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Chronology of Education in Angola Chronology of Education in Angola

Chronology of Education in Angola
The process of creation and development of higher education in Angola, started on April 21, 1962, with the approval of the draft Legislative Diploma No. 3 235, by the Legislative Council of Angola, which instituted the University Studies Centers, with the Research Institutes and the Engineering Laboratory of Angola. After 41 years, Angola has four prestigious universities: Agostinho Neto University, Catholic University, Jean Piaget University and Lusíada University.
The twentieth century was characterized by the division of the world into two opposing political blocs, legitimized by two opposing ideological systems. The capitalist system and the socialist system. When analyzing the historical facts and the political justifications that led to the creation of Universities in Angola, we found that this process also obeyed the logic and contradictions of the two ideological systems.
Angola's historical process over the past 50 years has been shaped by three forms of government and three political party systems. In fact, Angola has already experienced three different forms of government. A form of fascist government, which corresponded to the colonial period of the Estado Novo under the governments of Oliveira Salazar and Marcelo Caetano, and which ended on 11 November 1975 with the proclamation of Angola's independence. A form of Leninist government, under the presidencies of Agostinho Neto (1975-1979) and José Eduardo dos Santos, which was in force from 1975 until 1992, and its current form of representative government, which was established in 1992. This form of Government under the leadership of the President of the Republic José Eduardo dos Santos, is the direct consequence of the holding of the first democratic elections and corresponds to the period of implantation of representative democracy.
Regarding the exercise of political power, Angola has also experienced three party political systems in the last 50 years. During the Estado Novo period, which corresponded to the Portuguese colonial corporate capitalist regime, the single-party system dominated by the National Union, a Portuguese party of fascist inspiration, predominated. Between 1975 and 1992, as a consequence of the liberation struggle and violent decolonization, the socialist regime and the one-party system, led by the Marxist-Leninist-inspired MPLA-PT, prevailed. From 1992, the MPLA-PT, abandoned the socialist regime and implanted the imperfect multiparty system of the dominant party, thus allowing it to form an asymmetric governmental coalition with UNITA, reflected in the Government of National Unity and Reconstruction (GURN) . This change in the political system implied the implantation of the capitalist market economy regime.

As we know, the 1960s were marked by the decolonization of Africa. Most African countries thus obtained their independence from France and England. However, the Government of Portugal, led by Oliveira Salazar, did not embark on this new world order nor accepted the new winds of African history, refusing to negotiate and grant independence to the Portuguese colonies in Africa. In response, the nationalist movements launched an armed struggle for national liberation, bringing panic and insecurity to the former colonies, and forcing the Portuguese government to react brutally through the military. Angola was considered, by Portugal, its “jewel in the crown”, due to its immense natural wealth and the enormous potentials that came from it. For this reason, it was defended by highly sophisticated and modern military, police and anti-guerrilla propaganda means.
At the same time that the Government of Portugal was mobilizing its army for the Angolan war, new plans for economic and social development were launched that favored the integration of the indigenous populations in the colonial capitalist system and mitigated the influence of nationalist political propaganda, led to effect by the liberation movements. For this reason, Angola experienced a cycle of economic expansion and great prosperity in the 60s and 70s. Luanda was, therefore, known by those who visited it, from Paris of Africa, an allusion to the beauty of the city and the cosmopolitan lifestyle that lived there, involved in lavish parties, a lot of euphoria and intellectualism. This new colonial policy, of social integration through the labor market, gave concrete results, significantly improving the living conditions of many Angolan families.
It is in this bizarre scenario of war and prosperity, that the well-known Plan Deslandes was introduced in 1962, proposing the urgent creation of higher education in Angola.
As Amadeu Castilho Soares, then Provincial Secretary of Education, tells us “the aim was, with the creation of higher education, to train and update agricultural technicians, doctors, engineers and secondary school teachers, in the sense of Angola moving to have conditions that would enable it to train the qualified technicians and agents of the basic activities, indispensable to promote the economic and social development of the territory and that the Universities of the Metropolis were not able to provide, in good time or in the desirable quality »
The story goes, that the process of creating higher education in Angola was anything but peaceful and would even have led to a political crisis in the Council of Ministers of Portugal, led by Oliveira Salazar. «The creation of higher education in Angola, in the circumstances in which it occurred - at the initiative and decision of the General Government and the Legislative Council of Angola - would be considered yet another act of irreverence and insubordination, which generated a serious conflict with the Central Government and committed, in circles of political influence, the Minister of Overseas, Professor Adriano Moreira ”.
In September 1962, the Governor General of Angola, General Venâncio Deslandes would be exonerated by the Council of Ministers and some time later the Minister of Overseas Professor Adriano Moreira, would also be removed from his post. These historical facts reveal to us, in substance, the absence of a strategic vision by the Council of Ministers of Portugal, with regard to the implantation of higher education and the creation of a University in Angola.
In this regard, Amadeu Castilho Soares explains to us that “for certain personalities and influence groups of the national political regime, the decision of the Government of Angola at the time, when creating higher education, would have been instigated by the Minister of Overseas, Professor Adriano Moreira, in a maneuver considered treacherous, to overcome the obstacles that prevented him from carrying out the fundamental reforms that he tried to introduce in the overseas policy of the Central Government, in line with the progressive and irreversible autonomy that he defended. The difficult personal situation in which the Minister was placed, in this whole issue, would then have offered the pretext to provoke the removal of an uncomfortable protagonist from the political scene, who had won great prestige and popularity in public opinion ».
With the advent of Angola's independence on November 11, 1975, the single-party government constituted by MPLA-PT, adopted a Marxist-inspired model for the education sector, which extended to all levels of education. Obeying massification criteria and policies and in accordance with the MPLA-PT political program, it was intended to create an Angolan New Man, through strongly ideologized patriotic education, forming and educating new staff mobilized for the great anti-imperialist combats of the time .
With its virtues and defects, the Marxist model of education has left palpable results in Angola, allowing the extension of primary and secondary education to the most disadvantaged and poor classes, yet the formation of senior staff, far below the real needs of the country. , largely due to the lack of sufficient and quality Universities. The Universidade Agostinho Neto was insufficient in training senior staff in quantity and quality, given the growing demand of the internal labor market. In this way and during the last 28 years, a large part of the Angolan university elite was trained in foreign Universities from around 30 countries, with different educational systems, which in many cases did not correspond to the needs of the Angolan labor market.
In 1992 and probably as a consequence of Mikaïl Gorbatchov's perestroïka, the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the implosion of the socialist bloc, the MPLA-PT government adapted its political strategy to the new world order, changing its form of government and the political party system. Thus, since that historic date, Angola has had a form of representative government and an imperfect multiparty political system, with a dominant party, this system being the ideal framework for Angola to carry out all urgent democratic reforms, aiming, in the first place, the consolidation of the social rule of law. The creation of private universities was one of the consequences of the change in the political system that occurred after the first democratic elections in 1992.
With peace consolidated in 2002, the construction and improvement of democracy in Angola, should constitute the great patriotic challenge of university youth, and the Universities of Angola therefore have their share of responsibility in the education and training of new and better people. professional staff, and the noble task of creating a true and demystified Angolan New Man. Let us not forget the maximum opening of this article, education is one of the most powerful weapons for building a better and more peaceful world. I hope these are the only weapons that Angolan university students can use in their promising future, to help build a modern and prosperous Angola for all.
October 7, 1961:

- The Government of Angola Plan for 1962 contemplated, for the first time, the creation of higher education in Angola. The Plan was presented by the Governor General of Angola, General Venâncio Deslandes, to the Legislative Council of Angola for analysis and approval.
- It was presented in Luanda, to the Minister of Overseas, Prof. Adriano Moreira, the pioneering Escola Superior Politécnica de Angola - ESPA, with the aim of creating a University in Angola.
April 21, 1962:

- The Legislative Council of Angola approves, in an extraordinary session, the draft Legislative Diploma No. 3 235, which created the Centers for University Studies, next to the Engineering Laboratory of Angola. The Angolan Government's proposal was approved, with the Angolan councilor, Lourenço Mendes da Conceição voting against, who would later occupy the post of Director of Provincial Services of Public Finance.
- Ordinances, no. 12 196 and no. 12 201, created five more University Study Centers, (Center for the Study of Pedagogical Sciences, Study Center annexed to the Institute for Medical Research, Center for the Study of Economic Sciences, Centro of Engineering Studies and the Study Center attached to the Agronomic Research Institute), distributed by Luanda, Lubango (ex-Sá da Bandeira) and Huambo (ex-Nova Lisboa).
July 23, 1962:

- The Ministry of Overseas, by Decree No. 44 472 annulled Legislative Diploma No. 3 235, as well as Ordinances No. 12 196 and No. 12 201, declaring the creation of the University Studies Centers unconstitutional. This unusual fact created an enormous perplexity and emotion in the cities of Luanda, Huambo and Lubango.

August 21, 1962:

- The Ministry of Overseas, through Decree-Law no. 44 530, created in the Provinces of Angola and Mozambique, General University Studies, integrated in the Portuguese University. Chairs and courses would have equivalence throughout the Portuguese territory.
August 5, 1963:

- Decree-Law no. 45 180 of the Ministry of Overseas, stipulated that General Studies, would have the following courses: Pedagogical Sciences, Medical-Surgical, Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrotechnical Engineering, Chemical Engineering Industrial, Agronomy, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

December 11, 1968:

- Promulgation of Decree-Law no. 48 790. The designation General University Studies disappears, finally giving way to the University of Luanda.