Gibbons straddles the Mozambican public education system: Critical literacy challenges and moral dilemmas in Mozambican new curriculum


  • Patient Rambe
  • Munyaradzi Mawere



While the concept of literacies has been heavily contested in the last two decades in Africa, the monumental studies on the concept have emphasised micro climate settings of classrooms and insignificant attention has been devoted to examining the connections between classroom practices and national policy imperatives. We therefore attempt to contextualise a particular genre of literacy (critical literacy) within the realm of a national education system policy. We marshal critical literacy and position it against the Mozambican educational landscape to unravel the extent to which the national curriculum captures and informs this genre of literacy. The social pressures on the contemporary education systems, rapid technological advancement and the need for socially relevant knowledge have necessitated educational systems to revisit the genres of literacies they offer, and specifically, to foreground critical literacy. Drawing on Gibbons' mode 2 knowledge production systems that emphasises practical application of knowledge in the contexts of its production, we examine the extent to which the current knowledge production systems and the new curriculum in Mozambique reflects critical literacy practices that foster self-critical, responsible learners who contribute significantly to the society. Drawing on Mozambique's policy statements, education system, and academic literature in the field, we argue that the educational landscape and new curriculum in particular have not only undermined possibilities for Mozambican learners to become self-critical, but have compromised the quality of education against regional and international standards.