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PRESS RELEASEFebruary 26, 2024

Democratic Republic of Congo: Expanding and Equipping Primary School Classrooms for Better Learning Outcomes

WASHINGTON, February 26, 2024 — A new project aimed at enhancing the quality of primary education in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to enhance children's access to improved learning environments and bolster the standard of teaching practices within primary education. This project is particularly significant given the substantial increase in the number of children enrolled in public primary schools, which saw nearly 4 million more students attend during the 2022-2023 academic year compared to the 2017-2018 academic year, thanks to the implementation of the DRC's free primary education policy.

When I visited primary schools in Kinshasa and the provinces, I was struck by the overcrowded classrooms. School leaders told me about the multiple challenges they face, including teaching and learning materials, qualified teaching staff, and access to water and sanitation in schools. This project comes at the right time to help the government address these challenges,” said Albert Zeufack, World Bank Country Director for the DRC. “The World Bank will continue to work with the government to improve outcomes in a sector that is key to enabling all Congolese to thrive.

With $67 million in funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the Project to Improve the Quality of Primary Education (known by its French acronym as PEQIP) will support the Congolese government's efforts to construct, furnish and equip environmentally-friendly classrooms for all students, including students with disabilities. The project will also help strengthen the effectiveness of teaching and learning practices through the provision of essential teaching and learning materials and regular capacity building for teachers. It will help support teacher management reforms by promoting merit-based recruitment and increasing the number of qualified female teachers at the primary level, among other measures. Finally, the project will support the strengthening of information systems for better sector quality assurance and facilitate decentralized strategic planning.

The PEQIP project provides complementary support to the education sector already supported by World Bank financing, particularly to promote safe and equitable access for girls to secondary education in the provinces (Girls' Learning and Empowerment Project, known as PAAF) and to support the policy of free public primary schools (Equity and System Strengthening in Education, known as PERSE). In addition to supporting infrastructure, school materials, teacher capacity and education system strengthening, PEQIP also includes a Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) that allows for rapid reallocation of project financing in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or crisis that is likely to have a significant immediate adverse economic and/or social impact.



In Washington
Daniella van Leggelo-Padilla


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