CELELEBRATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD HELD ON 16TH JUNE 2014 AT THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION, NYIRAGONGO TERRITORY, RDC
Photo: Sylvester Odundo
In Nyiragongo LRP, the day was celebrated in style with a procession of primary pupils, teachers and other stakeholders, from E.P Munigi/CEBC primary school to the divisional office of education in the territory. During about 15 minutes procession, pupils sung topical songs with clear messages that their right to free primary education among other rights be observed. Many representatives of Provincial Government and local authorities were present. The day aimed at raising awareness of the situation of children in this area, the need for continued improvement in education and to offer an encouragement to people to share something special with these children.
Mr. Masumbuko, a deputy education officer, was concerned, in his speech, about the high percent drop-out of pupils as they advanced in higher classes because of high level of household poverty worsened by incessant armed conflicts. He also noted that all public schools in this area received money allocations from the national kitty to support education but the money was often misappropriated. He called upon the school authorities to become more open, transparent and accountable in managing school funds. The other representatives maintained the need to work together with other stakeholders in order to improve the state of education in Nyiragongo and requested support from humanitarian actors in the area of vocational training for the youth. AFDI coordinator handed a narrative report of a research that was conducted to evaluate the rights of children that had been violated (Plate 8). The report was to shed more light on the predicament that Nyiragongo pupils face. The celebration ended with the leaders in Nyiragongo territory promising that they will do what is humanly possible to have these concerns raised. AAIDRC together with its partner organizations annually commemorates the international day of the African child (IDAC) in its LRP’s.
The 2014 IDAC celebration went with a theme of ‘promoting free, adaptable and quality education as a right to every child and an obligation from both the parent and government to make it happen’. On this, Action Aid DRC has reiterated the need of the government to ensure free education to all. It developed its 2013-2017 CSP with keen interest in increasing children access to quality education and youth participation in local development agendas. Its’ KCP 5 seeks to ensure girls and boys enjoy their right to public education that respects their rights in 5,000 communities.