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Angola Conditions Before Independence
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Students at a secondary school in Luanda

    Conditions Before Independence

    African access to educational opportunities was highly limited for most of the colonial period. Until the 1950s, facilities run by the government were few and largely restricted to urban areas. Responsibility for educating Africans rested with Roman Catholic and Protestant missions (see Religious Life , this ch.). As a consequence, each of the missions established its own school system, although all were subject to ultimate control by the Portuguese with respect to certain policy matters.

    Education beyond the primary level was available to very few Africans before 1960, and the proportion of the age group that went on to secondary school in the early 1970s was still quite low. Nevertheless, primary school attendance was growing substantially. Whether those entering primary schools were acquiring at least functional literacy in Portuguese was another matter. Primary school consisted of a total of four years made up of a pair of twoyear cycles. Portuguese statistics do not indicate how many students completed each of the cycles, but it is estimated that far fewer completed the full four years than entered the first cycle. Similarly, there seems to be general agreement among observers that a great number of those who entered secondary school did not complete it. In general, the quality of teaching at the primary level was low, with instruction carried on largely by Africans with very few qualifications. Most secondary school teachers were Portuguese, but the first years of secondary school were devoted to materials at the primary level.

    Data as of February 1989

    NOTE: The information regarding Angola on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Angola Conditions Before Independence information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Angola Conditions Before Independence should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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