Students like no others during the end of year exams

In Ebola-affected areas of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, students take their end of year exams in treatment centers.

Maia Mendjisky (translated from French by Dorsaf James)
31 July 2019

BENI, JULY 2019 - While the majority of high school students head to exam centers, Claude takes his exams alone in his room in isolation, surrounded by nurses and doctors.

Claude takes his exams alone in his room in isolation, surrounded by nurses and doctors.
Alima

“I answered according to the knowledge I acquired at school before I get the disease”, says Claude who has been in care for more than a month at Beni’s Ebola treatment center. “I was infected by my family, I lost my mother, my sister, and my aunt”, Claude says through his room’s pane. Determined to obtain his diploma, Claude decided to take his exams despite the hardships he is going through at this moment.

About thirty kilometers from Beni’s treatment center, another student takes her exams under close supervision. Furaha, admitted since 26 June at the Mangina Treatment Center is on the road to healing and success. “I want to get my life back and especially go to university”, explains Furaha, determined to graduate.

Furaha, admitted since 26 June at the Mangina Treatment Center is on the road to healing and success.
UNICEF DRC

 

UNICEF and the Ministry of Primary, Secondary, and Vocational Education are mobilized to allow each student to take his/her end-of-year exams - wherever he/she may be. Beni’s exam centers were well equipped with hand washing stations and additional thermometers to accommodate the numerous diploma candidates.

Custom solutions are found on a case-by-case basis for students like Claude and Furaha. In order to pass their exams safely, Claude and Furaha benefited from a special supervision: a teaching inspector, a psychosocial assistant, and a nurse were present at their sides throughout the exams. To avoid any risk of contamination, both students' copies were photographed before being sent electronically to the jury for correction.

The first exam session ended with an oral test which was also held within the treatment center. Through their room panes, the two students presented their oral examination before the three members of the jury. “We sincerely hope that the students will be cured by August, because August exams account for 85% of the grade”, says one of them.

After taking their first exams, both students prepare themselves for mathematics, general culture, and history/ geography. Claude and Furaha are determined to graduate high school.

It is necessary to hang on to life because Ebola is not necessarily equal to death ”, concludes Furaha who thinks of choosing a medical profession, perhaps a vocation that was born within the Ebola treatment center.


UNICEF’s response to the Ebola epidemic is supported by the World Bank, the European Commission – European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid OperationsGavi - the Vaccine Alliance, the United States Agency for International Development, the Central Emergency Response Fund and the Government of Japan. UNICEF is also supported by the German Committee for UNICEF, the World Bank Group’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, the United Kingdom and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.