What is the goal here?
Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Education helps reduce inequalities and reach gender equality and is crucial to fostering tolerance and more peaceful societies.
Over the past decade, major progress has been made towards increasing access to education and school enrolment rates at all levels, particularly for girls. Nevertheless, about 258 million children and youth were still out of school.
Barriers to achieving Quality Education in the DRC
The priority given to quality education for children and young people by the government in the DRC can be gleaned from the fact that in the 2013 DRC national budget, education was allocated just 13 per cent of the budget.
Added to low prioritisation, access to quality education is further affected by a combination of high poverty and inequity, especially for girls. In 2012, only 88 girls were in primary school for every 100 boys. The disparity widens at higher levels of education: only 62 girls for every 100 boys attended upper secondary school in 2015.
Girls and boys face a number of serious economic and socio-cultural barriers to education: 71 percent of the population live below the poverty line, and boys’ schooling takes priority over girls’. Although age six is the official age for school enrolment, only 54 per cent of six-year-old children attend school and the average age of first-grade students is 10.
Further barriers to girls’ education include early marriage, teenage pregnancies, and expectations of girls’ roles in the household, to name a few – underpin these low levels of female participation.
All of these factors are further compounded by a lack of sensitivity to gender issues and a proper system to address sexual abuse and unwanted pregnancies – which in many instances further limit girls’ participation in education
“Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. But, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) nearly 7 million children aged 5 to 17 are out of school.” (UNICEF)
Barriers at a glance
- The majority of direct and indirect expenses related to the schooling of children are borne by the parents, including school operating costs
- There is an uneven distribution of schools as well as school infrastructure:
- Socio-cultural barriers
- Child labour
Early marriage and early pregnancy
Lack of access for children with disabilities
High repetition rates and dropout
Low rate of qualified teachers
Inequitable distribution of teacher
(The more economically developed a country, the better able to adapt to or overcome the challenges of its geographies)
- Conflict-affected situations:
- Insecurity and Instability
(Some countries with refugee populations (host countries) make provisions for the education of refugee children while others do not).
- 1. Gender.
- 2. Material resources.
Possible Social Intervention Projects to Address Barriers
- A programme of In-Service Training (INSET) for serving teachers; as well as providing mentors for newly qualified teachers
- Establish teacher training and support for those wishing to teach, in areas where there is a shortage of teachers
- Work with grassroots community groups who are intent on building a school but need support, in particular with fundraising and incorporating themselves into a charity.