Continuing to study despite schools being shut

More than 4 million pupils have benefited from an educational measure rolled out across the country.

Jean-Paul Nico Luketo (translated from French by Holly-Anne Whyte)
07 July 2020

"Listening to a lesson on the radio is a new experience for me", Merseivic Lutondele, 10, tells us from behind her radio. Like more than 27 million pupils across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Merseivic cannot go to school at the moment due to corona virus. A pupil in her fourth year of primary school, Merseivic listens to her classes each morning on the radio.

UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education to ensure the continuity of inclusive quality education for all the country's children. Today, more than 260 radio stations are broadcasting lessons so pupils at all levels can continue to learn. 

In Luozi, in Kongo-Central province where 337 cases of coronavirus have been recorded, Merseivic is listening to lessons on Radio Zola. Today, she is listening to a spelling lesson. "Complete this phrase with the right word", says the teacher. Merseivic listens carefully to the lesson and works hard to do all the exercises even though distance learning is far from being in the classroom.

"My only regret is that I can't ask the teacher speaking any questions", Merseivic explains, keen to learn more about today's lesson. Hélène, Merseivic's mother, is determined to help her seven children with their distance learning. "When the children have questions, they can't ask them", Hélène explains sadly.

More than 4 million pupils have benefited from an educational measure rolled out across the country with the support of USAID and the Global Partnership for Education. So that every child can access distance learning, UNICEF has distributed exercise books and rechargeable radios to the most vulnerable pupils. 

UNICEF wishes to express its sincere gratitude to  Gavi, the Global Partnership for Education, the Solidarity Response Fund, the DRC Humanitarian Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank GroupUnilever and the Governements of CanadaJapanMalta, the United KingdomGermanySweden and Switzerland for their contributions to the coronavirus response in DRC.