Kinshasa, 15 Oct 2020 (AFP) – Eleven million girls worldwide are at risk of not going back to school when restrictions by covid-19 are lifted, the UNESCO director general warned on Thursday (15), Audrey Azoulay, on a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“We launched a communication campaign about the need for girls to go back to school,” he said during a visit to a secondary school in Kinshasa, three days after the start of the school year in the country.
The education of girls around the world “regrettably remains very unequal,” said the former French Minister of Culture, unveiling that her education and access to school is a priority for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO).
At his side, the Congolese Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Willy Bakonga, invited UNESCO to support the free public primary education implemented by President Félix Tshisekedi since September 2019 in the DRC.
This measure allowed more than four million children to integrate or reintegrate into the educational system, according to the minister.
Praising this “very ambitious” reform, Azoulay pointed out that, however, there are “huge problems in relation to infrastructure, the number of schools, teacher training and also the ability to finance their salaries”.
Calling on the girls to continue their studies “for as long as possible”, he promised to support the Congolese authorities “in the massive effort that must be made for the quality of education”.
“This is the request we have already made to the World Bank,” he said.
The cost of free education is estimated at about $ 2.64 billion a year, a considerable amount for the DRC, whose budget revenue did not exceed $ 2.5 billion as of September 11, according to the Central Bank of Brazil. parents.