The Youth Reporters participated in the intermediary review of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Interim Education Plan (IEP) 2012-2014.
They participated in workshops based on the plan’s three main focusses: access and accessibility, quality and governance of education. Here are their impressions.
School governance for a good education
Concerned with universalising primary education across the country, the Congolese government, through the Ministry for Primary, Secondary and Professional Education (PSPE), together with its partners, put in place a three-year education strategy (2012-2014). This is called the Interim Education Plan (IEP).
This plan contains three major issues: access to and accessibility of primary teaching, the quality of teaching and school governance.
School governance constitutes an important part of all other educational issues. The resources necessary for the PSPE to function could have been made available, but without good school governance, the end result would not be convincing.
For satisfying results, it is necessary that each party responsibly fulfils their role, within their domain. The management of a school must include: a head teacher, the teaching body, a parent committee and a student committee.
But certain things still prevent the good management of schools:
– The parent committee is sometimes limited to fixing the level of school expenses. But the IEP indicates that “their presence would however be a major asset for closely monitoring the quality of teaching received by the children.”
– The student committee does not interact with the school management committee.
In view of these facts, we, the Youth Reporters, ask head teachers to organise talks with the parent committee in order to show them how to carry out their role in full. We also ask head teachers to build the capacity of the children in student committees so that they may be better placed to interact with the school management committee.
In the hope that our recommendations are soon taken into account, we greet our government’s engagement in providing a universal quality education throughout the country.
By Déo and Angélique.
Quality teaching for a quality future.
We know that the DRC has made much progress concerning the improvement of access to primary education.
However, for a child to learn well, it is necessary to ensure that the teaching received is relevant and of a high quality.
The Congolese government has taken several steps to this end, via the Ministry for Primary, Secondary and Professional Education; amongst others the adoption of the Interim Education Plan (IEP), which, in a few pages, demonstrates the importance of quality teaching.
The quality of teaching depends on several factors, such as: the competence of the teachers, the school environment, help in lessons from qualified persons and the teaching materials.
However, some of these factors are still lacking in the Congo. For example, the competence of teachers in their field of knowledge is not updated often enough. The teaching staff are ageing, which affects attendance in lessons that are often lacking dynamism.
In regards to this fact, we, the Youth Reporters, ask the government to ensure the ongoing training of teachers as well as to galvanise attendance in lessons.
Before concluding, we would like to thank our government for having already ensured access to education for all children. We, the Youth Reporters, support this initiative.
By Diana and Angélique
Access to education for all children!
The government is making increasing access and accessibility its priority, especially as much progress has already been made in this important area.
Despite the efforts made by all to fulfil this objective, there is still much to be done. It is still necessary to focus on pre-school education, and the survival in the educational system of children who repeat years in primary school, until the end of the cycle and entrance into secondary school.
Access to and the accessibility of primary teaching fight against constraints linked to supply or demand. And this presages a well-functioning system.
For its part, the government has put in place some innovative reforms to maximise the chances of achieving its aims by the end of the year 2014, amongst others:
– By progressively making primary teaching free
– By building or refurbishing numerous schools across the national territory
These efforts are important so that many children may have access to an education, and thus make our country a prosperous and developed one.
By Eunice and Jonathan.
Read the DRC’s Interim Education Plan 2012-2014
Portraits: UNICEF DRC 2014 Adrien Majourel
Translated from French by Amber Sherman