The School for Street Children in Luanda (Escola Formigas do Futuro) was founded in 1991 to provide orphans and street children with elementary education from 1st to 6th Grade. In 2002, 7th and 8th Grade were added to the curriculum, and in 2006, in response to changing needs in the area, the school became a secondary school teaching exclusively 7th to 9th grade.
Since 2011, the school has been implementing the EPP program (Escola Polivalente e Profissional/Practical and Theoretical School) for 7th, 8th and 9th Grade. EPP is an all-day school, combining academic and practical skills and utilizing new and modern pedagogical methods. 110 students have graduated since the inception of the EPP program. The Children’s School is being phased out, and all new students now enrol on the EPP course.
Project Activities and Results
42 students graduated from EPP Team 2013 at the start of the year. 22 of these were Community Health Agents (9 female) and 20 Information and Media Assistants (6 female). The graduation ceremony was held on 16 January in the theatre hall at EPP Luanda. It was attended by representatives of Cazenga Education Office and Health Department, family members, parents’ committee, members of the community, students and the graduates themselves. Approximately 150 people were present.
The day started with lunch for the graduates, their families and current EPP students, after which master of ceremonies Sr. Pedro Banza initiated the ceremony, which comprised welcome speeches, traditional dances performed by the group Formigas Dance, songs, words of thanks on the part of the graduates, the reading of a letter from ADPP, a play by theatre group Formigas do Futuro, a contribution from the parents’ committee and finally the handing over of diplomas. At the end of the ceremony, photographs were taken of the graduates in the company of their families and the director of the school.
The graduates are continuing their studies, some within their chosen speciality such as those who were admitted to I TEL, Luanda Institut e for Telecommunications and IMS, the Health Institute. Others are pursuing alternatives, according to what is available in their home areas.
EPP Luanda started the school year on 5 February with 210 students enrolled in the following grades:
- 7th Grade: 60 students, 32 male and 28 female
- 8th Grade: 86 students, 42 male and 44 female
- 9th Grade: 64 students, 38 male and 26 female
An assembly was held for all classes on the first day, and many 7th Grade parents were also present. The director explained about what kind of school EPP Luanda was, about the different hikes or periods that made up each grade, about the study methods, activities and subjects, which were all somewhat different compared to general education schools.
The Effects of the Project
EPP Luanda provides an alternative to the lower secondary education hitherto available. The young people who enrol at EPP Luanda are looking for something more than academic learning, and the combination of theory with practical subjects is highly attractive. Not only do they gain skills and knowledge, they develop and mature in response to the responsibility placed upon them to be at the centre of their own education, to help their classmates, to run the school, and to involve themselves in society.
EPP Luanda enjoys good relations with the parents, who participate in People’s Exams and other gatherings at the school.