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Research report

Baseline Primary Education Research in Angola

Professor Lynn Davies, Dr Ruth Naylor and Richard Germond

Investigating the potential for change: Research report of survey and action research in rural, post-conflict Caimbambo

This is the story of a minor miracle. It is the story of how schools who were, by anyone’s standards, at the bottom of a global educational heap, managed to take very small steps on the road to self-improvement. The mechanisms to achieve this were not revolutionary; the themes are familiar – collaboration, raising expectations, professionalism. What is more original is that the people in the schools (teachers, students, parents), who had not been subjected to the vast international literature on school effectiveness, arrived at factors and improvement strategies relatively independently of outside advice. The intervention merely helped create ways to ask questions. This report tells the story of these schools and the answers they came up with.

The broad aim of the research project was ‘to contribute to strategies to improve teaching and learning in post-conflict contexts’. This objective was to be met through the study of remote villages in one area of Angola, which was representative of the fall-out from the years of conflict across the country. The area chosen was the five communes of Caimbambo that are located in the middle of the province of Benguela.