Education in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the countries with the largest number of out-of-school children: it is estimated that 3.5 million children of primary age are not in school mainly because of drop out.
Public education in the DRC is a hybrid system comprising schools managed by the government and schools managed by faith-based organizations, which represent more than three quarters. In 2012, 72% of students in primary schools attended public schools run by religious communities (écoles conventionnées).
School fees remain a major barrier for access to education, and many parents pay costs covering teachers’ wages, school operating and administrative expenses, and participation in learning assessments.
The Education Sector Plan 2016-2025 focuses on expanding access and equity, improving learning quality, and improving the governance and management sector. The three strategic objectives of the ESP are to:
- Promote an equitable education system for growth and employment through:
- providing all children with a complete and free primary education
- engaging in the gradual introduction of basic education
- ensuring access to secondary education
- strengthening technical and vocational training
- developing rural preschools
- diversifying higher education
- improving equity and access to literacy and non-formal education
- Create the conditions for a quality education system through:
- revising pedagogical techniques and curriculum
- developing a quality assurance system
- improving the educational environment
- aligning the education system with the labor market needs
- facilitating the integration and reintegration of out of school adults and children
- improving the training and supervision of teachers
- professionalizing and strengthening higher education science and technology
- promoting scientific research
- Improve governance and management of the sector through:
- strengthening decentralization and deconcentration
- involving communities and civil society in the management of facilities
- strengthening the planning capacity of the education system
- improving financial management resources and human resources management
- defining a prevention policy for disaster risk, emergencies, or conflicts
- increasing education funding.
Public financing has doubled since 2012 (from 9% of public expenditures in 2012 to 18% in 2014.During the GPE Replenishment Conference in June 2014, the government committed to bring the share of GDP allocated to education to 4.5% and at least 18% of domestic financing for the sector, with an allocation to basic education of at least 47% of current expenditures by 2018. Furthermore, the government pledged to devote at least 10% of internal resources to education for disadvantaged and marginalized groups such as girls, disabled children, children of indigenous people and children living in remote areas.
In the DRC, the coordinating agency is UNICEF. The local education group is chaired by the Ministry of Education and made up of development partners (Belgium Technical Co-operation, AFD, DFID, UNICEF, USAID, World Bank, and UNESCO) and civil society.
All amounts are in US dollars.
Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.
Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)
Primary Completion Rate (%)
Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)
Out-of-school Children Rate (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)
Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)
Teachers Trained (%)
GPE in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The first grant of US$100 million was approved in 2012 in support of the implementation of the Interim Education Plan. The project objectives were to:
- increase access and equity in primary education through rehabilitation and re-construction of classrooms
- rehabilitate or replace classrooms in disrepair and those built with non-durable materials (mud and straws and leaves)
- add or rehabilitate school director offices and annexed facilities such as latrines and water supply
- involve local communities, specifically the Conseils de gestion scolaire (local school administration) in the provision and management of school infrastructures and furniture.
- improve learning conditions in primary education:
- strengthen in-service training to improve teacher quality in Equator and Kasai-West
- support the acquisition and distribution of textbooks and pedagogical materials country-wide
- strengthen sector management and promote greater accountability by introducing new management practices at the local levels.
Thanks to the work of the government (national and local) and development partners, the following results have been achieved:
- Net primary enrollment in the two beneficiary provinces surpassed targets and reached 72% (Equator) and 100% (Kasai-West), which compares favorably with the national rate of 68.6%
- The number of girls enrolled in schools compared to boys has improved: the gender parity index is at 0.86 in both provinces compared to 0.78 in Equator and 0.79 in Kasai-West in 2011
- 858 additional primary classrooms were constructed or rehabilitated, 81 new latrine blocks built and 27 new water points installed
- 70% of school clusters in Kasai Province and 65% in Equator Province have organized 3 inter-school pedagogical meetings per year
- More than 20 million textbooks (French, match, science, civic education) and teacher guides have been distributed around the country
- Close to 33,000 teachers, school directors and school advisors received training.