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Democratic Congo

Teaching Profession

Higher technical and pedagogical institutes, which were established to train teachers, in theory train all teachers. In reality, specialists often fail to find jobs for which they are trained and teach other subjects. The rapid expansion of schools continues to force the DRC to staff many teaching positions with unqualified teachers. Teaching is not considered prestigious by youth, and this contributes to recruitment problems. Yet teaching is one area that offers hundreds of secure jobs yearly so people continue to train. Some view these jobs as "stopgap" employment that will temporarily tide them over until they can do better. High personnel mobility makes teaching in the DRC very unstable, and the turnover of teachers is a big issue.

Primary school teachers are trained at the secondary school level in teacher training colleges. Instruction in primary schools is in the local language. Science and mathematics are only taught up to, but not beyond the primary school level. Certified and trained teachers are supplemented by a legion of unqualified teachers who require on the job training on a massive scale. Graduates of ecoles normales secondaires provide education to students in upper primary schools, as well as lower secondary schools. The problem is that there are very few of these teachers in the system, and, due to the "brain drain" that siphons many of the most talented teachers off into industry to earn more money, the problem may grow worse in the future. Secondary school teachers are trained at the university and teacher training institutes. Three universities have departments that prepare future teachers for the agregation de l'enseignement secondaire through one year teacher training courses for students who already hold a final degree from a faculty. This course leads to the agregation de l'enseignement secondaire du degre superior. Teacher training institutes train gradues and licences in applied education. They teach lower and upper secondary classes as well. All instruction is in French. Upper secondary level teachers are provided by the 12 Instituts Superieurs Pedagogiques.

Before independence Africans had limited opportunities, and teaching was considered a high paying prestigious profession. Opportunities in private industry and government service since independence has reduced teaching to a low paying, non-prestigious "stopgap" form of employment. Deteriorating social and economic conditions and run-away inflation have severely eroded salaries paid to teachers. Many can barely get by and experience hardships that would have been unimaginable in former eras. This causes many teachers to leave the profession. Teachers unions, such as the Syndicat Nationale des Enseignants Congolais and the Centrales des Enseignants Congolais, fought for reform in the past. Today teachers unions are illegal. This also hurts recruitment and retention efforts.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceDemocratic Congo - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education