ADEA participates in review of Congo’s education system

Experts from ADEA, Congo, Burkina Faso, and Seoul University have completed a review of Congo’s education system. Conducted upon the country's request, the review consisted of Phase III of a five-step process, which includes the following: 1) a preparatory phase leading to the signing of a framework for cooperation; (2) an evaluation by the country to assess its own performances, (3) an international review by African and Korean peers to complete observations made by the national team; (4) a validation and sharing phase; and (5) an impact study of the Peer Review exercise to be conducted at a later stage.

The review is meant to assess Congo’s achievements toward improving quality education, in line with the ‘Chemin de l’Avenir’. It is expected to lead to concrete proposals to improve the quality of education in Congo.

The mission paid particular attention to:the country’s efforts to achieve its EFA and MDG commitments and to adequately train primary school teachers and supervisors.   

Phase III of the Peer Review made the following findings:

  • Congo may not be able to attain the EFA Goals and the MDGs. Great progress  has been made at kindergarten level, albeit below average in Africa. Major achievements have also been made regarding access to primary education, but these are mainly the result of private sector efforts. On the down side, programs addressing the youth and adult illiterates are stagnating and the quality of education remains weak with high repetition rates at primary level and above avrerage school dropout rates at secondary level.
  • Major reasons for the mild results are attributed to: (i) the impact of the war, (ii) the lack of teachiers (iii) a national curriculum that has not adjusted to the new education needs  and employability of school graduates;
  • On the positive side, the review noted that peace is back along with a strong political will to support education, a healthy financial situation, a willingness to address the learning needs of disadvantaged groups, a commitment to decentralize the education system and an attempt to reform the curriculum and introduce ICT at school;
  • The Review acknowledged these positive trends and made the following recommendations: (1) restructure basic education in order to have a continuum (preprimary- primary – post primary); (2) develop a diversified system to cater to the diverse needs of the Congolese learners through formal, non-formal and informall education; (3) develop a new curriculum based on the competencies needed in today’s world, including the mastery of ICT and pre-vocationalization; (4) address the equity issue by catering the  education needs of  rural  , people and encouraging  inclusive education; (5) take strong initiatives to reduce repetition at primary level and dropout at secondary level; (6) regulate the private sector in  such a way that social equity is preserved; (7) recruit and train more teachers; (8) review teacher training program to align them with primary education needs and better articulate  pre-service and in-service training; (9) improve funding of education programs; and improve governance through decentralization which would give more autonomy to local schools.

Most of these changes imply strengthening the use of ICT for school administration and teaching/learning processes. South Korea has expressed the willingness to back up such initiatives.

For more information contact Ibrahima Bah-Lalya, Coordinator, Working Group on Non-Formal Education (WGNFE), [email protected]