This study analyses the practice implemented by the government of Mozambique immediately after independence, from 1975 to 1985, of placing secondary school teachers around the country. Such practice consisted of putting teachers born in the south of the country to teach either in the central, or in the northern region, on the one hand; on the another, those who were born in the centre of the country were being placed to work or in the south, or in the north; and those born in the north were being sent to teach in the central or southern part of the country. The government’s arguments in so doing were to mould a nation. The study explores whether this practices was a deliberate policy. The presupposition that it may have been a formal policy comes from the fact that during the struggle for the liberation of Mozambique, the then movement leading the war, Frelimo, had as its guiding principle to ‘kill the tribe for the nation to be born’; so people from different regions of the country were compelled to work closely together in every activity of the movement. The theoretical framework includes a discussion of the concepts of ‘ethnic group’, ‘nation’, ‘nationalism’ and ‘nation-state’. Throughout the literature review, the way nations have been historically constituted worldwide, the way African leaders tried to build their nations, the philosophy behind the idea of ‘nation-states’ they developed are discussed at length. Given that education has been considered as a key pillar to achieve this specific end, the contribution of this sector to the processes of building a nation is brought to the fore. The study is a qualitative analysis and exploratory in essence. Fifty persons – including high ranking officials and teachers – who designed and implemented or were involved in the practice, were interviewed as the main foundation of the research. The outcomes of the analysis as well as the analogy itself are multidisciplinary. It concludes that the practice was not a policy in the classical meaning, that is a core of written principles and practices approved by a competent social institution and followed in a certain community, it existed only in speeches. Secondly, that in fact the practice contributed to the nation building process, people involved in it gained awareness of the vastness and ethnic diversity of the country. Finally, it reveals that de facto the policy had unintended interpretations. Given that the majority of the people sent throughout the country were southerners – something which the headmasters of the practice apparently were not aware of –, the unbalance of educated cadres that began during the colonial period were simply perpetuated and not critically addressed. As a result, “Southern dominance” in the administration of the country (in this instance the education system) provided the basis for dissatisfaction in other areas of the country. The study agrees with Connor (1990) that nation-building is a process, and concludes that Mozambique is on the road to nation formation, to which the practice contributed to a considerable degree.
Dissertation (M (Social Science in Sociology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.
Mosia, Dina Emely(University of Pretoria, 2011-10-11)
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