The development of the Angolan education system started in 1977 and had two main phases of its evolution, including: (i) The appearance of the first post-independence education and training system, based on the principle of democratization and free education (1978-1991 ), and (ii) The promulgation of the fundamentals of education and teaching in Angola (Law 13/01, of 31 December) for the period 2002-2008.
The Church started as a religious movement of education for social transformation, with the aim of bringing the indigenous people to the desirable dignity of a child of God. To implement this objective, he chose rural areas and communities, destined for the reign of Vie (Bié). However, history ensures that, passing through the territory of King Ekuikui II, Kingdom of Bailundo, they were detected as foreigners and asked to present themselves before the King. After inquiring the reason for his presence there, he realized that they had come to teach regarding the existence and power of God, to which he retorted: "If only that, then it is worthwhile to return to your land, because we have our only God who is Suku". The men were ready to give up when one of them remembered that they were there to announce the son of God the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.
When this message reached the King's ears, the King asked for more explanations about it and then concluded: "If it is this son of God who saves that you have come to announce, then start here with my people, before they reach the Vie." And so it was, a school was started under the tree, 70 children recruited, persuaded with toasted ginguba, sugar and candy and against the will of many families who saw the waste of labor for the fields, columns of loaders and pastures. When this group graduated, a school was erected and also served as a temple of worship. A Mulemba was planted, as a non-aggression pact, between the King and the Missionaries after resolving conflicts that arose later. The first 14 graduates, of the 70 enrolled, became missionaries and teachers in their communities, converting many to this new philosophy of abundant life with Christ. They were called “omãla vafulu”, son of the saints, in reference to the kindness, meekness, solidarity, faith and wisdom expressed by the “olonãlas”, Lords.
This group the people called Masters “Alongisi” and they were distributed by the villages to start new communities of the new life, more abundant. New agricultural techniques were introduced, new habits and customs, an improved diet, with soy, homemade vegetable oils, consumption of domestic and wild animal protein, and educating children to learn to read and write, speak the local and foreign languages well, using for good communication and development of the ministry of the word. The Church grew, it became a big tree having faced gales and some say that the fig tree has already broken, but it was not destroyed, it did not dry up. This remains green since this was rehabilitated since 2002. In 2004, we planted a replica that also grows wonderfully, proclaiming an Angola with a promising future. The Bailundo school, built many other schools, in the Missões do Camundongo, Chilesso, Chissamba, in the Bié Province; Elende and Dondi, in Huambo Province; and Bunjei, in Huila Province.
These Missions watered the institutions of that time with the qualified personnel who could best be found: Teachers, clerks, agricultural technicians, nurses, rural development advisers through an integrated program called “Improvement of the people”, which spread throughout Central Angola to along the Benguela Railway.
Two examples we can share here about the success of this program that had the Church as a movement for social transformation:
Staff training was done to continue the program for social transformation;
Vaccination programs never came from the Portuguese government, but from the Evangelical Centers and Evangelical Missions.
With the arrival of the first missionaries, the creation of the IECA EM 11.11 of 1880-1881 took place. Its first mission focused on the creation of 7 Evangelical Missions. Although the Missions were prepared for religious work, they created schools for education and teaching from primary to secondary education, enabling students to obtain academic grade 4. Each mission was led by 4 to 6 Evangelical Centers where students from remote rural areas studied in boarding schools. They studied the basics of preparatory and primary education that enabled them to transition to the Evangelical Mission.
The creation of three major academic centers and professional technical training should be highlighted:
- Instituto Cúrrie do Dondi founded in 1914 for boys
- The Means School in 1916 for girls.
After completing the 4th class in the Missions, the student moved to one of the institutions of Dondi where, after a rigorous examination, he was placed at Instituto Cúrrie or at Escola Means. At the Institute, in agreement with the government, the Escola Tecnica was created where students completed the 1st and 2nd Year of High School Preparatory Cycles, which enabled them to enroll in the 3rd Cycle (3rd, 4th and 5th Years) at an Industrial, Commercial or National High School. The exams given to students both in the Missions and the Currie Institute came from the official Directorate of Education and some teachers came from Liceus and Escola Tecnico Industrial e Comercial do Huambo or from other state educational institutions.
With the exception of Escola Means and Instituto Currie do Dondi, all other schools also had external students.
The three Dondi institutions enjoyed a reputation with government officials. Professionally, the Institute taught Arts and Crafts in theory and practices for courses in: Agriculture and livestock, carpentry, carpentry mechanics and woodwork. The Means School professionally gave theory and practice of Dietetics, Home Economics, Cooking, home care, sewing, Laundry, basketry, pig and poultry breeding. In the Missions, Literacy was taught for leaders and a Home School for an integrative adult education for Men and women religious leaders or not. The aim of the programs was for community development to favor the social transformation of the people. This vision grew with the impalantaçao of Academic Homes of Nova Lisboa, Silva Porto, Sa da Bandeira and Luanda for students of the 6th and 7th Grade, and Universitarios, and abroad. The staff thus formed returned to teach at the Institutions of the IECA in Dondi and Missions. Each Mission contributed to the teaching of more than 1000 students per year and 350 in the area of Adult Education and Literacy and professional training, while the higher level comprised 100 to 225 students. It was really a student explosion at all levels and progress was being made in the communities. Today Primary Schools continue but the Professional Technical training area continues, which the Bungo Center intends to re-establish with the participation of IECA staff and beyond.
With the conflict, most of the IECA's educational heritage destroyed begins to be erected in partnership with the Ministry of Education. However, it remains stationary in terms of professional technical area.
In April 2011, the Congregational Evangelical Church in Angola - IECA signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Ministries of Education and Territorial Administration, which in itself constitutes a unique opportunity for intervention in this particular sector.
The missionary experience and that of more than seventy Evangelical schools in eight fully functioning Provinces will be another opportunity that will undoubtedly leverage the execution and implementation of this Project. IECA is currently working on the Educational project at the University of Dôndi - UniDondi.