Education and Schools in Angola


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The quality of the schools in Angola is a primary concern of expat parents preparing to relocate to this African country. The standard of education of local schools is well below what most expats would be used to. Adult literacy remains a problem in Angola and schooling is only compulsory for the first four grades of primary school.
 
The consensus among expats is that the public education system in Angola is not an option. The few international schools that do exist are largely concentrated in Luanda, and even the standards in these institutions can vary considerably.
 

International schools in Luanda

 
International schools in AngolaAll expat schools in Luanda are supported by the companies and embassies that founded them. Tuition is extremely high (up to 40,000 USD per annum) and is usually paid by the employing company. Expats moving to Angola with kids of school age must absolutely make sure that an allowance for education is included in their contract.
 
Angolan law requires international schools to ensure that both expats and local students (usually children of high government officials) are allowed to apply. Security is very tight at all schools, so safety need not be a concern.
 
Most expat parents seem to feel that the standard of education provided to students in early grades is "acceptable", but few would branch out and brag about any of the institutions. As there are low numbers of students in high school in Angola, the standard of education seems to deteriorate among the higher grade levels. Furthermore, class choices and extra-curricular offerings may be limited. Many families choose boarding school in the USA or Europe to better prepare students for university.
 
Classrooms of international school are generally air-conditioned, and there is a reasonable play/sports area. Electricity, water and Internet generally have good back-up systems, so they are usually reliable. Some schools offer cafeteria lunches, others end the day early so lunch is taken at home.
 
Finding qualified teachers willing to live and work in Angola is a challenge for all schools. There are few local staff, and most teachers, like the students, are expats. The quality of education can be inconsistent because teachers change from year to year. Students and teachers alike have visa renewal issues, causing both to miss large blocks of school that can be difficult to make up.
 
All schools, except the Luanda International School (LIS), require that students wear uniforms.

The school year at international schools in Angola will usually follow that of the school's home country. The school week in Angola runs from Monday to Friday. The school day is normally from 8am to 3pm, with two breaks during this period.
 
Children either go to school with the car and driver provided by their parent's employer, or the sponsoring company provides a bus; schools in Angola do not have their own buses. For the companies that provide a bus from their compound, the expat moms take turns being "bus mom". Bus drivers in Angola rarely speak English, so for safety the company requires a parent on board to handle whatever comes up in English. The parents usually coordinate the "bus mom" schedule amongst themselves.
 

School admissions

 
Some schools give preference to children of employees of their sponsoring companies and expats should contact their company representatives to enquire about what schools are sponsored or recommended by their companies.
 
As a result of the limited number of schools for expat children, and further limits on the number of students per class, all schools have waiting lists, sometimes as long as two years. Expats should not accept an assignment to Luanda without first obtaining assurance of a space for their child in the school of their choice.
 
Documents required for application to an international school in Angola:
 
  • Completed registration form
  • A complete medical information form and up-to-date vaccinations 
  • Three years of academic records
  • Copy of information page of the child's passport
  • Non-refundable application fee (around 400 USD)
  • References from teachers and principal of previous school
  • English schools may require an English-language proficiency test

Homeschooling in Angola

 
Homeschooling is an option if parents are able to bring the curriculum with them. That said, Internet service at home is not reliable and textbooks and libraries do not exist outside of schools.
 

List of international schools in Luanda


English School Community of Luanda Angola (ESCOLA)
www.escolaangola.org
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: European and Southern African
Ages: 3 to 13
Embassy and NGO families have priority.

Ecole/Lycee Francais de Luanda (French school)
www.lfluanda.net
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: French
Ages: 3 to 18
French company families (Total, Technip, etc.) have priority.

Escola Portuguesa de Luanda (Portuguese school)
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: European and Southern African
Ages: 3 to 18
Mostly Brazilian and Portuguese families.
 
Luanda International School (LIS)
www.lisluanda.com
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18
Founding companies (Exxon/Esso, BP, Chevron, Schlumberger, Halliburton) and embassy families have priority.
 

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