From: Moçambique: Increasing economic growth and political stability in the post civil-war era: Useful strategies: Summary of an organizational consultation completed in November 1991© 1992, 1999, 2016 by Stan De Loach, Ph.D., organizational consultant
5. Education and the welfare of children
Children represent every country's most valuable natural resource. Upon today's children depend the future existence and vitality of the nation. Government should attend diligently to children's needs for physical and mental health, safety, and education. Nutrition and other aspects of health care should receive emphasis through the established school systems in the formation of teachers and other professionals.
Various Latin American countries have instituted a period of one or two years of mandatory social service for university students in all professions. Upon graduation but before receiving a degree and license to work as professionals, students are assigned to exercise their skills in inadequately served areas of the nation. They receive a small stipend from the federal government during this period. The program has generally proven a benefit to the student and to the country as a whole.
Usually, whether or not the needs of children are adequately cared for, the children will at some point become potential voters or arms-bearers. Anti-government attitudes may result as a consequence of the disregard and alienation from government that these young adults experienced as children. They may choose to indict and attempt to undermine the order that the current government has established. Similar attitudes may spring from a lack of first-hand experience with and education about the difficulties and responsibilities of citizenship.
The presence of such disturbing attitudes among a nation's young adults portends difficulty in providing for a continuity of political impetus and achievement. A political entity achieves maximum long-term survival through attention to the well-being of the nation's youth.
The long-term needs of the work force are met through the education of children. Short-term requirements are met by attention to the education of adults. Already the government's funding of programs to increase adult literacy not only has shown positive results but has gained praise and gratitude from the population and esteem and generous approval from foreign observers.
National expenditures for education should be commensurate with the costs of guaranteeing a free education to all citizens. Moçambique's insufficient pool of educated professional and of white-collar and blue-collar workers justifies the current government's appreciation and response to the critical need for an educated populace.
An educated population assures the nation's ability to meet future challenges and crises with informed, progressive, and rational decision-making. Families of primary-grade students who score well on nationwide examinations and who maintain elevated grades should be rewarded in ways that motivate both students and their families. High school and trade school students should be encouraged and assisted with financial incentives. University students should be encouraged to solicit scholarship money from national and foreign sources. These forms of support create a strong, health, and useful bond between individual and government. They secure a broad base of educated intellectual ability for the future governing of the country.
Schools should engender children's involvement in cultural activities and artistic pursuits such as painting, singing, and dancing. Schools and extracurricular cultural activities should stress unique national traditions, customs, and folklore. Supplies for artistic activities are available free of charge from institutions, inside and outside the country, that wish to foster constructive social habits.
Schools and government dependencies might sponsor exhibits of children's dramatic endeavors or works of art in public places such as banks, government offices, and museums. Entry to these exhibits might be free of charge. Recognition and symbolic prizes might be awarded for outstanding accomplishment.
Interest and support on the part of the government lead children and adults to feel that creative activities, rather than destructive or subversive pursuits, integrate them into the social order that they share and maintain. The social peace is strengthened by the engagement of the population in cultural, pro-social behaviors. Individuals' energies are married to positive, productive, and remunerative behaviors that build pride in self and national background. The government's support of the population's educational and cultural interests is paralleled in the population's support of the government.
Trade or technical schools should produce graduates able to administer to the immediate and elemental needs of the population. For examples, sandals are an accepted type of footwear in Moçambique. But sturdy, inexpensive shoes and sandals are in short supply. Mexico's approach to a similar problem might prove useful. Working with discarded automobile tires, Mexican workmen and workwomen fashion long-lasting sandals called huaraches. The technique for making these shoes is easily taught and highly desirable from social, economic, ecological, and political points of view.
The government might arrange an international exchange program of instruction, through which Mexican craftsmen and craftswomen, imported for a brief period of time, teach trade school instructors the process of making these inexpensive sandals locally. Likewise, skills and techniques that Moçambican workers have learned from local experience might be exported to the Mexican people. The governments and peoples of both countries benefit from the establishment of work-oriented international bonds.
Resolutions for the serious problem of an insufficient number of residential sources of potable water in the nation's capital might be addressed by students or entire classes of technical or trade schools. The government might collaborate with these sources of creativity in the solution of similar national problems.
The population's firsthand experience
of and benefit from the government's direct involvement in educational
efforts aimed at satisfying basic human needs result in lasting support
for rational government proposals and programs.
Reports on consultations in other