The present dissertation is a missionary study of the United Methodist Church and the
education system of Mozambique (1929-1992). It arises from an exploration of
literature relating to the mission of Protestant churches in the development of
education; first at a time when education for indigenous populations in Mozambique
was restricted to areas where there were official schools run by the Catholic Church
where the end product of the educational system was not to train professionals but to
educate the Mozambican people to be obedient to the colonial authorities. The focus
period is from 1929 to 1974 when education reinforced the oppressive ideology.
At this time the Protestant churches were firm in their promotion of an education that
defended Mozambicans, an education that had the purpose of raising the conscience
of the town, the nationalist and revolutionary spirit of Mozambicans. This had
implications that culminated in the persecution of the Protestant churches that even
before this period were considered to be harmful sects within the colonial system as
well as the mission of the Catholic Church. The study affirms the mission of the United
Methodist Church in promoting education even in the most difficult situation in the
southern region of the country which was the political bastion of the colonial system.
In the province of Inhambane under an evangelisation permit, the United Methodist
Church adopted a strategy to educate the natives using huts as places for clandestine
educational development. The church with this noble attitude was doing its best in
persuading the colonial authorities which culminated in authorising the United
Methodist Church to open educational establishments from pre-primary to three
elementary classes, which once again was indicative of the United Methodist Church's
dynamism in the formation of Mozambicans in many areas of knowledge.
The United Methodist Church through its teaching awakened the nationalist and
revolutionary spirit of the youth. In the patrol groups the young people were inspired
by the freedom and the awakening of the conscience of Mozambicans. The United
Methodist Church facilitated young people to join the liberation movement that had
been formed as "FRELIMO" in Tanzania.
The second phase of the study discusses educational policies in the postindependence
period from 1975 to 1992. During this stage we saw that the churches were forbidden from carrying out any activity in the productive units, that is, in the
communal villages under the pretext that they were aligned with the colonial system
and the state did not want interference of religion in the affairs of the state. We see
that the nation had nationalised the key sectors of education and health. All
infrastructures of the church in the areas of education and health were nationalised
and, with the nationalisation, the church could not continue to manage the education
and health sector. The implication of this led to the loss of educational centres that are
still in the hands of the state.
Dissertation (MTheology)--University of Pretoria, 2019.