PRESS RELEASE – The Minister of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education, His Excellency Gaston Musemena Bongala, officially launched this Tuesday 15 August 2017 the 1st year of primary school enrolment campaign for 6 and 7-year-olds for the 2017-2018 school year.
Target : the enrolment of 2 million children
The 2017-2018 enrolment campaign was organised at the start of the eighth year of the application of the free primary education policy in public institutions. It constitutes a significant step towards the Education and Training Sectoral Strategy (2016-2025) that the government is working to align to the sustainable development goals, specifically objective N-4, which aims at ensuring by 2030 a quality education to all children.
This campaign targets the enrolment in the first year of primary school of 2 million children aged 6 and 7. As a matter of fact, the 2012 study on children and adolescents outside of school (EADE, for “Enfants et Adolescents en Dehors de l’Ecole”) reveals that 7.4 million children and teenagers aged 5 to 17 have been out of school. Among them, about 3 out of 10 (29%) i.e 2.1 million children are 6 or 7 and eligible to enrol in the first year of primary school. Moreover, most of them live in rural areas, in conflict zones and zones with high mining activity.
For every child, quality education
It is important to point out that during this campaign, particular attention will be paid to the thousands of children that were displaced in the Great Kasaï and have no access to education because their schools were destroyed, plundered and deprived of teachers following the current crisis.
“It is essential that concrete and imaginative actions be taken – this campaign is one of them – so that school-age children in Kasaï and all the other regions of DRC join their peers within education, training and supervision facilities, since they should be given the possibility to enjoy their right to education too. This will require the involvement and the smooth participation of all the communities and all the actors, both public and private, in this endeavour to give the Democratic Republic of Congo an efficient and resilient education system”, the ad interim representative of UNICEF in DRC declared, Dr Tajudeen Oyewale.
Some encouraging results
Furthermore, it is necessary to point out the significant progress that was made in the primary and secondary education sub-sector with a constant decrease of the proportion of children out of school dropping from 38.5% in 2007 (Demographic and Health Surveys 2007) to 28% in 2012 (EADE 2012). Through the collaborative efforts of the government and its partners, the coverage, access and completion indicators have improved.
The 2017-2018 enrolment campaign is based on one of the main focus areas of the Education and Training Sectoral Strategy 2016-2025, in this case the increase in primary education access and accessibility, as well as the implementation of the 11/02/2014 framework law.
The campaign takes into account both the progress accomplished since the EADE study and the lessons learnt from inclusive education and peace education.
“The development of DRC, our dear and beautiful country, will take place in schools. It is essential that every parent, every adult Congolese realises that, and contributes to the objective of the campaign that we are launching today, which is to send all the children aged 6 and 7 and living in our vicinity to school” Gaston Musemena declared, the Minister of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education.
Urgent action at all levels
A series of actions will be conducted during this campaign; these include the identification and the registration of unenrolled children after school starts, as well as student retention measures for newly enrolled children or other vulnerable ones.
The DRC government and its partners are formulating and implementing policies, strategies and practices to significantly reduce the number of boys and girls that do not go to school.
For more information, please contact:
- – Diego Mfisia Luzu, Communications Officer, Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education, [email protected]
- – Yves Willemot, Communications Manager, UNICEF DRC, [email protected]
- – Sylvie Sona, Communications Officer, UNICEF DRC, [email protected]
- – Yannick Nono Wahema, General Director for the Management and Communication Service, Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education, [email protected]
Read more about education in DRC:
- – Education in DRC: 20 key figures
- – Education in the Greater Kasai : 150,000 children need emergency support
- – No education means no future
- – Scooling children in Kinshasa, how to do it?
Translated from French by Astrid Gouriten
Yves Willemot est le chef de l’Équipe InfoCom de l’UNICEF RDC. Plus que tout, ce qui est important pour lui c'est d'être "tous ensemble pour les enfants".
Yves Willemot is Head of the UNICEF DRC InfoCom Team. More than anything, he believes that the most important is to "be together for the children".
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