The 'German children' of Mozambique: Long-term legacies of a socialist educational experiment

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State-led education policies that centre on citizenship formation and are based on socialist-inspired values have been found in many newly independent post-colonial regimes. Such policies have led to a number of educational exchange programmes between developing countries and former 'Eastern Bloc' countries. This paper looks at an ambitious secondary school education exchange programme between Mozambique and the former German Democratic Republic in the 1980s. Using Yuval-Davis' three analytical categories of social location, identification and emotional attachment, and ethical and political values, the paper shows how an important part of the identity of former participants in a school exchange programme, who returned to Mozambique in 1988, is built around the concept of being 'German' and 'socialist'. These values of socialist solidarity continue to guide many aspects of participants' lives. However, because in contemporary post-structural adjustment capitalist Mozambique, such values are perceived as a hindrance to contemporary notions of citizenship, these values are lived out mainly in relation to their peer group of fellow 'German children'. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages13
JournalComparative Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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  • Global Development Institute


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