Giving Every Opportunity to Students in the DRC

The DRC is a country located in the center of Africa. As a potentially rich country, it gathers all the wonders of the world, like the okapi and the Inga hydroelectric dam. But what makes it most rich is the children because they are the future of tomorrow.

In the last week of June, the “finalists” (the sixth graders who are in their last year of primary school) took what is called the State examination. We made the assessment that of the 100% of children that begin primary school, only a minority manage to get to the final year.

Why?

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I. Schools in rural areas are too far from children’s homes. I read in the article, “The State of Education in the DRC in 20 points”, written by Yoon Jeong, that, “84% of children have a school close to home, 70% of children 6 to 11 years not attending school live near a school”; therefore, this cannot be the main reason.

II. Education is said to be free, but this is not always the case because the free-cost of primary education is not carried out to all of the provinces of the DRC. Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, for example, do not benefit from this free-of-cost education. The price varies according to the province and the school. If the education was actually free, a mother could send all of her children to school. She could do this until they finished both the primary and secondary systems because she would not have had to pay for primary school.

III. The government does not allocate a sufficient budget for education. In the article I read, I learned that, “Households contribute to 3 quarters of education spending”. Let us suppose that a parent, having to pay for schooling for 4 children, could decide to take care of the education of 1 child and then perhaps those of the others because that is too much spending.

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I, Nathan, on behalf of the Young Reporters from Kinshasa and the Congo as a whole, propose that:

1. The government constructs schools in proximity to the children’s homes that live in rural areas. We observed that 30% of non-educated children do not have a school near their home. If there were schools near them, this would mean that there could perhaps be more children attending.

2. The state must make primary education free and mandatory in every part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

3. The government must allocate a sufficient budget for education so that we are able to have quality schooling.

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All of these measures will be for the good of the Congolese children and their intelligence. They will be acquainted with more so that they can become useful in life and serve their country.

The State must make an effort so that our education holds value everywhere in the world. At the moment, our education is not always taken into account, outside of the country. It must be considered as something of value in order to give honour to our nation and to our education.

Long live education in the DRC; long live the path to change in our education system for the future of children in the DRC.

Photo: UNICEF DRC 2013 Julie Pudlowski

Translated from French by Andrew Zink

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Nathan

Nathan a 15 ans et il est au Collège Notre Dame du Congo à Kinshasa. Passionné de football, il joue milieu pour “organiser le jeu”. Plus tard, il veut être un avocat reconnu et travailler pour la Cour Pénale Internationale. Sa devise: “Que tous nous soyons un!”

Nathan is 15 years old. He studies at Collège Notre Dame du Congo in Kinshasa. passionate about football, he plays middle to "organize the game". He wants to become a renowned lawyer and work for the International Criminal Court. His watchword: “That we all are one”.

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