Access to education is a major challenge for children living in South Kivu. Children living in rural areas study in poor conditions. Schools are overcrowded and often lack equipment, water and sanitation facilities, and adequate teaching and learning materials.
In October 2017, Centre de Recherche sur l’Anti-Corruption launched an initiative to improve education in South-Kivu by engaging young people through Integrity club. CERC established 35 Integrity Clubs in Uvira and trained 525 students were trained as community monitors to ensure quality education accessible to all children.
CERC is an independent organization that works with young people to build integrity and good governance in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. With the help of young community monitors, CERC ensures that the funds allocated for community projects are properly distributed so that the projects benefit the intended beneficiaries.
CERC’s training on Community Integrity Building (CIB) enables monitors to assess quality and availability of equipment and infrastructure, performance of the teaching team, collect evidence, conduct beneficiary surveys, verify findings as well as engage with stakeholders such as head teacher, parent committee and teachers association to fix problems.
To ensure that the school deliver a better education and improve its infrastructures so that student learn in acceptable conditions, 15 monitors from Institut Itara trained by CERC have been monitoring their school since February 2018.
In April 2018, community monitors discovered that the school’s infrastructure was dirty and dangerous. They also discovered that school facilities could not cope with the demand. This meant that the school had only three washrooms for 590 students and that some classrooms were overcrowded. The school’s ability to ensure better access to education has been seriously compromised, putting students at risk.
After the community monitors reported the problem to School management, In April 2014, the school management has immediately undertook to repair the broken desks and the construction of a block of three classrooms. After a Joint Working Group meeting in August 2018 gathered the community monitors, parents’ committee, the school management committee, and CERC, they also undertook the construction of 8 washrooms including those of the girls.
In October 2018, the new classrooms were completed and a block of eight latrines is under construction, while the school continues fundraising to rehabilitate other classrooms.
As a result, students in improved schools are now benefiting from better sanitary facilities and constructed classrooms with enough space to fit all students on the school benches.