Since 2019 the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has deteriorated considerably. The country faces a multidimensional crisis characterized by recurrent armed conflicts, severe food insecurity, nutritional crises, population displacements, natural disasters and epidemics including COVID-19 and Ebola.
The first round of COVID-19-related school closures in March 2020 deprived 27 million children of access to education, and the country experienced a general decline in school attendance after the initial reopening in October 2020. School closures exacerbated education challenges in DRC with, for example, increases in teenage pregnancy and the number of boys recruited by armed groups in rural areas affected by conflict.
Crises have led to school facilities being directly destroyed. Others have begun collapsing because of insufficient investment. GPE provided a $20 million accelerated grant from 2020-2022 to help DRC with the construction of 440 classrooms, including sanitation facilities. The program aims to ensure access and continuous attendance to quality inclusive education in a safe and protective environment.
DRC has been a GPE partner since 2012 and has received nearly US$237 million in grants. The recent classroom construction contributes to the country’s wider efforts to increase access to basic education and increase the quality of learning for primary and lower secondary school students affected by crises.
00:00:00 – 00:00:32 – B-roll – GVs, daily life in Kindu
00:00:33 – 00:01:45 – Mbombo School, dilapidated buildings, renovation works.
00:00:46 – 00:03:45 – INTV – Jean-Pierre Yoy Bokete – Director of Education, Maniema Province
00:03:46 – 00:05:05 – B-roll – Aridja Faradji, 11-year-old student, daily life
00:05:08 – 00:05:51 – B-roll – Esinumbi School – Renovated Classrooms, daily life
00:05:54 – 00:06:38 – INTV – Aridja Faradji, 11-year-old student at Esinumbi School
00:06:41 – 00:07:19 – INTV – Mubwana Aimedi, Teacher at Esinumbi school
Jean-Pierre Yoy Bokete – Director of Education, Maniema Province
The objective of this vision of the strategy is the education and training of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to build an inclusive and quality education, contributing to the development of the education system, and by promoting a civic, democratic education to allow the children of the Democratic Republic of Congo to study in peace, in tranquillity.
We now need for the community to be aware so there can be peace. For when there is peace throughout all the territories, children will be able to study without any problem.
When schools are being burnt, it is putting a stop to the development of the Democratic Republic of Congo because only education is an effective weapon for a country to develop.
Once schools are being destroyed, ransacked, burnt, these children will find themselves out of the school system. They will be turned into clowns, they will be turned into thugs, they will be turned into thieves and so on. The population won’t be able to live in peace. That is the second part.
"Children only talk about GPE. The children by themselves, have composed poems to thank our partner UNICEF for its interventions here which are so very dear to them and were so expensive, and (to thank) the motivation that drove GPE to finance, give funding, give the means to UNICEF to archive these much-appreciated constructions."
Aridja Faradji, 11-year-old student at Esinumbi School
Before construction we were studying in a very bad conditions under the trees, without seats…no toilet, no water, and when it’s raining we have to go home…]]
[[with the new classroom we will now study in a good condition, we are seating, writing very well by using our comfortable seat table…we also have a big blackboard now for studying…
Mubwana Aimedi, Teacher at Esinumbi school
The new classrooms make it easier for me: first, I see a beautiful building. I have a large blackboard to write on, as you can see there. When I teach, children can follow me easily. (There are) no distractions anymore. Children have seating spaces.
The community has come together. We have a close relationship with the community. Because children are studying under good conditions. They (the parents) are sending their children to study properly because we now have a beautiful building.