Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the African continent’s second largest country in terms of sheer landmass and shares borders with nine other countries. The DRC is endowed with enormous natural resource wealth, such as gold, copper, cobalt and uranium, and approximately 34 percent of its territory is fertile, arable land. However, the country’s natural resources have, over the years, proven burdensome, as they have engendered corruption at the highest levels and sustained armed conflicts.

Democratic Republic of the Congo
source(s): UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14

Main Barriers to Education

  • Poverty
  • Conflict & displacement
  • Sexual violence
  • High cost of schooling

Interventions to Barriers

  • Community mobilisation
  • Classroom construction
  • Systems of accountability
  • Parental & school committees

The government in DRC is determined to realise the six goals of EFA. It has articulated a national vision to make the country an emerging centre of knowledge and expertise by 2030. To bring these ambitions to fruition, the government has elaborated a national action plan to achieve EFA and a strategy paper on growth and poverty reduction. Still, an estimated 59 percent of the population subsists on less than US$1.25 per day and social sectors are routinely underfunded; education was allocated just 13 percent in the 2013 national budget. Furthermore, demographic pressures are unrelenting and dictate the need for schools, teachers and pedagogic inputs.

These challenges have had a disproportionately negative impact on the education sector and by extension the country’s most vulnerable – children and youth. In the DRC, girls and boys face a plethora of economic and socio-cultural barriers to education: 71 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and boys’ schooling takes priority over girls’. Although age six is the official age for school enrolment, only 54 percent of six-year-old children attend school and the average age of first grade students is 10.

To confront these barriers, EAC has partnered with Caritas Congo ASBL, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and UNICEF. Together, these projects increase access to quality education, provide scholarships, train community members and bolster the government’s initiatives to enhance learning outcomes in reading, numeracy and life-skills development in children across the country.


Geographic Location: Central Africa

Languages: French (official), Lingala, Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba

sources: UNICEF, Worldbank, UNESCO

Year added: 


Enrolling OOSC in South Kivu and Katanga

Successfully Completed Project

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, EAC is supporting the International Rescue Committee to implement the Enrolling Out of School Children in South Kivu and Katanga Project to ensure that 47,750 Congolese children who are currently out of school have access to quality formal and non-formal primary education.

Equitable Quality Primary Education for All Children in DRC

Successfully Completed Project

In partnership with EAC and the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UNICEF is implementing the Equitable Quality Primary Education for All Children project in DRC. The aim of this project is to ensure that approximately 1.5 million children in DRC have access to and are enrolled and participating in quality primary education.
The Expansion Project of Support to the Education of OOSC

The Expansion Project of Support to the Education of OOSC

Successfully Completed Project

Through the Expansion Project of Support to the Education of Out of School Children and in partnership with EAC, CARITAS Congo ASBL will provide access to primary education for a total of 46,000 out of school children, and create conditions to significantly reduce the dropout rate in the provinces of Orientale, Equateur, Katanga and Kasai Occidental.


Caritas Congo

Caritas Congo ABSL in partnership with EAC will provide 46,000 students who are currently out of school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a complete primary education.

International Rescue Committee

IRC is working in partnership with EAC to ensure that children in Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have opportunities to realize their fundamental right to an education.


EAC and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) are partnering in Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen to bring quality basic education to over 3.3 million children.