Graduated in history and philosophy from the University of Lisbon in 1950.
After a teachers training course at Coimbra he began teaching in 1951 in eastern Portugal at Portalegre, then moved to schools at Oporto and Braga. From 1957 to 1969 he was back in eastern Portugal at the National School of Evora, 70 miles east of Lisbon, where he rose to be secretary and then headmaster. From 1961 to 1964 he ran courses for young people at Evora in social and corporate training and from 1963 to 1969 he ran courses for youth movement leaders. He took a keen interest in cataloguing exhibits at the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and he directed a course in archaeological training through the Gulbenkian Foundation.
To keep abreast with the new teaching methods he attended a seminar on training teachers for Portugal’s overseas territories in 1964. He also took part in an international symposium in 1966 on the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. He moved to Oporto to teach at the D. Manuel II National School in 1970 and then took up his government appointment the following year in Mozambique. Here his main problem is getting more schools built so that the school attendance figure of about 40% among the 8,900,000 population rapidly raised. He is trying to give a new emphasis to technical and vocational training.