Education in Mozambique is organised into three stages: primary education, secondary education and higher education.

While the country does have a functional national education system, many schooling programmes rely on international funding. Illiteracy and low completion rates are just two of the challenges that Mozambique faces. As a result, very few expats opt to send their children to public schools, preferring to make use of international schools.

For the first seven years of school, starting from age six, education is compulsory. Drop-out rates are high – less than 50 percent of children complete primary school, and less than 10 percent enrol for the last two years of secondary school.

The language of instruction at public schools in Mozambique is in Portuguese which creates a language barrier for many expats. While public schools are free, they under-resourced. Parents have to provide textbooks, uniforms and other extras.

Due to lack of space, school is held in two or three sessions a day with some children attending a morning session and others coming to school in the afternoon. Sessions are short in order to cater to as many students as possible, which naturally results in a superficial level of education. High levels of absenteeism among students, teachers and school directors worsen the situation.

There are a number of international schools in Mozambique. These schools teach the curriculum of a foreign country or a globally recognised curriculum like the International Baccalaureate.

The language of instruction is English for the majority of the schools, but there are also Portuguese and French international schools. International schools usually teach in the language associated with their country of origin.

Most of Mozambique’s international schools are clustered in Maputo and Beira, with a few scattered in other areas around the country.

Expats should note that demand is high, and space is limited so applying for admission should be a main priority prior to moving to Mozambique. Tuition fees vary widely with the best international schools commanding high fees. Expats moving to Mozambique for work should attempt to negotiate a schooling allowance into their relocation package to cover these costs.