ANGOLA - THE EIFFEL SCHOOLS NETWORK, A SPRINGBOARD FOR YOUNG ANGOLANS
YOUTH INCLUSION & EDUCATION – COMMITTED TO EMPOWERING SOCIALLY AT-RISK YOUNG PEOPLE
Created 10 years ago as a result of a partnership between Total E&P Angola, the Angolan Ministry of Education and the Mission Laïque Française, the Eiffel schools includes four public science high schools, and aims to facilitate access to the best universities in the country and worldwide easier by providing rigorous, high-quality teaching.
An exemplary career path
Born in the Angolan province of Kunene, Simão Pedro, 27, has been working as a software engineer in the banking sector in Paris since 2018: for him, becoming an engineer was a childhood dream. However, there was nothing to suggest it would come true. From a single-parent family with six children, for Simão it was a struggle not to let his family situation get in the way of his education.
Thanks to an advertisement posted in the lobby of his school, he discovered the network. From the moment he took his entrance exam, Simão understood that the Ondjiva high school was different from the others. Here, everyone has the same opportunities thanks to the tutoring. Class sizes are limited to 24 (compared to 40 in some schools) and rigour is the key word of the school.
It was at Eiffel high school that I understood that studying could help me achieve my dreams.
With the grant he was awarded for his excellent results, Simão was able to leave for Belfort-Montbéliard to take his technology diploma in Networks and Telecommunications. “In the first year, I realised that the academic environment was very different from Angolan schools, but my Eiffel school education helped me overcome lots of difficulties.” Determined to go even further, he took his diploma in computer engineering in 2018. It is clear that, for Simão, nothing would have been the same without the Eiffel network.
The Eiffel model, a real benchmark for Angolan schools
The goal of the four high schools, located in Caxito, N’dalatando, Malanje and Ondjiva, is to provide their students with excellent teaching from a cognitive, methodological and professional point of view, and at no cost to them.
Since 2008, 1, 312 students have already benefitted from Eiffel teaching. Raimundo Francisco – a former computer sciences teacher who became headmaster of the Malanje high school in 2017 – proudly declares that, thanks to the teaching staff’s persistent efforts and the students’ hard work, all four establishments achieve excellent results year on year. According to Raimundo, Total E&P Angola is a catalyst in this project: responsible for building and maintaining the high schools, as well as supplying all the necessary material, educational and financial resources to ensure the schools are run smoothly.
According to Raimundo, Total E&P Angola is a catalyst in this project: responsible for building and maintaining the high schools, as well as supplying all the necessary material, educational and financial resources to ensure the schools are run smoothly.
For three years now, the network has been achieving a 100% pass rate for the final exam, and we have had this same result at our high school for four years.
A high-quality network for educating the elite of tomorrow
Considered as benchmark schools, the four high schools play an important role in raising the global educational level in Angola. “During the summer, we offer training to the science teachers from other schools in the region”, Raimundo explains.
Last year, the Eiffel network also achieved the LabelFrancÉducation designation, for creating, 3 years ago, the only French and Portuguese bilingual programme in existence in Angola. It also enters into a partnership with the prestigious École Polytechnique (in France) where it welcomes two trainees responsible for educating students and supporting teachers over a period of six months. Two new schools, in the provinces of Hambo and Moxico, are planned to be built in 2020.
For his part, Simão Pedro intends to return to Angola one day to become one of the country’s entrepreneurs. He already has several projects in the development phase, the aim of which is to provide guidance in the country’s digital revolution, in order to help create national new technology companies.
Total E&P Angola plans to form an “old students’ association” which, in Simão’s opinion, “will be the strength of the Eiffel network”, encouraging synergy between the various projects led by students of the high school once they leave. “At Eiffel, we have created a family, and we all need one another.”
Students of the Eiffel program visiting Paris on July 4th, 2019.
The challenge of education in Angola
In Angola, more than one million children are out of school. The lack of financial resources, sometimes difficult conditions (oversized classrooms, power cuts, long distances and a lack of transport to get to schools, etc.) and limited access to knowledge (insufficient number of libraries and books, sporadic internet access, etc.) all represent barriers to education in the country.
The Angolan government is determined to bring an end to this problem by 2022. Nearly 10 million students were taught in 2018 and even more children are expected in 2019. In order to take them in, the Minister for Education increased the teaching staff with 18,000 new teachers.
KEY FIGURES EIFFEL SCHOOLS
- 24 students per class
- 571 students in 2019
- 1,312 students have benefitted from this programme since 2009