The village of Ságua, one of several riverside communities of the Kwanza, has existed for more than 50 years, but it never had a school. That situation changed in June with completion of the Bishop Gaspar João Domingos Methodist Primary School.
Located 40 miles east of the city of Luanda, in the municipality of Icolo and Bengo, the school is named for Domingos. The bishop, who grew up near Ságua and has long been committed to establishing a school there, serves the Angola West Episcopal Area.
The structure includes a cafeteria, a principal’s office, a teachers’ lounge and three classrooms to accommodate 30 students each. With classes in two shifts, 180 students per day can be taught, 90 at a time.
Thanking The United Methodist Church for assisting with the project, municipal director of education Esperanca Manuela said the new school allows for eventual expansion so students in Ságua and neighboring communities will complete nine, rather than the current six, years of schooling.
Thrilled with their new learning opportunity, community children promised to care for and enhance the school by planting a garden and trees around it.
Novito Agostinho Pedro, municipality administrator, noted, “The United Methodist Church has long been a partner in education and social welfare in the communities … and has established several schools.”
He offered shoes to the children, encouraging them to walk to school and take advantage of the chance to learn.
Mario Oliveira, secretary of state for telecommunications, provided educational materials, another incentive for children to invest in education.
The West Angola Annual Conference department of education director, Samuel Armando Agostinho, said, “The primary school will change the course of the locality” because parents no longer will need to send their children away for their education.
Domingos said he was thankful that the school was constructed in his lifetime. He expressed special gratitude to The United Methodist Church and to the construction company, Eurico Ferreira, for supporting the children of the community.
Da Cruz is a communicator for the West Angola Conference.