Allowing children to express themselves is key to improving their education

The first joint review of the Interim Education Plan (IEP) was held in Kinshasa from August 20 to 22.

It was attended by 200 people, including 11 provincial ministers, 30 Proveds (provincial education authorities), members of civil society, the technical and financial partners, representatives of faith traditions, and child journalists.

This revue was held to:

  1. Draw a conclusion on Government accomplishments in relation to the goals set in the interim plan of education in access , quality and governance components.

I would define access to education as the ability of a child to enroll and attend school in terms of economic, social and other views; the quality in which education is delivered; and governance as the way in which the management of a school is organized.

  1. Draft recommendations to improve the current situation of education. This was done in workshop: access, quality and governance.
  2. Establish priorities and 2014-2015 perspectives on access, quality and governance in PIE.

I’ll tell you about the closing day, because that’s the day the rapporteurs of different workshops restored work in terms of recommendations, priorities and perspectives.

After the various presentations discussions were open and we children journalists asked questions and offered more than relevant recommendations in relation to the different components .

For example we proposed:

–        the training of teachers specialised in teaching children with disabilities.

–        the introduction of peace education in the school curriculum.

–        the establishment of a mechanism for monitoring the use of the operating costs of the schools.

Several participants appreciated and welcomed our presence in this review.

During the lunch break, a provincial minister asked me what in my view justified our presence at this review. I replied by saying that:

When a doctor wants to make a proper diagnosis of his sick patient, he must first listen to him in order to best treat him. The same goes for pupils: teachers are doctors, pupils are patients and the disease is ignorance. So for a better education, the child must be given an opportunity to express itself.

She was convinced by this.

The closing remarks of the review were delivered by His Excellency the Minister of primary, secondary and professional education (EPSP) who once again thanked the young journalists for their participation and for their huge impact on the success of this review.

I really enjoyed our participation and I encourage UNICEF and the Government in to involve children in matters that concern them, so that the voice of the child is heard.

As Madiba said, “what’s done for me, without me, is against me.” 

Photo: UNICEF DRC 2014 Adrien Majourel

Translated from French by Ahou Koutchesfahani

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Carmel a 15 ans et il est enfant reporter de Kinshasa. Cycliste et constructeur de robot, il aime le football et Cristiano Ronaldo. Sa devise? "Malgré les tempêtes, il faut aller de l'avant".

Carmel is 15 years old and is a child reporter from Kinshasa. Carmel is a cyclist, builds robots and likes football and Cristiano Ronaldo. His motto is: ‘Despite the storms, one must move on.’

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