Democratic Republic of Congo: When will the school be free?

When will the school be free? This is a question that many parents ask themselves on the eve of the new school year 2018 – 2019, which is suppose to start on 03 September 2018. Theoretically, schooling is free up to 8 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But in reality, parents are forced to pay a lot of fees. While the all country is busy with the next presidential election which should take place on 23 December 2018, seven million children will not go to school.

What are the politics priorities to prepare the children who will replace them tomorrow and what example those children should see from people staying in the politics for years and not defending the cause of our children’s future? To build a strong democracy, economy and health start at school but when the school will be free, that’s still not the priority of the politics that are destructing us with elections, music’s, dancing and many more in steed of building schools, working on the quality of the education and improving the working conditions of the teachers.

On the eve of the start of classes at schools in Kinshasa and other places in D.R Congo, it is time for final preparations. The directors are doing them traditional inspections: the latrines are being renovated and guards are installed on the floors. Even if in Congo, the public school is supposed to be free for all, the directors have no other choice other than to make the parents pay to maintain the premises.

To be able to offer them children a decent education, school directors works until the sun goes down. Some family of many children has to make choices. They don’t have enough money for all to go to school.

The Congolese constitution, however, provides that the school is completely free. But in reality, it is up to parents to pay teachers' salaries and running costs. As a result, according to Unicef, more than seven million children are out of school.