Nursery school: a forgotten foundation of education

nursery school in DRC

Nursery school children (UNICEF DRC 2017 Ramazani)

In order to have good results in the first year of primary education, I believe children should be encouraged to begin in nursery school.  In my first blog, I want to talk about the importance of nursery school. Come with me to Sommet du Savoir School in the city of Bunia, in Ituri Province.

Yvette, a courageous and cheerful teacher

Yvette, a courageous and cheerful woman in her thirties, is one of the teachers in the nursery school. Educating children being everyone’s responsibility she feels happy and proud to teach them.

nursery school in DRC

Madame Yvette (UNICEF DRC 2017 Ramazani)

“I’m a mother and I have two boys who are at university. I always wanted to work with young children. That is why I did special studies to become a teacher and be able to take care of children and bring them up as a mother.

Nursery school gives a taste for the future

The results of the massive enrolment campaign of children aged 6-7 in the first year of primary education launched by the government in partnership with UNICEF are already being felt in the community.

Here, the return to school went well because many children have already come along to school with their school things such as rucksacks, water bottles, bread, and so on.”

The enrolment campaign does not encourage parents to send their children under 6 years of age to nursery school, though they are eager to learn.

Since working with these young children we have found that they already like going to school. We teach them to express themselves well in French and to count, but also good hygiene practices. Nursery school gives children a taste for going to school!

nursery school in DRC

Madame Yvette and her small chicks (UNICEF DRC 2017 Ramazani)

I spoke with two nursery school children. Evodie and Feni, 5, are in the 3rd grade. Young Feni, speaking with a small, gentle voice, seems to know what he wants to be when he grows up: “I want to be a doctor. That way, I would be there to look after people” he says, smiling. As for his friend Evodie, her dreams lean towards education: “One day, I will be a headmistress.”

My Plea for Education for Younger Children

After my visit to this school, I wondered why the government does not do more for these children, who have great dreams.

The small chicks (the nursery school children) also have the right to a school education adapted to their level. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Law on the protection of children’s rights define a child as any human being under the age of 18, so these children under 6 have the right to go to school!

Education concerns everyone. Education of younger children is an insurance and a guarantee of a good educational foundation for every child in the DRC. This will facilitate their retention in primary school.

More info about education in DRC :

Translated by Daphne Wood

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Aristote M

Aristote est Jeune Reporter de la Province de l’Ituri. Ancien vice-président du Parlement d’Enfant de sa Province, il étudie actuellement le droit. Pour lui, l’enfance est la richesse d’une nation.

Aristote is a Young Reporter from Ituri Province. Former vice-president of the Children’s Parliament of his Province, he is currently studying law. For him, children are the wealth of a nation.

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