Congo Republic: Finally the return to school!

After long months under lockdown, students have come back to school in the Republic of Congo. Find out how they are now studying, in accordance with the new measures imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

June 08, 2021 by Aurelia Jessica Emmanuella Ickonga, UNICEF Congo
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3 minutes read
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Students from the Sebastien Mafouta primary school presenting their textbooks. Credit: UNICEF/2021/MARANATHA
Students from the Sebastien Mafouta primary school presenting their textbooks.
Credit: UNICEF/2021/MARANATHA

After 3 weeks of Christmas holidays, all pre-school, primary and secondary students in Congo returned to school on January 11.

A massive screening of students and teachers was done before the start of the 2021 school year for the safe return of students.

Sébastien Mafouta Primary School, south of Brazzaville, has 1,165 students. Wilfrid has been the principal since 2014. He is happy with this recovery.

"After long months under lockdown, we really didn't want to fall behind on our schedule again this year.”

Thanks to the support of the Global Partnership for Education, the schools were disinfected at the beginning of the school year in October 2020 and hand-washing devices were distributed.

Booklets were distributed to children, starting with the students who will need to take exams at the end of the school year (Certificat d'Études Primaires et Élémentaires for the CM2 classes, equivalent of grade 5, and Brevet d'Études du Premier Cycle for the 3e classes), equivalent of grade 9.

"These booklets will be very helpful, because due to COVID-19, the learning results of our students are down. In addition to the lessons that we give in class, we count on the family to accompany the children”, says Wilfrid Malonga.

At Mafouta Primary School, information on the right prevention measures has been reinforced for a safe return of children to school.

Angela, 10, washes her hands before entering class at Sebastien Mafouta Primary School. Crédit: UNICEF/2021/MARANATHA
Angela, 10, washes her hands before entering class at Sebastien Mafouta Primary School.
Credit: UNICEF/2021/MARANATHA

"I wash my hands before I go to class and as soon as I get home. It has become a routine, even though it was a little difficult at first. The games at school have changed a little bit with COVID-19 as we don't have to touch each other and we need to keep our masks on".

Angela, 10, student in grade 5

"During the Christmas break, I studied a little bit because I have an exam at the end of the year that I want to pass so I can go to college."

Providence, 12 years old, loves mathematics. He is in grade 5.

"My older brother who is in high school helped me to study over the Christmas break. I'm glad to be back in school. During the holidays we couldn't go out or visit friends because we were under lockdown. I'm glad to be back with my friends."

Providence, 12 years old
Providence, 12 years old, student at Sebastien Mafouta Primary School, standing in front of his class. Credit: UNICEF/2021/MARANATHA
Providence, 12 years old, student at Sebastien Mafouta Primary School, standing in front of his class.
Credit: UNICEF/2021/MARANATHA

The children of Congo are ready to face the COVID-19 pandemic by respecting the prevention measures. They want to stay in school. They are reimagining a better future.

"I used to have only one mask, but now I have 3. As soon as I get home I wash my mask, put it in the sun and take another one. Later, I would like to become a doctor, so I can take care of people,” says Providence.

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Sub-Saharan Africa: Republic of Congo

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