Teachers, parents and caregivers appreciate and commend CSTL for what has been achieved thus far.