Scan Magazine, Issue 95, December 2016

Page 62

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Swedish Schools Abroad

A safe oasis when exploring a new world For its students, the Scandinavian School in Maputo provides a safe environment in which they can keep in touch with their home countries and values while experiencing a new life in Mozambique. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Skandinaviska Skolan Maputo

Dating back to the 1970s, the school in Maputo, Mozambique, is small with around 40 to 50 students in total of preschool and compulsory school age. Run as a Scandinavian school, it follows the Swedish curriculum but is also suitable for Danish and Norwegian pupils with native language lessons. “As our school is small, we have great opportunities to adapt the teaching to each pupil’s individual needs,” says headmaster Clara Björkhem. “We have mixedage classes that can be tailored with additional challenges to fit the required knowledge level.” For instance, some children have attended English-speaking schools in the past and will need a higher level of teaching. With smaller classes, the teachers can also dedicate more time to each pupil and the children tend to become more active in class.

Africa. The city of Maputo has over one million inhabitants and is a hot, bustling and charming contrast to life in Scandinavia. Björkhem explains: “Ultimately, we provide a safe environment where we give our pupils another perspective and acceptance to other ways of living.” As an example of its cultural initiatives, the school celebrates local traditions as well as Scandinavian festivities such as Lucia and public holidays, all popular amongst children, parents and staff alike.

An African adventure

In order to further facilitate the understanding of life in Mozambique, classes make regular study trips and visits to local museums, churches and workplaces such as the water treatment plant. Twice per year, the children have the opportunity to attend camp school in the region. “We try to get out as much as possible so that the children can see how people live here in Mozambique and the challenges they face,” says Björkhem.

Attending school abroad can be both an exciting adventure and challenging for the students, especially as far away as

The school works closely with the World’s Children’s Prize and its annual magazine

62  |  Issue 95  |  December 2016

The Globe to raise awareness of children’s rights. Another collaboration is with the organisation Amor (Associação Mocambicana de Reciclagem) for refuse sorting and recycling, with sustainability being a high priority at the school. “We want to work for a better and safer society, which also benefits our local environment.”

For more information, please visit: