H.E. Maker Famba Mwangu, the Minister of Education for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) spoke at a special Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Washington, DC on April 16, 2013. The meeting was attended by representatives of companies and donor organizations interested in funding projects in the DRC and many other public and private organizations interested in the educational progress and challenges in the DRC.
The Minister indicated that the country was in the midst of a surge in enrollment, which began in 2010 when school fees were eliminated as part of the strategy to achieve universal primary education. He discussed the steps the Government has been taking to improve education, and that an additional $100 million in extra budgetary funds had been allocated for schools. The Minister highlighted Humana People to People's DNS model as a good example of a public-private partnership that can achieve quality education. He closed his presentation by reaffirming the Government's commitment to education, and that efforts would continue to focus on rural areas, conflict zones and areas of high mineral production. (A summary of the meeting is available here).
The DRC Minister of Education, H.E. Maker Famba Mwangu, visits with student teachers at the first Humana People to People DNS teacher training college. The college is located in Mbankana.
Marie Lichtenberg of Humana People to People also presented at the meeting, describing HPP's organization's commitment to construct and operate fifty-four DNS teacher training colleges in partnership with the Government of the DRC. Marie emphasized the importance of focusing on rural areas, since they contain the majority of people, have the highest rates of poverty and greatest need for teachers. She also indicated that the Ministry of Education has committed to covering a substantial portion of the operational costs of the colleges and provide employment to graduates. The Government's financial commitment, coupled with HPP's permanent infrastructure and growing cadre of committed teachers, holds immense promise for dramatically improving education in rural areas.
For those interested in participating in this project, Marie noted CGI's key role in generating such collaboration, and listed the various ways individuals and organizations could get involved, including sponsoring a college; donating computers and software; establishing a library; providing scholarships for students teachers; or other forms of support. For more information see the DRC page.