Project name: EPF Benguela
Operational area: Cavaco Valley, Benguela, Angola
Project Leader: Delfina Alberto
The project idea and the people it reaches
The concept of the project is to train young Angolans to become primary school teachers, specifically for rural areas where they can be in the forefront of educational development. These teachers bring and use new attitudes and knowledge about teaching and learning while promoting community development on a range of fronts. The trainees are thus the immediate beneficiaries, but the project also reaches thousands of primary pupils during 2nd and 3rd Year teaching practice, and thousands more once the students graduate. At the same time, dozens of primary school teachers benefit from the EPF students’ presence each year, through exchanges of experiences and Pedagogical Sessions. The project reaches community members in the neighborhood of rural schools where 3rd Year students implement microprojects, in addition to people living in the neighborhood of EPF Benguela, where 1st and 2nd Year students carry out community activities.
The people at the Project
Headmaster, 23 teachers and 13 other employees.
The history in brief
EPF Benguela started its first team of trainee teachers in August 1997. Besides providing teacher training, the school has established a strong relationship with the surrounding communities and has gained the respect of the authorities and the population in Benguela municipality.
As of 2016, EPF Benguela had graduated 1,029 students.
Project Activities and Results
In 2016, the school had 280 students enrolled in three teams, Team 2014, Team 2015 and Team 2016. Below is a summary of the activities carried out during the year.
The three teams in training during 2016 were as follows:
• Team 2014: 90 students, 45 males and 45 females.
• Team 2015: 90 students, 49 males and 41 females.
• Team 2016: 99 students, 49 males and 50 females.
The effects of the project
The school has trained 1.029 teachers over the past 19 years. It is thus achieving its aim of influencing the educational system at all levels. Modern pedagogical methods, services and facilities enjoyed by the teacher trainees at EPF Benguela translate into forward looking, engaging and effective teaching for thousands of pupils at rural primary schools.
Over the years, EPF Benguela has built up a solid reputation and considerable respect among local and provincial authorities and the communities they serve. The “second head” of the trainees, that of community leader or developer, is of equal value as that of primary school teacher. Campaigns in the neighborhood of the school, as well as micro projects in the host communities of final year students, have transformed the lives of thousands of people. Simply ensuring the permanence of young girls at rural primary schools, and giving them lessons of quality, is making a difference in many of the more remote communities. With the addition of activities focusing on road safety, domestic violence, drugs and other themes of relevance in society, the school and its students are making a continual contribution as regards awareness, prevention and treatment.
As regards the students themselves, providing a sound education, including education for life, is helping many young people make qualified decisions about their future.