free primary school education has its

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Unpaid teachers, lack of infrastructure and resources … Free primary education in public schools, a flagship target for President Félix Tshisekedi, is suffering, according to the unions.

as reported from Kinshasa, Pascal Mulegwa.

According to the government, about 4 million extra children who were no longer in the school district can now attend classes for free. Survey conditions still pose a serious problem.

“We had to build new schools. Free education has created a large influx of students who gather in classrooms, ”condemns David Diatezwa, president of the National Parents’ Association (Anapeco).

As for teachers, the principle of free education is celebrated. For Cécile Tshiyombo, Secretary-General of Teachers in the Congo (Syeco), however, the problems are still numerous. “The problem is still. The teachers are not getting paid. Not a single class or school was built,” she laments.

For his part, Didier Budimbu, Deputy Minister of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education minimizes.

“There were more than 132,000 unpaid, they were all taken into account, the unpaid no longer exist. Teachers who previously received $ 40-50 are now $ 170. There is a long way to go in terms of infrastructure, that is for sure, and also in terms of training. Free has succeeded. These schools [surpeuplées et où les enseignants ne sont payés] not even earning 10% at the national level, ”he insisted.

In this sector, there is also a problem of transparency. The Inspectorate-General for Finance (IGF) noted financial embezzlement, whether in teachers’ salaries or in the school census.

► See also: DRC: Cenco warns of difficulties in setting up free schools

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