We are so excited to share with you all a preview of the architectural plans for the new campus of the Institute Polytechnic Dr. Alba, designed by leader and architect, Dr. Albino Vaz Ferreira! We will have more information to share very soon.
Guinea-Bissau has a population of 1.7 million with 70 percent of its population living below the poverty line. On the Human Development Index in 2014 it was 177th of 187 countries. In Guinea-Bissau, the education system requires children to go to school from the age of 7 to 13. However, 27 percent of boys and 71 percent of girls do not attend school. Attendance rates in rural areas for both primary and secondary schools are 54 percent and in urban areas are 76 percent for primary school and 74 percent for secondary school (data from United Nations Development Program, United Nations Population Fund, and The United Nations Office for Project Services and the World Food Program Reports). The education system in most regions of the country only extends up through the high school level, with very few university level institutions available. The existing universities have limited resources and lack decent training programs for their students. Students seeking higher education must look to other countries to attain a competitive university degree. Within Guinea-Bissau, the education system has endemic issues that negatively impact the population, these problems include: a lack of educational facilities, teaching resources, equipment, and transportation as well as a weak curriculum. These endemic issues extend to the training of educational personnel, creating an educational system that has been detrimental to providing a culturally and economically relevant education to the country’s youth. Many students are forced to truncate their studies before completing secondary school, many families cannot afford to fund their children’s education.
Around 55 percent of the population of Guinea-Bissau lives in rural communities. These communities depend on agriculture and ranching for their livelihood and many of the children do not attend school in order to help support their families financially. In addition, the schools are less accessible to these communities, which adds to the lower attendance rates (data from United Nations Development Program, United Nations Population Fund, and The United Nations Office for Project Services and the World Food Program Reports).
It is urgent to solve these problems and this project will take the following steps: improve the quality of the education available in Guinea-Bissau, create a curriculum that will produce graduates that have the skills to enter the workforce and/or continue their education at the university level, and provide good salaries for teachers and school employees to encourage people to become educators and create a sustainable workforce of educators.