Every child has the right to go to school and learn.

Une petite fille tenant son cartable.


Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. But, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) nearly 7 million children aged 5 to 17 are out of school.

The economic sluggishness caused by the fall in raw material costs, the political fragility resulting from the upsurge of social crises and other natural disasters have not allowed the DRC to achieve universal primary education. This situation is exacerbated by the non-application of the school free measure, however, decreed by the Government. The majority of direct and indirect expenses related to the schooling of children are borne by the parents, including school operating costs and teacher bonuses that are not in the official system or are paid late.

In addition to these economic disparities, there is the uneven distribution of school infrastructure, socio-cultural barriers and other vulnerabilities such as child labor and marriage, early pregnancy and disability. In th country, 52.7% of girls aged 5 to 17 do not attend school.

In terms of quality of education and internal efficiency, the results of the analysis of student achievement demonstrate high repetition rates and dropout. The low rate of qualified teachers and their inequitable distribution are not conducive to promoting quality education.

Un élève souriant devant le tableau de sa salle de classe

Nearly 7 million children aged

5 to 17 are out of school

Une fille tenant un bouquet de fleurs dans sa salle de classe

Half of girls aged 5 to 17

do not go to school.


Every child should complete a quality and relevant basic education.

UNICEF is helping to strengthen national policies, in particular by supporting the significant reduction in the number of out of school children, effective implementation of the free school measure and improvement of pre-primary coverage. In addition, UNICEF is working with the Government to ensure the implementation of the comprehensive curriculum reform package and supported data collection with Governmental counterparts at provincial levels.

To ensure greater effectiveness, UNICEF promotes multi-sectoral actions including child survival and protection, nutrition, water, hygiene and sanitation, and communication for behavior change.

In the midst of conflict and disaster, education can be both life-sustaining and life-saving.  UNICEF supports education for peace and the restoration of the capacity of destabilized institutions. Children are directly involved in the organization of their school, including through clubs and student committees. Actors in the education system benefit from capacity building activities.