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DRC authorities shut down several higher education institutions

DRC authorities shut down several higher education institutions

Democratic Republic Of Congo

More than 100 higher education institutions have been closed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Following a directive from the authorities last year to shut down 175 non viable institutions, many students have now been left stranded.

With only five public universities in the Central African country, overcrowding has become the norm in these schools.

It's not the number of institutions around that worry us, but rather the quality of the education that is on offer in these institutions. That is why the current reforms are pushing for that.

“Sometimes the classrooms get flooded and they are also overcrowded. We have nowhere to sit. We are forced to go buy tables and chairs to sit on yet we have no money. The room is overcrowded, we can’t write properly and meanwhile we can’t hear the professor because his microphone doesn’t work, and then we find ourselves having to contribute small amounts of money to buy new class furniture,” said Kanza Djefu, a student.

The government is looking to improve standards in its higher education. This will greatly reduce the country’s unemployment rate which is above 40 percent.

“It’s not the number of institutions around that worry us, but rather the quality of the education that is on offer in these institutions. That is why the current reforms are pushing for that. In December 2015, the prime minister issued a decree that we must execute when it comes to the viability of some of these institutions of higher learning, both for private and public institutions,” Theophile Mbemba, DRC’s Minister of Education said.

Authorities have often accused institutions of degenerating the country’s educational system. With this in hand, DRC plans to create a regulatory board to monitor colleges and universities.

Reuters