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Digitizing education in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Among sectors that are deemed worthy of attention on a continent; education occupies a very important position. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it has been years that education has been presented as an area of focus by decisions makers, despite very little to show for the beautifully articulated promises falling into populations’ ears. Not enough deeds square with pronouncements, which as could be believed, signify existent will or power on the part of rulers to bring about education reforms which in the long run can affect the way students are trained and much later the country’s standing. Explanation maybe resides in the fact that dysfunctions are too many that the little of resources available make but too little of a difference. High education costs force poor families to abandon prospects of having educated children, although education is a constitutional right, at least at primary school level. Shortage of teachers poses another concern. Education programs are underfunded, not developed, at the bottom of the heap compared to other countries. As much as it all deserves urgent solutions, there is no panacea. But some of the innovative ideas and practices gaining currency nowadays are nonetheless compelling. One is digitized education.

Systems that have been devised to facilitate learning thanks to technology effectively enhance students’ learning and its outcomes. To integrate those in Congo’s education apparatus would likely have the same effect, especially at the level of higher education where learners lack educational resources such as libraries, accessibility to up-to-date scientific knowledge, or even teachers in some cases. Digital learning can alleviate the brunt that the latter effectuates on the shoulders of students and on other parties which have a stake in the education sector. It will render students able to easily take a hold of knowledge in an efficient fashion. It will give the possibility to learn wherever one may be found and at schedules of their own choosing. Knowledge sharing as another advantage will make information circulate faster, reducing waste of time and of energy in the quest for knowledge assimilation. It will expand the range of learning opportunities as far as correspondence courses are concerned. With respects to the latter the lack of teachers will not remain a big problem as learners will be having the choice to access other educational platforms, virtual ones, training centers and even universities, all located abroad.

Outside of school and academic circles, availability of knowledge through digital learning systems can help to achieve personalized learning. Personalized learning on its own highly contributes to the development of individual know-how in various fields of relevance while pursuing university programs or other activities in parallel.

There needs however to be support structures to undergird the combination of quality curriculum and information technology tools. Those are prerequisites to setting up viable digital learning systems for which other factors such as means, funds, availability of technological resources, or digital literacy, need to be taken into account.

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