12 senior education officials met with CERC to discuss accountability issues in the education sector.

As part of the “Students Acting for Accountability and Quality Education in DRC” project, CERC held a second consultative workshop with 12 senior officials of the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education to discuss the challenges of transparency and accountability in the education sector.

Embedding Integrity clubs in secondary schools as well the integrity education manual in the national curriculum were at the heart of discussion with these senior officials, who supported and praised this innovative approach to instilling integrity values in school-age children.

Diverse other topics were discussed, including the deployment in the coming months of our mobile application “EduCheck” allowing students to collect data on transparency, on students and parents participation in school management and on education services delivery challenges in their own schools.

Closing the session, participants praised the integrity building project implemented by CERC in South Kivu since 2017 and its extension in Kinshasa schools where corruption has taken up residence. They also recommended broadening discussions with other government bodies such as the Ministry of Budget and the Ministry of Finance, stressing that they are much more concerned with the financing of the education sector.

Educating girls saves lives and builds stronger families, communities and economies

Equal access to quality education is vital for the future of her country and the wider world. It is the key to sustainable development. However, achieving quality education remains a challenge. 

Around the world girls suffer from injustice, difficulty accessing school, violence on their way to and at school as well as child marriage and labour. Missing out on an education will mean that girls and women will remain underrepresented in our future leaders. 

Education allows a better life. It is indispensable for ending the generational cycles of poverty and disease and provides the means to achieve sustainable development.

Quality education can enable girls and boys to have the knowledge and skills to behave responsibly and to play an active role in social, economic and political decision-making. 

When an educated child goes from adolescence to adulthood, they have a better chance of growing into an adult who can and will give back to society.  

If more children receive a quality education, they are more likely to send their children to school and help to end the cycle of missing out on an education. 

Since 2017, Centre de Recherche sur l’Anti-Corruption – through its NORAD-funded project “Students Acting for Honesty, Integrity and Equality” – spreads awareness and campaigns for the achievement of the education and gender equality goals set by the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (quality education) and 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

The aim of campaigns organised by the Centre de Recherche sur l’Anti-Corruption is to sensitise parents, decision-makers, opinion leaders and civil society to their effective and efficient commitment to get girls to schools, including those living with disabilities. 

Equal access to education and quality education for all can help address the deeply entrenched and often sexist inequalities in our societies. 

Education for all requires all children to go to school without discrimination. The government must give children the right to education and free primary education, as stipulated in the country’s constitution. 

It is also one of the regulatory provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – the right to education. 

It is an inalienable right, it is an inescapable right, it is a sacred right that must not be mortgaged, it is a fundamental right that opens the doors of life to the human being.

It is a right that is more than a right. It is a right that must be respected.

Integrity Club convinced school officials to build extra toilets and classrooms

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.

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6 Civil Society Organisations trained on Community Integrity Building

From 4 — 6 June, 2018, CERC conducted a three-day capacity building training on Community Integrity Building for 6 Civil Society Organisations from 2 provinces (South-Kivu and North-Kivu) as well the representatives of the Provincial ministry of education. A total of 15 participants has trained to engage in embedding anti-corruption and transparency measures in education sector.

A local network of Integrity Builders has formed amongst the participating CSOs to advocate for the introduction of Integrity Education manual in national curriculum as well for the improvement of education quality.

CERC established integrity clubs in 20 selected secondary schools in Uvira

Le Centre de Recherche sur Anti-Corruption “CERC” has established Integrity Clubs in 20 secondary schools in Uvira territory in the South-Kivu Province. This effort forms part of the activities under the “Student acting for Honesty, Integrity and Equality (SHINE) Project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through Integrity Action and its being implemented in 5 countries, including DRC, Nepal, Occupied Territory of Palestine, Afghanistan and Kenya..

This Project aims to promote among school children a civic character that will result into positive civic engagement that promotes integrity and good governance.

This year, In DRC, the project is being implemented in 20 schools across Uvira city within South Kivu province. In all the selected schools 300 trained students are expected to become Community monitors in championing accountability, competence, ethic, inclusion as well anti-corruption behaviours in their schools and their community as whole.

Since April 2017, CERC has been conducting activities in schools and in community benefiting young people between the ages of 14–19. Young people in schools set up Integrity Clubs that are referred as an independent students forum that engage in various activities that include but are not limited to public speaking, mentoring sessions and public services delivery monitoring. The Integrity Club comprises of not more than 18 pupils.

The clubs are led by a commettee of 5 members elected democratically by others students. The IC leaders use the Integrity Club manual that was developed by the Integrity Action. A brief perusal of the manual shows that it contains assignments that the club is expected to conduct. Amongst these assignments is the Community Integrity Building, where the students invite a role model in monitoring transparency and effectiveness of public services and development projects implemented within their community.

Indeed, Integrity Clubs represent an ideal platform for youth empowerment and character building in nurturing an integrity culture. It is hoped that the 20 established ICs in secondary schools will contribute in fostering a corrupt-free society.

To attain more effectiveness in our endeavor, it is a prerequisite that all stakeholders engaged in this venture (such as Head-teachers, IC facilitators and IC members) join forces together for more coordinated and impactful actions.