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Neither private, nor public. Resilient school in DRC : from primary education to University The local formula of “educational partnership” and the powerlessness.

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Presentation on theme: "Neither private, nor public. Resilient school in DRC : from primary education to University The local formula of “educational partnership” and the powerlessness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Neither private, nor public. Resilient school in DRC : from primary education to University The local formula of “educational partnership” and the powerlessness of international assistance AMSTERDAM 2011

2 Positions and points of view Coordination of Belgian French speaking universities research program supporting Belgian Development Cooperation : “social economy, civil society and cooperation”. Fieldworks in DRC and Benin schools and parental committees, associations and “parental movement” Participating in Belgian scientific policy research program “Reconstruction of state in DRC” (see Tom de Herdt presentation) Coordination of university cooperation programs with DRC’s universities (2008-2012, professors Dia Mwembu (UNILU), Shomba, Kapagama, Mpiana, UNIKIN) Today we try to build a joint research program on “the inside university politics in DRC” (Professors Mpiana, Kapagama, Numbi)

3 DRC, 2000 “Crash” of postcolonial experience A long dismembering of public live since 80’s Collapse of state order and of formal economy The “first African world war”! Dissemination of violence Apparently the worse situation in Human development!! The greatest French speaking country in Africa… and today… in the world! School and education in this context??

4 1985-2005 : Surviving and expanding school in DRC “state failing” DRC « miracle » on the primary school level : – Destruction of formal economy and infrastructures (“peacefully” since end of 80’s, with “war support” since 1996) – A radical impoverishment of a majority of households : most of Kinshasa families are not able to pay school fees for all children! – Declining and quasi disappearance of public budget for school and universities contraction of teachers salaries (10-15 $/month in 2003!) – “Liberalization” of basic education market since 1986 : in fact limited at primary level (see Tom de Herdt contribution) – Reproduction of school “bureaucratie” in spite of breakdown of civil administration and state control on school education sector : – Extreme rarefaction of school equipments ( “lack of all” is obvious, growing quality inequalities more difficult to prove !) – Massive and institutional production of “in school illiteracy”

5 1985-2005 : Surviving and expanding school in DRC “state failing” (2) – The number of pupils has been multiplied by 3,5 – The gross rate of schooling +/- stable ( 3% of population growth) – Thousands of schools were created ….. 1987 : 11.137 primary schools ; 4.216 secondary schools 2002 : 18.318 primary schools ; 8. 002 secondary schools – “School has been saved”! “Parents, teachers, children are heroes” (common popular discourse)?? – “Real school, good education, school spirit, … exist no more following others Congoleses? – Parental contribution (fees) became more and more important (70-90% of global education cost in 2005).It respond to a common model of partnership in “new” primary private sector (10-15% of the children in many cases in the poorest areas) in the largest sector (“official subsidized”-religious; 65-70% of the children ) even in state official school (15-20%) Bonuses and/or salaries of teachers and professors Premiums and salaries of a growing number of education bureaucrats in public administration and “official-churches” staffs

6 Graduate and postgraduate levels: constitution of a domestic market Academic proliferation : hundreds religious, community-based, commercial or even public news institutions appear in de 90’s : Such a demand for higher education facing lack of labor market?? – cultural believe ? – Demographic consequence ? – Exit option for young people? – Free supply of teaching, lack of any regulation of supply Universities and “Instituts supérieurs”: 36 in 1989 1993 : the National conference promote 400 new State universities or ISP : 60 of theses universities only were surviving in 1994! Since that time States universities as privates ones created dozens of extensions outside their areas to “meet the demand”. A very fruitful market emerge for the university elite : 1500 professors only have the power to legitimize private initiatives! Today +/- 1.400 universities and institutes ! ( hundreds were “suppressed” last month by Ministry of education)

7 The Congo «de facto» partnership model (officially adopted by Catholic church in1992) The school partnerships models (officially adopted by Catholic church in 1992) – from primary school to university : the annual negotiation of financial participation of users – Individual or collective users (parents) and local Unions : a very limited power facing “directeurs” and facing university professors corporative groups – The ascending redistribution (“ventilation”) of fees money following a double (Civil and Churches “sitting teachers”), complex, unclear, unstable and trustless administration ( from Province to National level) – Failure of Province Governors or Head of churches attempts to reform fees regime in the last years – A systematic but temporary exclusion out the classroom of the “failing” children ( participating in institutional illiteracy)

8 Resilience or historical background? The basic colonial school model was purely primary- professional ( three years for most children) Official school was in the hands of Missions and Churches but majority of schools were private and…… also initiatives of Missions and Churches(2/3) : education was not free! 1956 : formally, Congo had second primary school rate after South-Africa but no one postgraduate! The very limited Impact of introduction of Belgian curricula by late reforms in the 50’ s – The right to be educated in French language among urban Indigenes became a political want – New strategy of catholic Church to promote Black clerks

9 1960-65 : the making of a conservative national consensus between new leaders and churches – the model became very elitist in few schools using French language. New elite support this model – Status quo de facto for the large majority of primary schools using African languages, employing same (colonial-religious) personnel – Progressive “africanisation” of universities personnel on a remaining elitist scheme

10 The national school : a myth? 1971 : the politics of “authenticité” and nationalization of all schools and school’s patrimonies – Unification of the three historical universities (end in 1981) – 1974 “déconfessionnalisation” of all schools in Zaïre (end in 1977) – Centralized and direct control of school by MPR state party and imposition of French language ( in fact difficult)

11 30 years of « liberalization », of anarchy or resistance? A complex accumulation of norms more or less applied and negotiated, part of the making state more than indicator of non state The ambivalent position of Catholic church (divided on education issue) : part of public education, involved in most private and community initiatives Education access : money at all levels but no real market regulation The absence of clear frontier between, “public”, “community-based”, “religious”, “commercial” schools! No alternative to formal school, no alternative to various forms of fees International attempts to introduce innovations or to upgrade the level have little effect in clarifying this situation “If it need… I will go in the street to demonstrate and claim my right to pay fees” (a mother commenting a suppression proposal of school fees!

12 Thank you

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