YOUNG REPORTER – I am Axel, a Young Reporter from Lubumbashi. For my second article I have decided to talk about the educational situation in the city of Lubumbashi through a report, during the making of which, I met Isaac, 10, who is not at school.
Who are the children ou of school in Lubumbashi?
It was quiet in the Baudouin district of Lubumbashi that I visited with the idea of reporting on children’s rights. Suddenly, my eyes fixed upon a young face, a face so innocent I could hardly imagine it. So I went up to him and asked, “Do you go to school?” The youngster replied, “no.” Intrigued, I replied, “why?”
Then Isaac set about explaining his story to me. “My father is a taxi driver in Kalubwe and as for my mother she lives elsewhere. I am currently living here with my grandmother, but she can’t afford to send me to school.” In a disappointed voice, he added, “every school year my father promises to send me to school, but he has never made it happen. I really hope that through you young reporters I will be able to get back to school soon and be sitting at a school desk like other children.”
After listening to Isaac’s poignant story, I was struck by his parents abandoning him. I did some research and was able to finalise my plea.
Every child has the right to go to school
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) stipulates in article 28: “all children have the right and obligation to go to school up to a certain age. They should be able to go to school as far as their aptitude permits. Education must be free for children under the age of 12.” Every child must go to school in Lubumbashi, in the DRC and throughout the world.
I continued my enquiries using certain findings from the 2013-2014 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) on the educational situation in the DRC. Thanks to the DHS survey I was able to gather a certain amount of data relating to Isaac’s situation. For example: “3 out of 10 children are not enrolled or have dropped out of school because their parents cannot afford to pay the school fees.”
So, I think that this – parental poverty – is one reason why Isaac is not at school in Lubumbashi.
My plea for schooling in Lubumbashi and throughout the DRC
As a young reporter from Lubumbashi, I ask that the civil and also the legal authorities be able to build schools and that they be free for children of primary school age.
That way, even if parents do not manage to pay for their children’s school fees these children will still be able to study in order to have an emerging Democratic Republic of the Congo sooner and that thanks to the authorities and citizens who have received a good education.
As Victor Hugo said in this aphorism: “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” If there are more people who study there will be fewer crimes. So I would advise this for a better future for my country, the DRC.
Translated from French by Daphne Wood
More info about the Convention on Rights of the Child
Axel est un enfant reporter de Lubumbashi âgé de 13 ans, qui rêve d'être prochainement un grand gestionnaire d’entreprise. Actuellement en classe de 3eme Commercial de Gestion, Axel a voulu être Enfant Reporter pour pouvoir faire qu’un jour tous les droits de l'Enfant soient respecté dans son pays République Démocratique du Congo, afin que chaque enfant jouisse entièrement de ses droits.
Axel, 13, is a Young Reporter from Lubumbashi who, in due course, dreams of being a great business manager. Axel, currently in year 3 of Commercial Management, wanted to be a Young Reporter in order to be able to work towards the day when all children’s rights are respected in his country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so that each child fully enjoys his or her rights.
Latest posts by Axel (see all)
- Let’s get the children into school in Lubumbashi: my report - 28 September 2016
- Mechak a working child. - 26 November 2015