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The quality of education in Angola is a primary concern for expat parents moving to this African country. Most parents don't consider public education to be suitable due to the generally low standards. International schools are the preferred alternative.
Public schools in Angola
The standard of local schools is well below what most expats will be used to. With many school buildings destroyed during the civil war, there are not enough schools available to accommodate everyone comfortably. This results in large class size, with sometimes as many as 50 children per class. Resources are another problem, with many schools being in a state of disrepair or lacking basics such as chairs or books.
International and private schools in Angola
The private school sector in Angola is small, largely comprised of international schools to serve expats as local families are often unable to afford private schooling.
International schools in Angola, most of which can be found in Luanda, are typically sponsored by a company or embassy with a presence in the country. These schools teach a foreign curriculum, such as the British, French or International Baccalaureate curriculum, allowing expat children to earn globally recognised school-leaving certifications. Some international schools give priority to the children of embassy workers or employees of the founding company.
Tuition is extremely high and, in the case of relocation for employment purposes, is usually paid by the hiring company. If an expat's compensation package does not specifically include an education allowance, it's well worth bringing up, as the costs are extremely high to bear as an individual. Expats who are simply paid a salary without stipends or extras should make certain that their budget can accommodate these fees and other associated costs such as uniforms, school lunches, excursions and extra-curriculars.
Security is tight at all schools, so safety shouldn't be a concern. In most cases, international schools offer a good standard of education and have high-quality facilities replete with learning resources. Classrooms are generally air-conditioned with reliable back-up systems for electricity, water and internet. However, this shouldn't be taken as a given, and parents should ensure they do plenty of research before choosing a school.
Special-needs education in Angola
While the right for special-needs individuals to receive education is enshrined in Angolan law, the country has long struggled to adequately serve this population of students. As Angola continues to struggle with providing a good quality of mainstream education and increasing countrywide literacy rates, special-needs education is similarly underserved in the public sector. There are plans to integrate special-needs students into mainstream schools, converting existing special-needs schools into support centres that provide training and resources for teachers at mainstream schools.
Privately, there are international schools that offer support for learning disabilities as well as those who need extra support such as non-English-speaking students. This often comes at an additional cost on top of fees.
Tutors in Angola
Tutoring is not widely used in Angola, and parents will be hard-pressed to find a tutor locally. Parents can try asking around for recommendations from their child's school or other expat parents. Another option worth considering is hiring a tutor online for remote tutoring. This way parents can take their pick of tutors across the world specialising in their child's needs, whether it be a language, transitioning to a new curriculum or a particular subject.
►For info on adapting to your new surroundings, see Culture Shock in Angola
"My child goes to a French crèche in a Total compound three mornings a week and an Angolan crèche two mornings a week and I’m very happy with both of them." Read more about this anonymous expat's experience in Angola.
Are you an expat living in Angola?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Angola. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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