Challenges facing higher education in the Democratic Republic of Congo
After getting my high school degree in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a beautiful small town called Goma in the east of the country, my parents and I decided that I would pursue my higher education abroad. Many countries came to my mind but we decided that I would go to India. Most families send their children to study abroad considering the current situation in the domain of education in our country. Congo is a poor and underdeveloped country that still needs a lot of improvement in the domain of education.
I reached India on 24th of April, 2012 to prepare for the academic year that would start in the month of June of the same year. I spent five years in India. Comparing both countries would be a difficult task for me as we have on one side a developing country which is among the BRICS countries and on the other a country where people starve, have no jobs and have minimal access to education.
Congo is a country where the educational system needs a lot of reform both in form and in procedure. Compared to other counties, where students concentrate on one particular subject of their choice making them at the end of the day specialists or experts in that specific domain, in DR Congo, the system gives general knowledge to the students producing workers who have no deep knowledge in a specific field. It’s time to reform the sector to match the international system and create a more competitive workforce.
In today’s busy and changing world, people focus on what is important. In most countries of the world, the university period is limited to 3 years or 4 years. In India, the student will focus on subjects relating to their speciality and will complete the coursework in three years.
This is not the case in DR Congo, where the period of university is can reach up to 5 years. During this period, students go through an unending list of subjects and numerous elements that are, in my opinion, not important, but rather a waste of time and opportunities.
I truly believe that DR Congo needs to improve and adjust the national education system of the country to the modern world. For example, several friends studying in DR Congo mentioned that they use books that had been published in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. In India, we used new books published in the same year and which were even different from the ones of the previous academic year.
Corruption has destroyed the values and ethics of the education in DR Congo. That is why it’s very difficult or almost impossible for those who have studied in Congo and completed their education in the country to prosper outside the country. Thanks to corruption, we have created a vacuum that will never end, where students learn to be corrupt from University and pay money in order to get marks. This mind-set will follow them throughout their lifetime. The attitude of thinking only in a negative way in which things are done easily. The outcome of this is the creation of a future workforce that did not learn the basic lessons of honesty, hardship and trustworthiness. The education system of our country must be based on the idea, “Work to Succeed.”
I truly recommend that the system of education be revised, attracting more people to study in the country and avoid spending a lot of money going abroad. More over the university degree from Congo would have an impact in the world.
This change can only be made possible if the international organizations and NGOs in Congo invest in the system by developing a strategy that would modernize not only the educational system as well as the infrastructure of Universities and schools.
– Wilfred, assistant
The Value of a Smile
How much is happiness worth to you? When contemplating this question, our egos automatically think of ourselves, selfishly. But what about the happiness of others? What is that worth to you?
When we were growing up, we were told over and over that, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35), and yet few of us apply this adage in our daily lives.
When approached regarding charity, many people will avoid giving, be it a financial, material or other type of donation, questioning the perceived value of that donation and asking the ultimate question: “What’s in it for me?”
For those asking, I challenge you: Make a real, impactful donation, then look searchingly into the eyes of that person whose life you have changed, and, in the face of such gratitude, answer this question: what is the value of a smile?
“We make a Living by what we get; we make a Life by what we give.”
– Winston Churchill