The Polytechnic School Cabinda
ADPP Polytechnic Cabinda is one of eight ADPP schools implementing the EPP program. The school itself has a long history, dating back to 1995. It operated under an agreement on Vocational Training between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Institute for Employment and Professional Training (INEFOP) and ADPP Angola, and offered vocational courses such as Catering & Tourism, Construction, Agriculture, Electricity, Welding, and Administration & Accounting.
In 2011, with the introduction of the innovative academic and practical training for 7th to 9th Grade students, the vocational section was phased out. Since the first team of students to complete the three-year EPP education graduated at the beginning of 2014, a total of 270 students have completed the course, 103 of whom female students.
All three programmes were interrupted with the declaration of the state of emergency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The school immediately began preparing for distance learning, so the students could continue studying at home.
As the Covid-19 pandemic became a reality and the state of emergency was declared, closing all schools in the country, the teachers at EPP Cabinda began preparing study assignments and delivered them to the homes of students living in proximity to the school. The students were divided into small groups, with a teacher being responsible for the delivery and collection of study tasks to the members of his/her group, and the evaluation of results on a weekly basis. Among the subjects covered were Portuguese, mathematics, integrated sciences, art, environmental studies, cooking and metalwork. The teachers kept in touch with their students via Facebook and WhatsApp or messages, either to the students’ phones or the phones of their parents. The parents themselves expressed their satisfaction and pleasure at the efforts being made to continue educating their sons and daughters despite the pandemic. The teachers’ council held numerous meetings to ensure the positive progress of distance learning and to prepare for the resumption of classes. This involved making plans for classes and courses, practical vocational activities, hand washing systems, responsibility areas related to Covid-19 prevention, a register for visitors and so on. In addition to academic pursuits, the school both implemented and encouraged others to carry out Covid-19 prevention campaigns in a number of communities in the province. There were 43 young volunteers trained by the Red Cross raising awareness about the pandemic and measures to prevent the spread of the virus. They distributed pamphlets and posters and helped install simple hand washing systems including tippy taps. Among the assignments for the students was the production of Covid-19 posters. Some students installed tippy taps.