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W O R L D B A N K W O R K I N G P A P E R N O .

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A F R I C A H U M A N D E V E L O P M E N T S E R I E S

Changing the Trajectory


Education and Training for Youth in
Democratic Republic of Congo

Sajitha Bashir

THE WORLD BANK


W O R L D B A N K W O R K I N G P A P E R N O . 1 6 8

Changing the Trajectory


Education and Training for Youth in
Democratic Republic of Congo
Sajitha Bashir

Africa Region Human Development Department


Copyright © 2009
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank
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ISBN-13: 978-0-8213-8002-4
eISBN: 978-0-8213-8003-1
ISSN: 1726-5878 DOI: 10.1596/978-0-8213-8002-4

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been requested.


Contents

Foreword .................................................................................................................................. vii


Abstract ...................................................................................................................................... ix
Acknowledgments .................................................................................................................... x
Executive Summary.................................................................................................................. xi
Situation of Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo, 2006........................................ xii
Characteristics of the Secondary Education and Vocational Training System
in Democratic Republic of Congo ........................................................................... xii
Demand for Skills and Need for a Strategic Vision.....................................................xiv
Perspectives for the Future .............................................................................................. xv
Abbreviations and Acronyms ........................................................................................... xviii
1. Introduction............................................................................................................................ 1
Notes..................................................................................................................................... 3
2. Objectives and Structure of the Report ............................................................................. 4
Notes..................................................................................................................................... 6
3. Structure of Post-primary Education and Training......................................................... 7
Formal Secondary Education ............................................................................................ 7
Governance of Formal Secondary Education.................................................................. 9
Nonformal Education....................................................................................................... 11
Notes................................................................................................................................... 12
4. Situation of Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo, 2006........................................ 13
Notes................................................................................................................................... 16
5. Formal Secondary Education............................................................................................. 19
Characteristics of Students in Secondary Schools ........................................................ 20
Teaching-Learning Conditions in Secondary Schools ................................................. 22
Internal Efficiency ............................................................................................................. 24
Learning Outcomes .......................................................................................................... 24
Notes................................................................................................................................... 29
6. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ........................................ 30
7. Enrollment and Learning Outcomes in Nonformal Education................................... 32
8. Cost Structure of Secondary Education........................................................................... 34
Unit Costs in Secondary Schools..................................................................................... 34
Unit Cost in Nonformal Education................................................................................. 37
Notes................................................................................................................................... 37

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9. Demand for Education and Skills: Findings from the Investment Climate
Assessment ............................................................................................................................... 38
Notes................................................................................................................................... 41
10. Challenges and Constraints............................................................................................. 42
Summary of Challenges ................................................................................................... 42
Demographic Pressures ................................................................................................... 43
Unviable Option: Continuing Status Quo of Exclusive Reliance on the Formal
Education System ...................................................................................................... 44
11. Relevant Lessons from International Experience ........................................................ 46
Structure of Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Education and
Training ...................................................................................................................... 46
Curriculum ........................................................................................................................ 50
Teacher Preparation and Utilization .............................................................................. 50
Notes................................................................................................................................... 51
12. Expanding Opportunities for Democratic Republic of Congo Youth:
Promising Avenues ................................................................................................................. 52
Principles of Reform ......................................................................................................... 52
Feasible Scenarios ............................................................................................................. 52
Impact on Enrollment Status of Youth under 15 Years of Age................................... 57
Coverage and Size of the Formal Education and Training System............................ 60
Physical and Financial Requirements of Expansion .................................................... 61
Financial Requirements of Different Policy Options ................................................... 62
Notes................................................................................................................................... 63
13. Conclusions and Recommendations.............................................................................. 64
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 64
Appendixes............................................................................................................................... 69
Appendix 1. Multilevel Model of Mathematics Score with Students and Schools
Characteristics............................................................................................................ 70
Appendix 2. Determinants of Worker Earnings ........................................................... 72
References................................................................................................................................. 73

Boxes
Box 2.1. Data Sources ................................................................................................................ 5
Box 11.1. Education Reform in South Africa and Madagascar.......................................... 47
Box 12.1. Structure of Simulation Model.............................................................................. 53
Box 12.2. Common Assumption Underlying Three Scenarios .......................................... 56
Contents v

Figures
Figure 3.1. Structure of Education and Training System in Democratic Republic of
Congo, 2005 ........................................................................................................................ 8
Figure 3.2. Approximate Distribution of Students in Secondary Education Type of
School, 2003....................................................................................................................... 10
Figure 4.1. Educational Attainment and Enrollment Status of Youth in Democratic
Republic of Congo, 2006 ................................................................................................. 14
Figure 5.1. Decomposition of Mathematics Score Variance in Grade 8 ........................... 27
Figure 5.2. Decomposition of the Science Score Variance in Grade 8............................... 28
Figure 10.1. Population Growth by Age Group, 2006–22 Projected ................................. 43
Figure 10.2. Growth in Enrollment, by Level, 2000–22 Projected:
Uncontrolled Student Flow ............................................................................................ 44
Figure 12.1. Investment in Education and Training of Youth under Scenarios 1–3,
15–19 Year Olds, 2015...................................................................................................... 58
Figure 12.2. Investment in Education and Training of Youth under Different
Scenarios, 20–24 Year Olds, 2020 ................................................................................... 59
Figure 13.1. Possible New Structure of Education and Training ...................................... 67

Tables
Table 3.1. Nonformal Education System in Democratic Republic of Congo................... 12
Table 4.1. Status of Youth Population, 2006 (estimates, %) ............................................... 17
Table 4.2. Education Level of the “Out-of-School” Youth Population,
2006 (estimates) ................................................................................................................ 18
Table 5.1. Estimated Distribution of Democratic Republic of Congo Secondary Students
by Stream, 2006 ................................................................................................................ 20
Table 5.2. Age Distribution of Students in Grade 8 (2nd Year Secondary) Students ....... 21
Table 5.3. Distribution of Secondary Students by Parental Level of Education,
Rural/Urban, and Type of School (%) ........................................................................... 21
Table 5.4. Distribution of Grade 8 Students by Family Income Source, Rural/Urban, and
Type of School (%) ........................................................................................................... 22
Table 5.5. Grade 8 Students with Textbooks and School Supplies (%) ............................ 22
Table 5.6. Education and Initial Training of Grade 8 Mathematics and Science Teachers
(column %)........................................................................................................................ 23
Table 5.7. Availability of Classroom Supplies in Secondary Schools (%) ........................ 24
Table 5.8. Average Scores of Grade 8 Students in Mathematics and Science (%)........... 25
Table 5.9. Grade 8 Students with a Score Lower than 25% and Higher than 75%
in Mathematics ................................................................................................................. 25
Table 5.10. Average Mathematics and Science Scores of Grade 8 Students
by Province (%) ................................................................................................................ 26
Table 5.11. Average Mathematics and Science Scores of Grade 8 Students by
Type of School (%) ........................................................................................................... 26
Table 8.1. Unit Costs in Public Secondary Schools, 2005.................................................... 35
Table 8.2. Distribution and Average Enrollment Size of Secondary Schools by
Type of Program, 2001–02 .............................................................................................. 36
Table 8.3. Norms for Class Size in Secondary Education................................................... 36
vi Contents

Table 8.4. Compliance with Class Size Norms in Secondary Schools (%) ....................... 37
Table 9.1. Median Monthly Compensation in Democratic Republic of Congo and
Selected African
Countries (US$) ................................................................................................................ 38
Table 9.2. Median Monthly Earning by Worker and Firm Category in Democratic
Republic of Congo (US$)................................................................................................. 39
Table 11.1. Structure of Lower Secondary Education in Different Countries ................. 48
Table 11.2. Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Comparison of
Program Types and Timing............................................................................................ 49
Table 12.1. Policy Goals of Scenarios .................................................................................... 55
Table 12.2. Coverage of the Education System, 2015 Projected......................................... 61
Table 12.3. Teacher and Classroom Requirements, 2015 Projected .................................. 62
Table 12.4. Summary of Financial Requirements for the Education Sector, 2015 ........... 63
Table 12.5. Subsectoral Distribution of Government Expenditure on Education,
2015 (%) ............................................................................................................................. 63
Table 13.1 Summary of Benefits and Risks of Three Scenarios ......................................... 65
Table A1.1. Multilevel Model of Mathematics Score with Students and Schools
Characteristics a ................................................................................................................ 70
Table A1.2. Multilevel Model of Science Score with Students and Schools
Characteristics a ................................................................................................................ 71
Table A2.1. Determinants of Worker Earnings.................................................................... 72
Foreword

T his report builds on the World Bank’s Country Status Report (CSR) for the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) published in 2005 and focuses on the
policy challenges and options for developing post-primary education and training. The
CSR delivered the first comprehensive diagnostic study of the education sector and
laid the groundwork for development of a sector strategy and several sectoral
interventions by development partners in primary education. While ensuring universal
primary completion should continue to be the top priority of policy makers, they can ill
afford to ignore the serious constraints on economic growth posed by the extremely
low levels of human capital of the labor force.
The challenges outlined in Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth
are not unique to the DRC. The World Bank’s Secondary Education in Africa (SEIA)
synthesis report highlights many of the common issues faced by Sub-Saharan African
countries. Nonetheless, the sheer magnitude of these challenges, resulting from the size
of the country and over three decades of economic decline and several years of war, is
overwhelming. Forty-eight percent of the population is below the age of 15. In 2006,
the gross enrollment at the primary level was 65 percent with only 29 percent
completing primary school. Approximately 68 percent of 12–14 year olds, numbering 3
million, are not in school. Eighty percent of youth ages 15–19 years (5 million
adolescents) are not in school. Nine out of ten in this group have less than six years of
education. The bulk of the new entrants into the labor force over the next two decades
will not have completed primary education. Long-term economic growth in the DRC
will depend critically on the ability of the government to raise the educational
attainment of these new entrants.
This report highlights that many constraints to raising the educational attainment
of young people reside in the education and training system, which has been run down
for three decades due to lack of public financing. But solely providing additional
resources to expand the existing system would not be an effective policy option. While
quality is extremely low as would be expected, basic structural problems also limit
flexibility and access. Those who complete primary education have few alternatives to
completing a secondary cycle that lasts six years. Vocational training programs are also
of long duration and provide limited competencies. Higher secondary education is
divided into multiple streams, including a technical stream offering over 30 narrow
craft and occupational specializations of limited relevance to the labor market. Finally,
the existing system has a high unit cost structure.
This report provides detailed simulations of alternative policy options for
expanding post-primary education and training, in terms of the impact on two critical
outcome variables that will affect decision making: the educational attainment of
young people and the cost of the policy. Three scenarios are presented in the report:
expansion with the status quo, moderate reforms involving elimination of specialized
streams at the secondary level and introduction of alternative nonformal education at
both the primary and secondary levels, and structural reforms that include expansion

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of compulsory primary education to eight years with relatively few graduates


transiting to secondary education. Universal completion of primary education is
clearly required for educational attainment of youth, but introducing alternative
education programs for out-of-school children will also be critical. Providing eight
years of universal education would dramatically improve the educational attainment
of the 15–19 year old group by 2015. With various cost-rationalization measures, all
three scenarios are fiscally sustainable, although different magnitudes of resources are
required for different levels of the education system.
While the DRC is the central focus in this study, policy makers in other countries
will also find the discussion of the trade-offs between different policies of interest.
Education policy usually focuses only on those within the education system, but
programs for the out-of-school children may be the most rapid way to raise capacity
within the labor force. Because of the major challenges in designing and implementing
such a large-scale program, out-of-school children and youth receive scant attention
from policy makers. However, addressing large-scale challenges may be worthwhile
given the economic and social cost of doing nothing for the millions of youth in a
country like the DRC. Similarly, changing the structure of the education system to
lengthen the primary cycle has long-term benefits for the labor force, especially when
the international trend is to move towards eight or nine years of basic education. This
strategy may also reduce costs since secondary education is invariably more expensive
than primary. Such reforms can only be carried out, however, with sustained political
support and the enhancement of technical and management capacity within the
education system. Further, there are trade-offs between the focus on rapidly attaining
eight years of basic education and the development of higher levels of the education
system.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth presents analyses and
options that can provide policy makers with elements to inform the development of a
holistic policy for youth in one of Africa’s the most impoverished countries. The future
of the DRC depends critically on whether it harnesses the full potential of its youthful
population.

Yaw Ansu
Director
Human Development Department
Africa Region
The World Bank
Abstract

A country with enormous economic and social potential, the Democratic Republic
of Congo faces the twin challenges of ensuring universal primary education and
expanding opportunities for post-primary education and training for its youth. The
stock of human capital, one measure of which is the educational attainment of the labor
force, is extremely low in the DRC and can constrain long-term economic growth. The
low primary completion rate of 29 percent (2006) is a contributor to this low
educational attainment and at the same time limits the rate at which post-primary
education can be expanded.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth presents an analysis of the
current educational attainment and current enrollment status of youth in the 12 to 24
year age group and the education and training opportunities open to them in the
formal and informal sectors. Using the results from a simulation model that
incorporates enrollment in alternative education programs and the educational
attainment of the out-of-school population, it discusses alternative scenarios for the
development of the post-primary sector. The results of each scenario are evaluated
with respect to the impact on the human capital accumulation of young people and the
sustainability of public expenditures. The report offers some options for rapidly raising
the educational attainment of young people who will enter the labor force in the next
two decades, including expanding opportunities for alternative education and training
for out-of-school children, extension of the primary cycle, and reorganization of
secondary and technical/vocational education to reduce early specialization.
This study will be of interest to other African countries, education professionals,
and staff of development organizations as they grapple with the challenge of
expanding access to post-primary education in the context of low primary achievement
and limited resources.

ix
Acknowledgments

T his paper was written by Sajitha Bashir and incorporates analysis (i) on education
statistics, the household survey data, and projections using a simulation model
produced by Jean-Bernard Rasera (consultant and education economist at the Institut
de Recherche sur l’Education, Dijon); and (ii) on the Monitoring Learning Achievement
survey of 8th grade students by Bruno Suchaut (consultant and Director of the Institut
de Recherche sur l’Education, Dijon). Anne-Sophie Samjee (consultant) assisted in
preparing tables and graphs and Hope Neighbor (consultant) prepared a first draft of
international experiences. The document was processed by Nadege Nouviale.
The support of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Education and
other ministries associated with education and training in providing data and other
insights into the functioning of the system is gratefully acknowledged. Various officials
of these ministries as well as donor partners gave useful comments on a first draft of
the paper. Within the World Bank, Mourad Ezzine, Laura Frigenti, Susan Opper, and
Jee-Peng Tan provided helpful comments on the paper, as did the two peer reviewers,
Amit Dar and Elizabeth King.
The study was partly funded by the Education Program Development Fund.

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Executive Summary

T he government of the Democratic Republic of Congo faces difficult choices


regarding the future development of its education system, especially at the post-
primary levels. With an estimated primary education gross enrollment ratio (GER) of
65 percent and a completion rate of 29 percent in 2006, the clear policy priority is to
ensure rapid universalization of primary education. However, the government and its
development partners can ill afford to ignore the second critical challenge of expanding
opportunities for post-primary education and training for DRC youth.
The educational attainment of the labor force provides one measure of the human
capital stock in the population, which contributes to productivity increase and
economic growth. Raising the educational attainment of new cohorts that enter the
labor market is the main way through which developing countries are able to raise the
human capital stock. Due to low primary completion rates, a huge proportion of the
youth population aged 12–24 years old, who comprise the majority of new entrants in
the labor force, have already left the education system with very low levels of human
capital, and of those that are still enrolled, many will not complete even lower
secondary education. The low stock of human capital in the labor force can constrain
long-term economic growth. Equally significant, the growing numbers of young
people who are out of school and out of work pose a serious risk to the fragile social
fabric of the country.
This paper argues that in order to rapidly raise the educational attainment of
young people who will enter the labor force in the next 10–15 years, DRC’s education
policy should focus on three issues. These are:

1. Ensure universal completion of primary education of quality.


2. Create opportunities for alternative education and training for out-of-school
children under the age of 15, including possibilities to reenter formal
education.
3. Consider the reorganization of the secondary education and
technical/vocational education and training to move towards universal
completion of eight years of education and reduce specialization at the lower
secondary and upper secondary levels to achieve a simplified curriculum,
higher quality, and lower cost structure.

This paper shows that provision of alternative education and moving towards
universal completion of eight years of education can have dramatic impacts on the
educational attainment of young people. The difference in impact on youth outcomes
between maintaining the status quo and undertaking a structural reform becomes
more visible over time. Moreover, this scenario is fiscally sustainable given three
conditions. These are:

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1. Enrollment growth at the post-primary level is managed. The emphasis,


especially in higher education, should be to improve quality and relevance.
2. There is a greater reliance on private financing, especially for construction and
textbooks.
3. Cost-rationalization measures in the provision of formal secondary education
are adopted.

Situation of Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo, 2006


Between the ages of 12 and 24 years, the foundations for learning and skills are laid.
This age group’s educational attainment (representing the stock of human capital) and
current enrollment (representing ongoing investments in education) are important for
the human capital stock of the labor force in the future. In this paper, this broad age
group is broken down into three subcategories:

ɶ 12–14 years. This constitutes the theoretical age group for lower secondary
education. Of the 4.35 million in this age group, 68 percent (3 million) were out
of school. In this latter group, nearly all (98 percent) had not completed six
years of education. Just over 30 percent (1.35 million) were in school, mainly in
formal education. Half of these were still enrolled in primary school.
ɶ 15–19 years. This constitutes the age group who should have completed
primary education and could be enrolled in secondary education or has
entered the labor force. Of the 6.62 million, close to 80 percent (5.2 million)
were out of school (which included 33 percent who reported being in the labor
force). Almost nine-tenths of those out of school had less than six years of
primary education and were functionally illiterate. Approximately 20 percent
of this age group (1.4 million) were still enrolled, the overwhelming
proportion in secondary education.
ɶ 20–24 years. This is the age group who would have completed secondary
education and could be enrolled in tertiary education and/or be in the labor
force. Of the 5.9 million individuals in this age group, approximately 93
percent were out of school (61 percent were in the labor force). Three-quarters
of this group would be considered functionally illiterate. Only 7 percent of 20–
24 year olds (0.4 million) were still enrolled in education, approximately
equally distributed in secondary and tertiary education.

Taking the 12–19 year age group as a whole, about 8.2 million were out of school and over
90 percent of them had less than primary education. The majority also reported being out of
the labor force.

Characteristics of the Secondary Education


and Vocational Training System in Democratic Republic of Congo
Enrollment patterns in formal secondary education. After six years of primary
education, students can enter either the long cycle formal secondary education
program comprising two years of lower secondary education (tronc commun), followed
by four years of higher secondary education, or the post-primary vocational program,
Executive Summary xiii

which offers courses varying from 1–3 years. In 2006, the total enrollment in all these
programs was approximately 2 million. Less than 1 percent of secondary students were
enrolled in the post-primary vocational program. In higher secondary education
program, there are four streams: general, teacher training, technical, and vocational.
Again, the vocational stream attracted less than 1 percent of students. The remainder
was distributed more or less equally across the other three streams.
Access to post-primary education and training is inequitable. The majority of
those who attend secondary education are from the wealthier and more educated
segments of the population. This is due to the high level of primary dropout, the
difficulties of access, and the high opportunity costs of attending a long-duration
secondary education.
Quality is low. Data on learning outcomes and teaching-learning conditions show
the following:

ɶ Poor learning outcomes. In 2006 the average score on 8th grade mathematics
and science tests was 40 and 46 percent, respectively, with less than 5 percent
of students displaying “mastery” in mathematics.
ɶ Significant differences in learning outcomes across provinces and among
schools.
ɶ Difficulties associated with teaching in a language––French––that neither
teachers nor students master.
ɶ Poorly qualified teachers. The majority have only a higher secondary
qualification and no preservice training.
ɶ Virtually no teaching/learning materials in classrooms. Only a blackboard and
chalk are universally available.
ɶ Limited availability of textbooks. Fewer than 20 percent of 8th grade pupils
have textbooks.
ɶ Very high repetition rates. Only half the students reach the terminal year
without repeating a year.
ɶ High failure rates in the terminal examination leading to repetition and
students leaving the system without formal qualification after primary
education.

Structural problems limit flexibility and access. The system has the following
characteristics:

ɶ For those who complete primary education, there are no credible alternatives
to the lengthy (six-year) formal secondary education cycle. There is no formal
certification after the tronc commun. Students who have completed the tronc
commun have no additional advantage over those who have completed six
years and have no other options if they fail to get into higher secondary.
ɶ The vocational training programs at both junior and secondary level also are
of long duration and face low demand.
ɶ Higher formal secondary education is highly structured with little possibility
of transfer between streams. The technical stream alone offers 30 subject
combinations, with narrow craft and occupational specializations
xiv Executive Summary

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) does not provide
knowledge and skills for the labor market. TVET has no employer participation in
identifying needs or certifying the quality of graduates. Another major gap in the
TVET system is that it does not provide any skills training for workers in rural areas
and in the informal sector. The low demand for vocational courses reflects the
perceived low quality and relevance of programs.
Nonformal education and training have limited coverage. According to
household survey estimates, fewer than 200,000 individuals were enrolled in
nonformal education. The traditional government-run programs suffer from
fragmentation across many ministries, underfunding, and virtually no articulation
with formal programs. A better example of nonformal education is the UNICEF-
funded program for out-of-school children at the primary level, which has a relatively
high success rate in the primary leaving exam and offers reentry to the formal system.
The unit cost structure is relatively high, especially in upper secondary
education and vocational training. This is the result of very low pupil-teacher ratios
(average of 20), small class sizes resulting from small schools, and high degree of
specialization in the technical streams. The unit cost in the latter was about three times
that in the general academic stream. Teacher salaries (including parental contributions)
are low in absolute terms, and below that obtained by unskilled workers in the formal
sector.
Despite the deterioration of the education system in general, there are some
strengths that provide opportunities for further development. These are:

ɶ A planning framework, including the creation of schools and appointment of


teachers, has survived years of conflict. Although many norms are violated,
the existence of this framework is itself a strength.
ɶ A majority of schools are under private management, which traditionally
received public funding, and hence are treated as part of the public sector.
ɶ A regulated system of household financing of teachers’ salaries and other
operational expenditures has enabled the formal education system to survive
when public financing collapsed.

Demand for Skills and Need for a Strategic Vision


DRC employers do not report a shortage of skills as a major constraint. This is not
surprising because, on the one hand, the education system has continued to grow
despite years of conflict and, on the other hand, the upswing in economic activity is
recent.
However, skills shortages are likely to emerge as more sectors contribute to
growth. The availability of skilled labor is attracts foreign direct investment (FDI), and
there are strategic reasons for the government to augment this pool.
There is a broad consensus that a “human capital threshold” of eight or nine years
of basic education of acceptable quality is required for countries to compete in a
globalized, technology-driven economy. Public policy should aim to raise the
educational attainment of workers in line with this strategic requirement.
Executive Summary xv

Perspectives for the Future


The paper presents three scenarios for the development of the post-primary education
sector that assume 100 percent completion of primary education by 2015. We evaluate
the scenarios with respect to two criteria: the impact on a rise in the human capital
accumulation of young people, as given by the educational attainment of those who
have terminated their education and the proportion of young people who are currently
enrolled (hence, investments are continuing); and the sustainability of public and
overall expenditures. The impacts are evaluated using a simulation model. The model
has two unique features—the introduction of alternative education programs and the
simulation of the educational attainment of the out-of-school population. An additional
criterion in determining the appropriate policy option would be implementation
challenges.

ɶ Status Quo—Scenario 1. Maintains the existing secondary education structure


and does not expand alternative education. Reduces the transition rate to
secondary education to 45 percent to make costs sustainable.
ɶ Moderate Reform—Scenario 2. Eliminates specialization at the secondary level
and expands alternative education at both primary and lower secondary levels
for the 8–15 year age group, with reentry allowed into formal education.
Reduces the transition rate as in Scenario 1.
ɶ Structural Reform—Scenario 3. Grade 8 becomes the terminal year of education
for the majority of students. In the simulation model, most students are
channeled to the short duration post-primary cycle after grade 6, with only 10
percent going to the academic tronc commun. Other assumptions remain as in
Scenario 1.

All 3 scenarios also assume cost-rationalization measures. These include increasing


class sizes and the pupil-teacher ratio and reducing the ratio of administrative staff to
teachers. They also assume common quality enhancing expenditure, including
gradually increasing teachers’ salary levels to that of unskilled workers in the formal
sector (equivalent to about four times the per capita GDP). The new critical choices
regarding financing are that all school-based recurrent expenditures (personnel and
operating expenditures) would be borne by the state, while pupil expenditures (on
textbooks and supplies) and construction costs are financed privately. In primary
education, on the other hand, all costs would be borne by the public sector.
Macroeconomic and other assumptions are common to all three scenarios.
The main conclusions are as follows:

ɶ Ensuring primary 100 percent primary completion will substantially raise the
educational attainment of the 15–19 year age group in 2015 compared to 2006.
Between 40–45 percent will have 6 years education in all three scenarios.
ɶ The introduction of alternative education programs with substantial coverage
for the 8–15 year age group and assumptions regarding reentry will further
enhance the educational attainment of this age group. In the status quo
xvi Executive Summary

scenario, almost 50 percent of youth will have less than primary education; in
the other two scenarios, only 30 percent will be in this category
ɶ Providing eight years of universal education (structural reform scenario) will
dramatically improve the educational attainment of the cohort by 2015. By
2020, almost 80 percent of the cohort will have completed eight years of
education.
ɶ However, the moderate reform scenario produces a higher proportion of
youth who have completed twelve years or more of education, because of the
assumptions regarding student flow between sectors.
ɶ All three scenarios are fiscally sustainable, under the cost and financing
assumptions. However, the structural reform scenario requires substantially
higher allocation of public resources, especially to secondary education.

An important inference is that without introducing alternative education


programs, the DRC cannot hope to rapidly improve the educational outcomes of its
youth. Clearly, there are major implementation challenges with designing a program
such as this on a reasonably large scale. However, the risks of ignoring the millions of
out-of-school youth with little or no education must be weighed against these
challenges.
The structural reform has major benefits, but it also poses challenges for designing
and implementing a major reform. Sustained political support is required along with
building up of technical and management capacity.
Finally, there are trade-offs between rapidly attaining universal education to eight
years and development of higher levels of the education system.
The paper ends with five broad recommendations:
1. Create a holistic policy framework for youth aged 12–19 years.
Any policy framework should consider both those in school and those out of school,
and include formal and alternative mechanisms.
2. Reconsider the structure of school education and TVET.
While the simulation presents one possible option for universalizing eight years of
education, it is not the only one. Another option is to extend primary education to
eight years or include the tronc commun as part of a “basic education” cycle, with a
restructuring of secondary education between grades 9–12. This would also include
eliminating the early vocational track and possibly providing technical education and
vocational training only after grade 10. Alternative schooling would be an integral part
of the education system. The goal could be to move fairly rapidly to universal grade 8
completion (though not as accelerated as in Scenario 3) and greater though still
selective access to higher levels.
3. Cost sharing and demand-side interventions are essential.
No matter what options are chosen, the government cannot bear all the costs of
secondary education. In addition to the expenditures included in the model, additional
targeted interventions for girls, children from remote areas, orphans, and so forth may
Executive Summary xvii

be required to offset opportunity costs or other private expenses of attending


secondary level programs.
4. Prepare detailed strategies for quality improvement and improving access.
Once the broad policy direction is chosen, further detailed studies are required
especially in the areas of curriculum reorganization, teacher, textbooks, and school
construction to design cost-effective strategies that can be implemented.
5. Improve governance and management capacity.
No reform of post-primary education and training can take place without delineating
responsibilities and accountabilities between various levels of government (central,
provinces, and lower), between the public and private sectors, and at the school level.
Further, technical and management capacity needs to be built up in critical areas.
Although the challenges are great, the DRC government and people, as well as
donors, will need to make considered choices and adopt new strategies to expand and
improve education for the youth of the country. This will contribute to the agenda of
broad-based and equitable economic growth.
Abbreviations and Acronyms

CAP Vocational Aptitude Certificate (Certificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle)


CFP Vocational Training Centers (Centres de Formation Professionnelle)
CP Centre professionelle
CSR Country Status Report
DRC Democratic Republic of Congo
EFA Education for All
FC Congolese franc
FDI Foreign direct investment
GER Gross enrollment ratio
ICA Investment Climate Assessment
ICT Information and communications technology
IDA International Development Association
INPP Institut National de Préparation Professionnelle
INS National Institute of Statistics (Institut National de Statistiques)
MAP Vocational Apprenticeship Houses (Maisons d’Apprentissage
Professionnel)
MASF Ministry of Social and Family Affairs (Ministère des Affaires Sociales et
Famille)
MDG Millennium Development Goal
MJS Ministry of Youth and Sports (Ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports)
MLA Monitoring of Learning Achievement (survey)
MTPS Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (Ministère du Travail et de la
Prévoyance Sociale)
NGO Nongovernmental organization
n.s. Not significant
SSA Sub-Saharan Africa
TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training
UN United Nations
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
WBAATI World Bank Africa-Asia Trade and Investment
WDR World Development Report

xviii
CHAPTER 1

Introduction

E merging from a decade-long conflict and the collapse of public finances over
almost two decades, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
faces stark choices regarding the future development of its education system,
specifically secondary education and training. In most of the country, the school
system as well as the universities have survived sustained largely by private
household financing and governed by the basic administrative framework that existed
prior to the conflict. The “public” education system is so called because it includes
government schools and private institutions that formerly received public subsidies
and are governed by the basic regulations of public institutions, even though all are
now are largely privately financed. This public system has been supplemented by the
vigorous growth of purely private institutions. As public finances are stabilized and
the country receives external aid for education, choices regarding a subsectoral strategy
for secondary education will become very important.
An IDA grant of US$150 million approved in June 2007 provides much-needed
financing for the public education sector. Of this, approximately US$130 million will go
to primary education and support the reduction of school fees by increasing public
funding of teacher salaries, free textbooks, and classroom rehabilitation. The project
objectives are to raise the primary gross enrollment ratio (GER) from an estimated 64
percent in 2007 to 75 percent in 2012, and the primary completion rate from 29 percent
to 35 percent over the same period.
Despite the pressing and incontrovertible needs of primary education, the DRC
can ill afford to delay the development of a strategy to upgrade the skills of its youth.
The World Bank’s recent study on secondary education in Africa, summarizing
international experience, states that “Sustained economic growth is unlikely to happen
unless a human capital threshold has been reached. Competitiveness in tomorrow’s
global economy will require workers with at least a basic education of 9-10 years of
acceptable quality and widely available opportunities for further training”.1 Further,
the report argues that “Linear expansion of existing systems is not an option, especially
given the constraint on resources.” These issues are pertinent for the DRC. In the
absence of a change in approach, the majority of new workers will continue to enter the
labor force over the next decade without having completed primary education (and
hence essentially functionally illiterate) or without junior secondary education.
A strategic vision is required because, clearly, the lack of educated and skilled
workers (leaving aside specialized professions) is not an immediate constraint on the
growth of the formal sector in the DRC. Less than one-fifth of the manufacturing firms
sampled in the recent Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) survey indicated that the

1
2 World Bank Working Paper

availability of educated workers is a severe or major constraint for future expansion.2


This fact is hardly surprising given the severe shortage of basic infrastructure and
limited access to finance and other factors that have an immediate effect on firm
operations––all of which were reported as binding constraints. Moreover, the absolute
number of graduates with post-primary qualifications exceeds the annual labor market
requirement because the education system in the DRC has sustained itself and even
expanded, despite the lack of public funding while, until recently, economic growth
stagnated.
There are several reasons to take a longer term view. First, in comparison with
other Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, the educational attainment of DRC’s
population and workforce is much lower. As the country competes in an increasingly
global environment and with other SSA countries, the average education level will
become a factor in attracting new investment. Second, even in the medium term, the
quality of these graduates needs to be improved. The adoption of new technologies,
especially information and communications technology (ICT), and the associated
changes in internal organizational and work practices require different competencies
and skills, even among entry-level workers. Third, the lack of skills can be a constraint
in the informal sector, which employs the majority of workers.
International trends in access to post-primary education are important to bear in
mind as the DRC develops an appropriate forward-looking policy. Most developing
countries have moved from seeing primary education as the terminal level to universal
completion of junior secondary education and gradual expansion of senior secondary
education. This transition has only recently begun in Sub-Saharan Africa, but several
countries such as South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia have already attained 80
percent enrollment rates in junior secondary education, while others, particularly in
Anglophone Africa, are moving towards universal basic education of 9–10 years.
Despite the specificity of the DRC context, these broad international trends need to be
taken into account in developing a coherent policy.
The preparation of an education sector strategy, including secondary and higher
education, is a priority of the government and of all the partners. The Country Status
Report (CSR) on Education in the DRC published by the World Bank in 2005 provided
the first comprehensive diagnostic study of the sector and laid the basis for the
development of a strategy.3
Building on the analysis contained in the CSR, this study focused especially on the
post-primary education and training system. A point of departure from the CSR was to
examine the status of the youth population as a whole, including those who have
discontinued education, rather than to focus exclusively on those enrolled in the formal
secondary education system. This approach is similar to that of the World Development
Report 2006 and its emphasis on developing policies to enable investment in skills in
the critical formative years before a cohort enters the labor market.4
Several studies are being undertaken by the government and partners to support
the development of a sector strategy. This paper makes a contribution to this work by
undertaking a detailed analysis of the situation of youth, the formal and non-formal
secondary education system and presenting options for expanding opportunities for
education and training of youth in DRC.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 3

Notes
1
World Bank, 2008a.
2
World Bank, 2007.
3
World Bank, 2005a.
4
World Bank, 2006.
CHAPTER 2

Objectives and
Structure of the Report

The study on post-primary education and training had two main objectives:

1. To identify the main issues and present options for expanding access to formal
secondary education and improving its quality, including restructuring lower
secondary and upper secondary education.
2. To present alternatives for the delivery and financing of education and
training services for youth outside the formal secondary/vocational education
system, for entry into the labor market or reentry into the formal system.

This paper discusses findings and conclusions relating to both these points, based
on (i) an analysis of available secondary data and (ii) projections of possible scenarios,
based on the country context and needs and relevant international experience. The
analysis explicitly considers the stock and flow of the out-of-school population that
will determine the educational profile of the cohorts who will enter the labor market in
the next 10 years. This analysis is done through simulations of the projected population
of different age groups and the varying educational attainment that would result from
different policy choices. An important contribution of this report is to suggest policy
directions based on alternative scenarios for the development of the skills of youth
taking into account opportunities in both the formal and alternative education and
training system. The paper does not present detailed alternatives to the formal system.
This task would need to be undertaken after strategic policy decisions are taken
regarding the development of the sector.1
The paper builds on the findings and conclusions of the CSR. Four broad issues
were identified: (i) the relatively low quantitative coverage at the primary level with
great inequalities in access and uncontrolled expansion at the secondary and higher
education levels; (ii) a serious degradation of quality at all levels; (iii) a cumbersome
and outdated system of educational administration; and (iv) very low levels of
expenditures and an inefficient and inequitable system of financing. The high
transition rate between primary and junior secondary education (about 85 percent),
which had apparently increased in the 1990s, could only be sustained because
relatively few children completed primary education.
The CSR concluded that the following policy questions will be critical: (i) setting
realistic goals for quantitative coverage for each subsector and the extent of provision

4
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 5

in the public sector; (ii) determining strategies consistent with the goals within each
subsector; (iii) fiscally sustainable costs and cost-sharing with parents that is feasible
and equitable; and (iv) identifying key reforms in governance and education
administration to support the goals of improved quality and efficiency .
The rest of this paper is structured in several sections. Chapter 3 outlines the
structure of formal and nonformal post-primary education and training programs.
Chapter 4 presents a detailed analysis of the current status of youth in the DRC,
classified according to age groups and activity status. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 cover the
issues in formal, TVET, and nonformal education and training, respectively, including
enrollment, internal efficiency, and quality and costs. Costs of existing secondary and
vocational training programs are presented in the chapter 8, followed by an analysis of
labor market outcomes from the Investment Climate Assessment in Chapter 9. After a
brief summary of the challenges and constraints facing DRC (Chapter 10), Chapter 11
presents a summary of international experiences that are of relevance to the DRC.
Chapter 12 offers perspectives for expanding post-primary opportunities, based on
a discussion of alternative policy options, a presentation of the results of quantitative
simulations of these options. The results include the impact on the activity status of
youth and the physical and financial requirements. Finally, Chapter 13 discusses
conclusions and recommendations.

Box 2.1. Data Sources

The report is based on an analysis of the school enrollment statistics, a survey of learning achievement
and data collected through interviews, and field visits during a mission in 2006. During the mission, data
was collected from the Institut National des Statistiques on the activity status of the youth population
and from various ministries on nonformal and vocational training programs. Due to the political situation
in the DRC, additional visits were not possible.
Enrollment and demographic data
Population estimates by age group are taken from the United Nations. The last census in the DRC was
conducted more than four decades ago.
The last published education statistics for the whole country date from 2001–02. Although data are
collected annually, those of 2002–03 were still being processed manually as of 2006. Enrollment for the
years since 2002–03 has been estimated using projections from the 2001–02 and demographic
a
projections from the United Nations. These estimates have been updated for 2006 in this report.
The estimated enrollment figures for school education appear to be validated by another source. An
education statistics report was published for the province of Bas Congo for the year 2004–05, with the
b
assistance of UNICEF. The estimates for this province are roughly consistent with our estimates.
As described in the CSR, household survey data seem to seriously overestimate enrollment in primary
c
and secondary education. The MICS 2, conducted in 2001–02, for instance, estimated the primary and
secondary GER at 93 percent and 39 percent, respectively. These estimates appear highly unlikely,
compared to the 64 percent and 23 percent estimated using school statistics and UN population data. A
2004 household survey (1-2-3) covering employment, the informal sector, and household consumption
estimated the primary GER to be 90 percent and the secondary GER at 56 percent.
(Box continues on next page)
6 World Bank Working Paper

Box 2.1 (continued)

The CSR presents the reasons why these estimates may be unreliable, including households over-
reporting enrollment status. For example, children who are formally enrolled but not regularly attending
due to inability to pay may be reported as enrolled in school by their parents but not be registered as
enrolled in the education statistics. Almost all key informants testify to the large number of children who
are out of school, and primary enrollment ratios of 90 percent seem highly unlikely given the DRC’s
economic and social situation. This report therefore uses the enrollment figures projected from the
school statistics.
Enrollment in nonformal education and training
As there is no regular data collection for these programs, statistics were collected from the ministries
involved in these programs during the mission. The reliability of these statistics cannot be verified.
However, the relatively limited coverage of these programs is confirmed by the 2004 household survey
(1-2-3) as well, which indicates that approximately only 186,000 people were enrolled in a nonformal
program, or less than 0.6 percent of the population aged 6 years and above. The estimates of
enrollment by age provided in this report are very approximate, but they are appropriate as far as the
order of magnitude is concerned.
Achievement in secondary education
The only available nationwide data comes from the Monitoring of Learning Achievement (MLA) survey
conducted in May 2005 in which students of 4th grade (primary) and 8th grade (2nd year of the
secondary cycle) were tested in mathematics and science. The stratified, proportionate sample of
schools was drawn from the 11 provinces of the country and the public and private sectors. Within the
selected schools, one 4th grade or one 8th grade class was selected. Twenty students were randomly
selected from each class for the tests.
The universe of the sample comprised the public and private schools enumerated in the education
statistics of 2001–02 that had at least one 4th grade or 8th grade class. The final 8th grade sample
consisted of 3,365 students drawn from 187 secondary schools. Besides the tests, questionnaires were
administered to the sample students, mathematics and science teachers teaching the class, and school
heads to collect information on the school and class environment and student background.
The MLA data provide important insights regarding the academic achievement of students and the
condition of teachers and schools. However, many variables, for instance, relating to pedagogical
practices, are imperfectly captured because they were self-reported. Furthermore, the cross-sectional
survey method, which assesses achievement and teaching-learning conditions and processes at one
point in time, limits the analysis of the determinants of achievement. Learning outcomes are influenced
by the cumulative learning experience of the student and, without a pre-test baseline, it is difficult to
assess the contribution of the school conditions on learning.
Activity status by age
Data for persons in the labor force for the age group 10–24 years, taken from the 1-2-3 household
survey conducted in 2004–05 were provided by the Institut National des Statistiques (INS). The survey
covered employment, household consumption, and the informal sector.
The number of persons out of the labor force and out of school is calculated as a residual, using the
population estimates of the UN.
Notes: a. See World Bank, 2005a. b. Rasera 2007. c. Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS).

Notes
1
It was originally envisaged that a second phase of the study could involve the collection of new
data, including a specially designed survey of employers and household survey.
CHAPTER 3

Structure of Post-primary
Education and Training

Formal Secondary Education


Entry to formal secondary schooling is automatic for students who have successfully
completed six years of primary education and received a primary school leaving
certificate. This certificate is awarded on the basis of a public examination and school-
based assessments.
In common with most francophone systems in SSA, the formal secondary
education system in DRC comprises a long and a short cycle. Only the former enables
access to higher education. The long cycle consists of 6 years of education; the short
cycle offers vocational training courses of varying duration up to 4 years.
Approximately 98 percent of students are enrolled in the long cycle, as the quality of
vocational training in the short cycle has been greatly lowered by the lack of public
funding over the last two decades and the limited demand for these courses.
The long cycle (henceforth, used synonymously with formal secondary education)
consists of a common education of 2 years (tronc commun), followed by 4 years of
specialization in three streams: general, teacher education, and technical. A national
public examination (examen d’Etat) certifies the successful conclusion of secondary
education and authorizes access to higher education.
The short cycle (henceforth, used synonymously with vocational training) offers a
few courses as short as 6 months, but the majority last 2–3 years. In fact, resulting from
the incomplete implementation of the education reform of 1980 and various laws
enacted thereafter there are several “short cycles” offered in a plethora of institutions.
For example, there are “craft schools,” which prepare students who are at least 15 years
old and have a primary leaving certificate for manual unskilled occupations. The
duration is often 2 years and leads to a vocational aptitude certificate (certificat
d’aptitude professionnelle, or CAP). There also are vocational schools that train for skilled
occupations; entry is restricted to those who have successfully completed the tronc
commun. The duration is of 2–3 years (hence a total of 4–5 years of post-primary
training) and leads to a vocational aptitude diploma (brevet d’aptitude professionnelle).

7
Figure 3.1. Structure of Education and Training System in Democratic Republic of Congo, 2005

Nonformal
Formal education
education Age

Academic track
Degree Vocational track
Enrollment (cycle long)

Higher education

Diplôme
d’Etat
8

78,000 General 91,000 Teacher 85,000 Technical Vocational 17


85,000 94,000 training 91,000 5,000 16
Secondary
Education

95,000 101,000 102,000 5,000 2,000 Cycle 15


112,000 101,000 122,000 7,000 3,000 court 14

Vocational
Remedial
programs

programs
360,000 Tronc commun 4,000 13
440,000 7,000 12

CFPE
552,000 11
Education

650,000 10
Primary

786,000 Primary school 9


1,004,000 8
1,237,000 7
1,899,000 6
Note: CFPE = Some primary education, without completion certificate.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 9

The short cycle vocational institutions also include a few primary teacher training
schools that accept students after the primary cycle and offer a training of 4 years, even
though this qualification is no longer the accepted norm. Finally, there are higher
vocational schools that are open to secondary students from the technical stream who
have failed the examen d’Etat and the best students from the short cycle courses.
Students receive a certificate of vocational specialization.
During the 1980s and 1990s, as public financing of education dwindled, the
secondary education system evolved in an uncoordinated fashion. The evolution was
driven largely by local political initiatives to open new schools. Earlier, secondary
schools had been specialized by stream (general secondary schools, teacher training
institutions for training primary teachers, and technical institutions). Most of the new
schools are nonspecialized and offer all three streams under one roof.
A long-standing feature of the DRC education and training system is the virtual
impossibility of movement among these different tracks. Students who enter the short cycle
vocational track after primary education have no further access to general secondary
education. Similarly, the choice to enter one of the four different streams of higher
education must be made at the end of grade 8. The interchange between the formal and
nonformal systems (discussed later) is even less.

Governance of Formal Secondary Education


Secondary education institutions are under the administrative responsibility of the
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and comprise publicly financed
institutions and private recognized schools. Publicly financed institutions, which enroll
86 percent of students, are divided into those that are directly run by the government
(state schools, or écoles non-conventionnées) and those managed by religious institutions
(écoles conventionnées1). Both receive the same amount of public financing for recurrent
expenditures—in practice, this is relatively small due to the collapse of public funding
and in fact, most schools in the so-called “publicly financed” sector are mostly financed
by households Private recognized schools do not receive any public subsidy and
usually are run by individual entrepreneurs or nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs). In addition, there is a group of unrecognized schools that is not captured by
the official data.
When categorized by management type, schools under private management
(religious and others) account for about four-fifths of enrollment while state schools
account for one-fifth.
The four most important types of schools are, in order of enrollment shares:
Roman Catholic, Protestant, state, and private recognized schools. These four account
for approximately 94 percent of students (see figure 3.2).
As described in detail in the CSR, the DRC is fortunate in that, despite the years of
conflict, many of the structures of educational administration, from central to the
school level, still exist. These include school management committees and parent
teacher associations. The educational administration system is supported by
households whose contributions supplement the salaries of administrative and
pedagogical support staff. Household charges are fixed based on consultation between
the administration, teachers, and parents.
10 World Bank Working Paper

Figure 3.2. Approximate Distribution of Students in Secondary Education Type of School, 2003

Formal secondary education


100%

Publicly financed schools Private unsubsidized schools


86% 14%

State schools Managed by religious institutions


21% 65%

Catholic
31%

Protestant
27%

Kimbanguistes
4%

Salutistes
1.6%

Islamic
1%

Fraternité
0.4%

Note: Publicly financed schools include schools run directly by the government (state schools) and
schools managed by religious institutions. Private unsubsidized schools are those that do not receive
any public funding.

Nonetheless there are many weaknesses with the existing governance


mechanisms. School education administration involves four categories of entities: the
Central government and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education; the
provincial government; the representatives of four main religious congregations; and
the parents. As discussed in the CSR, the division of responsibilities between the state
and religious institutions for the last three decades began when the private schools
were nationalized in 1974 and subsequently handed back to the religious authorities in
1977. Further, each type of religious institution maintains its own vertical
administrative structure. There is a proliferation of administrative structures, the
financing of which places an additional burden on parents. The division of
responsibilities between the central and provincial governments are also not clear,
especially as the latter took up the responsibility of sanctioning the authorization of
new schools and teachers without approval from the central government. Since public
financing was minimal, central government had limited authority to change these
decisions.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 11

The CSR also notes that despite the preeminent role of households in financing
school education, parent committees do not have the “voice” or power to enforce
accountability over school management committees and the administrative structures
of the state and the religious schools. Accounts are not maintained at the school level,
and religious institutions often merge the operations of various institutions, including
receipts from various sources and expenditures at various levels.
Moreover, the legal framework for private unsubsidized schools is not clear and is
inherited from a time when publicly financed schools were dominant. The criteria for
granting recognition are often implemented with considerable latitude, depending on
local circumstances.
The classification of schools as “publicly financed” or “private unsubsidized” does
not really match the current reality, where almost all financing in all types of schools is
borne by parents. The existing governance and administrative structures, which were
created for a period when most of the financing was provided by the state, do not
match this reality. The reforms of these structures will depend to a great extent on the
vision for secondary education and the role of the public sector, private sector, and
households in financing, provision, and management of schools.

Nonformal Education
Various systems of nonformal education are operated by three ministries: the Ministry
of Social and Family Affairs (Ministère des Affaires Sociales et Famille, or MASF),
Ministry of Youth and Sports (Ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports, or MJS), and
Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (Ministère du Travail et de la Prévoyance
Sociale, or MTPS) (table 3.1). Other programs are operated by churches, NGOs, and
international donors.
Nonformal education and skills training in the DRC are characterized by a large
number of programs with little articulation or coordination among them and with very
limited coverage of the target population. Those run by the MASF are probably the
most numerous and offer two types of programs. The first is for children under the age
of 15 years who either have never enrolled or have dropped out. The educational programs
are for 3 years and are considered equivalent to primary education. Students are allowed to
continue only into the short cycle secondary programs. The centers are run directly by the
ministry or by private entities using the same program as that of the ministry. The second
type provides functional literacy and is targeted at adults.
MASF also operates a UNICEF-supported program of remedial education that,
unlike the foregoing programs, allows reentry into formal education. Children aged 8–
15 years are eligible to enter remedial education and can sit for the primary leaving
examination. The majority are those who never enrolled in school or dropped out
before completing 2 years of primary. The program duration is 3 years; it is offered for
only half a day (morning or afternoon). After passing the examination, children can
enter formal secondary schools. Those who do not pass the exam or are too old are
directed toward the MASF vocational training centers. Approximately 10 percent of the
remedial training centers are public; the vast majority is operated by NGOs.
12 World Bank Working Paper

Table 3.1. Nonformal Education System in Democratic Republic of Congo

MASF MJS MTPS

Target group Under 15 Over 14 years Enterprises: Support for creating


years own training centers and programs
Workers: Continuous training
Graduates of vocational/technical
training institutes, self-financed

Type of Centres de Vocational training centers (CFP) National Institute for Vocational
facility promotion Production centers (CP) Preparation (Institut National de
sociale Préparation Professionnelle, or
Apprenticeship training in small
INPP)
private enterprises (CAP&MAP)

Duration 3 years CFP: 2–3 years; short courses of


1–9 months
CP: 4 years
CAP: 1–9 months

Certificate Primary level CFP: Vocational training certificate


certificate CP: Vocational aptitude
certificate/Certificate of capacity
CAP: Vocational aptitude certificate

Continuation Vocational
training
centers giving
1–3 years
training

Number of
centers

Operated by 327 CFP: 79


ministries CAP: 90
MAP 80

Private 560
centers

Enrollment Not available CFP: 10,312 Approx. 5,000 trainees/year


Others: Not available

Sources: Compiled from information provided by various ministries.

Despite the degraded state of nonformal education centers, they do appear to


function and offer an opportunity for children who could not go through the formal
cycle. The remedial education program is better funded but the coverage is extremely
limited. Total enrollment in this program is estimated to be 20,000 students.

Notes
1
Under an agreement signed with the state (26 February 1975), the state is the owner of these
schools and has delegated the management to the different religious organizations.
CHAPTER 4

Situation of Youth in Democratic


Republic of Congo, 2006

W e now examine the stock of human capital and the ongoing investments in
education and training among the youth in the DRC in 2005–06, focusing on the
12–24 year age group. As pointed out in the World Development Report 2006, the
definition of youth varies according to the country or the institution. However, in most
countries, the 12–24 age range covers a period during which “important foundations
are laid for learning and skills.”1
Broadly speaking, the concept of human capital relates to the skills and abilities of
the population, and especially the labor force, which constitute important factors in
raising productivity. Human capital can augment individual productivity and private
earnings; at the macroeconomic level, it can raise economic growth. In both cases, the
impacts depend on the economic environment, as well as the social and governance
contexts. Apart from education and training, investments in nutrition, health, and
social and cultural factors and attitudes all contribute to building up human capital.
While the importance of these factors has been acknowledged, human capital has
traditionally been measured by educational attainment (usually, number of years of
schooling or enrollment ratios, although more recently there have been efforts to
incorporate measures of the quality of education). It is also worth emphasizing that
education and training contribute not only to economic growth through augmentation
of human capital, but also to other social goals such as improved health, lower fertility,
and enhanced social participation and cohesion.
Despite their limitations, educational attainment and enrollment in
education/training as proxy indicators of human capital have their merits as they allow
relatively easy comparison over time and across countries. In particular, we are
interested in these indicators for young people, who are about to or have just entered
the labor force, as they will have the greatest impact on the evolution of the stock of
human capital in the labor force and population as a whole.
In this paper, this broad age group is broken down into three subcategories:

1. 12–14 years: These years correspond approximately to the tronc commun of


secondary education; the cut-off age of 14 years has an added significance in
that children are not legally supposed to work below the age of 15.
14 World Bank Working Paper

2. 15–19 years: These years conventionally represent the age cohort who would
have completed primary education and some part of whom should be
enrolled in secondary education.
3. 20–24 years: This group represents the age cohort who would have completed
secondary education. In the DRC, most of this age group would have
terminated investment in education, except for those in tertiary education.

The situation of youth is described by three statuses:

1. Currently in labor force: These comprise individuals who, in DRC’s context,


largely would have completed their education and training and would not be
the target group for additional investment.
2. Currently not in the labor force and not enrolled in school: This group
consists of those who could be potentially enrolled in education and training
programs, as they are not working or looking for work.
3. Currently enrolled in school: This group consists of those who are continuing
their investment in education.

The first two groups together represent the number of young people who are out
of school. We are interested in the highest level of education attained of the first two
groups together, which provides an indicator of the current stock of human capital of
youth who are out of school. Regarding the third group, we are interested in the level
of education in which they are currently enrolled, as it gives an indication of ongoing
investments in education that can affect the future stock of human capital.
Figure 4.1 summarizes the main findings and tables 4.1 and 4.2 present the data on
the situation of youth in DRC in 2005–06 (other age groups are shown for reference).

Figure 4.1. Educational Attainment and Enrollment Status of Youth in Democratic


Republic of Congo, 2006

70 Currently enrolled
60 Completed education - at
50 least 12 years
Completed education - at
Percent

40
least 8 years, but less than
30 12 years
Completed education - at
20
least 6 years, but less than 8 years
10
Completed education - less
0 than primary or no education
12–14 years old 15–19 years old 20–24 years old

Source: Calculated from INS data.


Notes:
12–14 year olds: Total 4.35 millions = 100 percent
15–19 year olds: Total 6.62 millions = 100 percent
20–24 year olds: Total 5.91 millions = 100 percent
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 15

Status of Youth Population 12–14 Years


Approximately 4.35 million young people belonged to this age group, of which:
ɶ Approximately 68 percent (3 million) were out of school and hence had
terminated their education.
ɶ Only 10 percent reported being in the labor force. The majority, comprising 59
percent (2.5 million), was neither in school nor in the labor force, although
underreporting of working, given the legal age limit, is a strong possibility. It
is likely that a significant proportion of these young people are working as
unpaid family workers.
ɶ Of the 3.0 million who were out of school, almost all did not have basic literacy or
numeracy skills: 27 percent had never enrolled in formal education, and 71
percent had some primary education but had not completed 6 years. These
children could potentially continue their education, particularly those who
had at least some primary education, although there could be demand side
constraints if there were engaged in family work, which had an opportunity
cost.
ɶ Just over 30 percent (1.35 million) were in school, overwhelmingly in formal
education, about equally divided between primary and secondary school,
even though they should have been in the latter.

Status of Youth Population 15–19 Years


Of the 6.62 million individuals in this age group:
ɶ Close to 80 percent (5.2 million) were out of school.
ɶ Approximately 33 percent (2.18 million) were categorized as in the labor force.
ɶ Of the 5.2 million who were out of school, 90 percent were functionally illiterate.
Eighteen percent had never attended school; 70 percent had some primary
education; 8 percent had completed 6 years of primary education; and 4
percent had completed 8 years of schooling.
ɶ Approximately 20 percent of this age group (1.4 million) were still enrolled,
the overwhelming proportion in secondary education.

Status of Youth Population 20–24 Years


Of the 5.9 million in this age group:
ɶ Approximately 93 percent (5.4 million) were out of school.
ɶ Sixty-one percent (3.6 million) were in the labor force. The remaining 1.9
million were not in the labor force.
ɶ Of the 5.4 million who were out of school, 75 percent were functionally illiterate. Ten
percent had no formal education, 65 percent had some primary education, 22
percent had a primary education leaving certificate, 11 percent had completed
8 years of education, and 3 percent had completed 12 years of upper
secondary education.
ɶ Only 7 percent of 20–24 year-olds (0.4 million) were still enrolled in education.
Over half of them were still enrolled in secondary education.

These data also highlight the trends in human capital formation over the last 15
years. The 20–24-year age group represents the generation that began its education at
16 World Bank Working Paper

the time that DRC descended into civil war, following a decade during which public
financing of education had dwindled. The extremely low level of human capital in this
group reflects the opportunities and decisions of this generation. This age group, of
whom three-quarters have less than primary education, will remain in the labor force
for another 30 years.
Moreover, the educational attainment and enrollment status of the younger age
groups does not portend well for a rapid augmentation of the human capital in the
labor force in the coming years, if current trends continue. First, the stock of out-of-
school youth, who will not invest further in education if the present situation
continues, is enormous, about 69 percent of the 12–14-year-olds and almost four-fifths
of 15–19-year-olds. Second, the highest educational attainment of the majority of these
young people is less than primary education. Third, of those currently enrolled, at least
half are enrolled in levels of education below the theoretical levels corresponding to
their age group—hence, their highest educational attainment in the future will be
lower than it should be.
However, and on a more positive note, a significant aspect of the profile of out-of-
school youth in these age groups is that that they are not working or looking for work,
although as stated above, there could be significant underreporting and associated
opportunity costs. Many of them had some primary education. The possibility exists
therefore for investing in upgrading their education and skills through alternative
mechanisms and addressing demand-side constraints. On the negative side, ignoring
this group of youth represents a significant social risk. .
Hence, the stock of human capital among the prospective new entrants to the labor
force in the next 10 years will be very low. If this stock is to improve rapidly, universal
primary completion must be achieved. However, almost half the 6–11-year-olds are out
of school, and although they include those who have not yet enrolled, nearly 42
percent (1.8 million) have left the system without completing primary education (table
4.1) Equally important, efforts must be made to increase coverage in post-primary
education and to provide education and training to the huge population of out-of-
school children under the age of 15.

Notes
1
World Bank, 2006.
Table 4.1. Status of Youth Population, 2006 (estimates, %)
Not in labor force and out of school Enrolled in school
Not in labor force and dropped out of formal education In nonformal programs In formal education
With a
Some vocational Completed
primary Primary diploma the cycle With
education, completed, from long (8 diplôme
without without 2e secondary years), d’Etat
completion Secondaire school without (upper In
No formal In labor
certificate (tronc (short diplôme secondary Remedial In primary secondary In higher
education force Total
(CFPE) commun) cycle) d’Etat certificate teaching Vocational education education education
6–11 years 2,358,059 1,729,914 0 0 0 0 21,545 0 5,464,970 0 0 187,379 9,761,867
% 24 18 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.2 0.00 56 0.00 0.00 2 100
12–14 years 701,412 1,811,419 37,326 0 0 0 20,071 4,103 833,170 495,443 0 448,197 4,351,141
17

% 16 42 0.9 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.5 0.09 19 11 0.00 10 100


15–19 years 565,422 2,162,123 211,126 327 96,767 4,695 4,175 10,775 91,339 1,258,405 26,687 2,185,541 6,617,382
% 9 33 3 0.00 1 0.07 0.06 0.2 1 19 0.4 33 100
20–24 years 203,525 1,297,599 367,431 803 0 36,645 0 7,254 0 211,764 192,633 3,593,545 5,911,199
% 3 22 6 0.01 0.00 0.6 0.00 0.1 0.00 4 3 61 100
12–17 years 1,080,503 3,225,804 163,507 128 41,970 294 29,340 7,404 919,496 1,360,987 1,364 1,581,584 8,412,380
% 13 38 2 0.00 0.5 0.00 0.3 0.09 11 16 0.02 19 100
12–20 years 1,267,999 4,321,325 330,872 567 154,368 11,771 29,340 18,706 925,048 1,847,920 56,926 3,239,145 12,203,986
% 10 35 3 0.00 1 0.1 0.2 0.2 8 15 0.5 27 100
12–24 years 1,308,924 5,238,395 533,066 1,549 348,875 60,921 29,340 21,952 925,245 1,964,891 219,320 6,227,246 16,879,724
% 8 31 3 0.01 2 0.4 0.2 0.1 5 12 1.3 37 100
Source: Calculated from INS data.
Note: The age group 12–17 years corresponds to the theoretical age group for secondary education in DRC. The age group 12–20 also is shown here as it probably corresponds to the actual
age of secondary education students, taking into account late entry and dropout.
18 World Bank Working Paper

Table 4.2. Education Level of the “Out-of-School” Youth Population, 2006 (estimates)

Received no formal education or dropped out (in or out of labor force)

Dropped out

With a
Some vocational
primary Primary diploma Completed With
education, completed, from 2e diplôme
without without 2e secondary Secondaire d’Etat Total out-
Received completion Secondaire school but did not (upper
no formal of-school
certificate (tronc (short receive a secondary population
education (CFPE) commun) cycle) diploma certificate)
2,465,43
6–11 years 6 1,809,914 0 0 0 0 4,275,350

% 58 42 0 0 0 0 100
12–14
years 816,932 2,132,415 49,007 0 0 0 2,998,354

% 27 71 2 0 0 0 100
15– 19
years 942,142 3,667,824 395,937 1,227 206,799 12,071 5,226,000

% 18 70 8 0.02 4 0.2 100


20–24
years 553,308 3,580,879 613,679 4,914 581,873 164,894 5,499,547

% 10 65 11 0.09 11 3 100
12–17 1,432,64
years 4 4,339,121 249,510 382 71,548 585 6,093,790

% 24 71 4 0 1 0 100
12–20 1,893,28
years 7 6,551,621 556,102 1,905 295,567 27,563 9,326,046

% 20 70 6 0 3 0 100
12–24 2,308,56
years 7 9,379,901 1,058,724 6,147 788,672 176,965 13,718,976

% 17 68 8 0 6 1 100

Source: Calculated from INS data.


CHAPTER 5

Formal Secondary Education

I n 2006 the number of students in formal secondary education (grades 7 to 12 of both


long and short cycles) was estimated to be 1.98 million, a GER of 24 percent. The
GER thus rose from the estimated 22 percent in 2001–02.1 Even more surprisingly, it is
high compared to the secondary GER of many SSA countries, especially given DRC’s
relatively low enrollment and completion rates in primary education and the very low
average per capita income. However, it is lower than the average secondary GER for
SSA countries of 30 percent (2004). The secondary GER ranged from less than 20
percent in Burundi, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Niger, and Rwanda to
over 80 percent in Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, and South
Africa.2
Another striking feature of DRC is its relatively stable GER since the 1970s. From
1977 to 2002, the average secondary GER has remained constant at between 19–24
percent3 despite political turmoil, the collapse of public funding in the last two
decades, and low primary coverage. This stability contrasts with the rapid increase in
the secondary GER in most SSA countries, especially in the 1990s, with an average
yearly growth rate of approximately 5 percent for the region.4 DRC’s stable secondary
GER is probably explained by the high transition rate to secondary education and the
fact that secondary education is largely the preserve of the richest families. The
primary completion rate is estimated to be less than 30 percent, but the transition rate
to lower secondary education is 80 percent. Very few complete primary education, but
of those who do, who also come from the richest sections of the society, the majority
continue to secondary education. This also explains the relatively higher coverage at
the tertiary level. In 2001-02, the coverage indicator for tertiary education was 360
students per 100,000 populations, higher than in many other SSA countries.
The estimated distribution of secondary students by stream in 2006 is shown in
table 5.1. About 40 percent of secondary enrollment is in grades 7 and 8 (lower
secondary), the remaining in grades 9–12 (higher secondary). A negligible proportion
is enrolled in the post-primary vocational courses. Enrollment in higher secondary is
split almost equally across the three streams of general, teacher training, and technical,
again with negligible numbers in the vocational stream.

19
20 World Bank Working Paper

Table 5.1. Estimated Distribution of DRC Secondary Students by Stream, 2006

Enrollment % of total

Total secondary enrollment 1,978,581 100.0

Post-primary vocational 15,468 0.8

Grades 7–8 (tronc commun) 776,033 39.2

Grades 9–12 1,187,081 60.0

General 373,974 18.9

Teacher training 392,846 19.9

Technical 404,307 20.4

Vocational 15,953 0.8


Note: Projected from 2001–02 data and information from Bas-Congo survey.

Characteristics of Students in Secondary Schools


Data from the Monitoring of Learning Achievement (MLA) survey of 8th grade
students confirm that the majority come from higher income groups. They also tend to
be significantly older than the theoretical age. Late entry into grade 1, as a result of
inability to pay fees, poor nutritional status, or distance from school, is probably an
important factor in this. Intermittent attendance and repetition of primary grades also
contribute to this phenomenon. The MLA survey of 4th grade students in DRC shows
that 23 percent of students were already 2 years older and another 25 percent were 3 or
more years older than the theoretical age for that grade.
Students in grade 8 range from 14–18 years with very high proportions of older
students. The theoretical age for grade 8 students is 13 years (that is, if a student had
begun grade 1 at age 6 and continued without repetition or interruption to grade 8).
However, fewer than 8 percent of students were 13 years old or younger (table 5.2).
The theoretical age is not of much relevance given the prevalence of late entry and high
repetition rates in primary age. Assuming that children normally entered school at age
7 and had repeated 1 or 2 years, the probable reference age group for 8th grade students
should be 14–15 years. Approximately 45 percent of students fell in this age group.
However, no fewer than 47 percent of students in grade 8 were 16 years or older.
The inequity in access to secondary education also is illustrated by the data from
the MLA survey (table 5.3). It is best illustrated by the level of education of the parents,
which tends to be highly correlated with income levels. Over 74 percent of students
had fathers who had completed at least secondary education; 34 percent had fathers
who had completed university education. Similarly, a high proportion of mothers (59
percent) had completed at least secondary education; 15 percent had university
education. Given the overall low coverage of secondary and higher education in the
population, these data show that the students who currently attend formal secondary
schools come from a highly selective group. In urban areas and in private unsubsidized
schools, the proportion of parents with university education is much higher.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 21

Table 5.2. Age Distribution of Students in Grade 8 (2nd Year Secondary) Students

Total %

Less than 14 years 257 7.6

14 years 620 18.4

15 years 896 26.6

16 years 726 21.6

17 years 421 12.5

More than 17 years 445 13.2


Source: MLA survey.
Note: N=3,365.

Table 5.3. Distribution of Secondary Students by Parental Level of Education,


Rural/Urban, and Type of School (%)
Urban Rural Public Private Total

Father
Cannot read or write 2.4 5.4 4.2 1.8 3.7
Can read and write 11.5 16.5 14.3 10.9 13.7
Primary education 5.5 12.0 9.6 2.6 8.4
Secondary education 35.0 46.6 43.3 25.3 40.0
Higher education 45.6 19.5 28.6 59.4 34.2
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Mother
Cannot read or write 7.6 17.1 13.7 3.0 11.7
Can read and write 14.9 15.9 15.9 12.9 15.3
Primary education 10.8 18.9 15.9 7.1 14.3
Secondary education 45.8 41.1 43.5 45.1 43.8
Higher education 20.9 7.0 11.1 32.0 14.9
Source: MLA survey.
Note: Public refers to publicly financed schools (state schools and those managed by religious
institutions). Private schools are unsubsidized schools. N=3,365.

Data on source of family income (table 5.4) provide a less clear picture due to the
categories used by the survey. However, but even here, it is clear that those with
higher and more regular sources of income constitute the majority. Over 40 percent of
students come from families who depend on salary income; another 51 percent come
from parents who are able to sell agricultural products or are in business. Families with
salary incomes predominate in the urban sample; those who sell agricultural products
predominate in rural areas.
22 World Bank Working Paper

Table 5.4. Distribution of Grade 8 Students by Family Income Source, Rural/Urban,


and Type of School (%)

Income source Urban Rural Public Private Total


Salary 50.5 33.4 40.7 53.9 43.0
Retirement pension or other pension 3.5 4.8 3.8 5.4 4.1
Livestock sale 2.1 2.8 2.5 1.7 2.4
Agricultural products sale 10.8 39.8 27.7 4.1 23.5
Business 22.7 13.6 17.5 24.3 18.7
Other 10.4 5.6 7.8 10.6 8.3
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Source: MLA survey.
Note: Public refers to publicly financed schools (state schools and those managed by religious
institutions). Private schools are unsubsidized schools. N=3,365.

The majority of students had basic materials such as notebooks, pens, pencils, and
erasers (table 5.5). Given their relatively favorable economic backgrounds, this is not
unexpected. However, fewer than 20 percent had textbooks in mathematics, science, or
technology, with significant differences between public and private schools. For
example, over 26 percent of students in private schools had mathematics textbooks,
while only 16 percent of those in public schools had them.

Teaching-Learning Conditions in Secondary Schools


The self-administered teacher questionnaire from the MLA survey provides
information on the backgrounds of mathematics and science teachers of grade 8
students and on school facilities (table 5.6).

Table 5.5. Grade 8 Students with Textbooks and School Supplies (%)

Urban Rural Public Private Total


Textbooks
Mathematics 20.2 15.9 16.5 26.7 18.3
Science 17.4 10.9 12.9 21.8 14.5
Technology 15.7 10.8 12.1 20.3 13.6
School supplies
Notebooks 91.2 88.8 89.8 91.6 90.1
Mathematics equipment 40.4 33.8 35.3 47.7 37.5
Pens 90.7 87.3 88.6 91.9 89.2
Pencils 75.3 71.8 72.9 77.6 73.7
Erasers 60.7 54.2 56.0 66.3 57.8
Source: MLA survey.
Note: Public refers to publicly financed schools (state schools and those managed by religious
institutions). Private schools are unsubsidized schools. N=3,365.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 23

Table 5.6. Education and Initial Training of Grade 8 Mathematics


and Science Teachers (column %)

Mathematics teachers Science teachers

Urban Rural Public Private Urban Rural Public Private


N=97 N=90 N=154 N=33 N=97 N=90 N=154 N=33

Secondary— — 3.0 2.0 - 7.0 4.6 7.0 6.1


tronc commun

Upper secondary 21.4 70.0 51.0 12.0 21.0 46.0 38.3 6.0

Higher ed.— 66.3 27.0 42.0 76.0 41.0 14.9 24.7 51.5
undergraduate

Higher ed.— 12.3 - 5.0 12.0 31.0 34.5 30.0 36.4


postgraduate

Preservice training 58.2 36.0 44.2 63.6 54.0 35.6 43.0 57.6

No preservice 41.8 64.0 55.8 36.4 46.0 64.4 57.0 42.4


training
Source: MLA survey.
Note: One maths and one science teacher in each of the 187 sample schools was interviewed.

The educational qualifications of secondary teachers are low. Their qualifications


differ very significantly between public and private schools, and between urban and
rural schools, in both mathematics and science. In public schools, 51 percent of
mathematics teachers and 38 percent of science teachers had only an upper secondary
school qualification. The low education qualification of secondary teachers in public
schools is confirmed by the teacher database of the Ministry of Education: in 2003,
approximately 60 percent of these teachers had an upper secondary school leaving
certificate or less.
By contrast, in private schools, 88 percent of both mathematics and science
teachers had university degrees. Furthermore, 12 percent of the former and 36 percent
of the latter had post-graduate degrees. Similar differences can be seen between rural
and urban teachers.
Approximately two-thirds of the teachers in rural schools had no preservice
training. A little over half the public school teachers had no preservice training. Again,
a higher proportion of private school teachers did have preservice training: 64 percent
in mathematics and 58 percent in science.
A significant proportion of teachers in public schools and in rural areas lacked
basic instruments. Only a blackboard and chalk were universally available. Between 22
and 44 percent of public school teachers had rulers and compasses. Private school
teachers were better equipped. Other furniture such as chairs and cupboards, or desks
for teachers, was not available for three-quarters of teachers (table 5.7)
24 World Bank Working Paper

Table 5.7. Availability of Classroom Supplies in Secondary Schools (%)

Urban Rural Public Private Total

Blackboard 100 97 98 100 98

Teacher chair 43 29 31 60 36

Teacher desk 26 27 23 39 26

Storage cabinet 32 26 23 55 29

Enough student tables and benches 29 24 23 45 26

Enough student desks 53 37 42 58 45


Source: MLA survey.
Note: For number of schools in each category, see table 5.6.

Internal Efficiency
Repetition rates are very high in both lower and higher secondary education. Only 50
percent of the students who enter the first year of secondary reach the last year without
repetition. With 40–60 percent failing the terminal examination, the overall internal
efficiency ratio at the secondary level was estimated to be only 36 percent.5
The terminal secondary school examination (examen d’Etat) is a watershed in the
lives of students because it is the gateway to higher education. Failing this exam causes
most students to repeat several times, leading to overcrowding in the classes of the
final year of higher secondary. The selection mechanism and lack of alternatives to
university education create an enormous cohort of students who are treated as not
having completed secondary education and, hence, not having formal qualifications for
the labor market.

Learning Outcomes
The only available recent information on the quality of secondary education comes
from the MLA survey of 8th grade students (table 5.8). In 2005 approximately 3,365
students drawn from a stratified national sample of 187 secondary schools were tested
in mathematics and science. The sample schools consisted of 97 urban and 90 rural
schools. There were 154 publicly financed schools (state schools and those managed by
religious institutions) and 33 private unsubsidized schools in the sample. The tests
comprised questions with multiple choice responses only, which meant that a certain
number of correct responses could have been obtained due to chance alone.
The average score in mathematics was 40 percent and in science, 46 percent. The
distribution of scores is even more revealing of the low performance of students. In
mathematics, approximately 22 percent of students got less than 25 percent of the test
items correct, while only 4 percent received a score higher than 75 percent (table 5.9).
The MLA survey sets a threshold level of “mastery” if a score of 75 percent is obtained.
Subscores on the mathematics and science tests show that performance is uniformly
poor, with especially low scores in geometry.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 25

Table 5.8. Average Scores of Grade 8 Students in Mathematics and Science (%)

Average Standard deviation

Mathematics 40.3 18.5

Arithmetic 36.0 18.5

Algebra 40.2 30.0

Geometry 28.8 17.4

Probability and statistics 56.0 32.0

Science 46.2 17.3

Natural science 49.4 26.2

Physical science 39.2 19.0

Environment 50.0 22.4

Source: MLA survey.


Note: N=3,365.

Table 5.9. Grade 8 Students with a Score Lower than 25% and Higher than 75% in
Mathematics

Students with a score Students with a score


< 25% > 75%

Mathematics 21.7 4.0

Arithmetic 28.1 2.8

Algebra 50.3 8.6

Geometry 54.0 0.3

Probability and statistics 12.8 22.5

Source: MLA survey.

The most prominent differences in average scores were among different provinces
(table 5.10). In both mathematics and science, the difference between the highest and
lowest performing provinces was sizable: 27 and 23 percentage points, respectively. In
both tests, the province of Maniema had the lowest scores; otherwise, the ranking was
not identical in both subjects. Seven provinces had an average score of less than 40
percent in mathematics.
26 World Bank Working Paper

Table 5.10. Average Mathematics and Science Scores


of Grade 8 Students by Province (%)

Average mathematics Average science Number of


Province score score students
Kinshasa 33.8 44.3 526
Bas-Congo 38.2 49.9 461
Bandundu 48.7 49.5 756
Equateur 40.6 54.4 235
Kasai Oriental 30.2 38.8 242
Kasai Occidental 36.4 42.6 203
Katanga 32.9 42.9 230
Maniema 25.9 31.1 125
North Kivu 39.3 48.0 166
Province Orientale 46.1 46.7 201
South Kivu 53.4 42.2 220
Source: MLA survey.
Note: N=3,365.

Achievement differences between publicly financed and private unsubsidized


schools also were prominent. The latter performed significantly worse, especially in
mathematics (table 5.11). The achievement difference in mathematics in publicly
financed schools was 29 percent of the standard deviation; that in science was 15
percent of the standard deviation (not shown in table). As stated earlier, the schools
under the management of the churches are included in the public category. Private
schools receive no state funding. On the positive side, gender differences in
mathematics and science achievement were unimportant (not in table).

Table 5.11. Average Mathematics and Science Scores


of Grade 8 Students by Type of School (%)

Public Private

Mathematics score 41.2 35.9


Arithmetic 36.4 34.6
Algebra 41.9 32.6
Geometry 29.7 24.9
Probability and Statistics 57.0 51.4
Science scores 46.7 44.1
Natural science 50.3 45.6
Physical science 39.3 39.0
Environment 50.5 47.7
Source: MLA survey.
Note: Public refers to publicly financed schools (state schools and those managed by religious
institutions). Private schools are unsubsidized schools. N=3,365.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 27

The nature of the MLA survey limits analysis of the determinants of student
achievement in two important ways. First, student achievement is measured at one
point in time. Relating this achievement to certain measurable elements of the school
during a particular school year is difficult in theory, as academic achievement is the
outcome of cumulative learning outcomes over many years. In cross-sectional studies,
only variables that are relatively stable (such as student background or global
characteristics of the school), or those that are relevant for that particular year (such as
the characteristics of the teacher) can be related to the achievement score. Second, such
surveys have many measurement problems because questionnaires to collect
information on students, teachers, and schools were self-administered by the
respondents, not measured through observation or interview.
Nonetheless, the analysis of variation of achievement scores highlights important
results (figures 5.1 and 5.2). The decomposition of variance in scores among students,
schools, and provinces shows that the differences among schools are the most
significant.6 In mathematics, interschool variation in scores is 50 percent; in science, it is
55 percent. In both cases, interstudent variation represents 35–39 percent of the total
variation. This demonstrates that differences in teaching/learning conditions and
processes (or the selection of students into secondary education) among schools
account for the major share of variation in scores.
The effect of various student and school factors on student achievement was
analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling with two levels (student and school).
Given the measurement and other limitations of the survey variables, it is not
surprising that less than 1 percent of variation at each level could be explained by these
factors.

Figure 5.1. Decomposition of Mathematics Score Variance in Grade 8

Source: MLA survey.


28 World Bank Working Paper

Figure 5.2. Decomposition of the Science Score Variance in Grade 8

Source: MLA survey.

However, certain variables do exercise a statistically significant effect on student


achievement, and some of these variables are important for policy:

ɶ The performance of girls is slightly worse than that of boys. Although


statistically significant, the difference is less than 1 percentage point.
ɶ Older students do worse than younger students. In mathematics, this
difference shows up only when the student is 3 years older than the norm (14–
15 years). In science, this factor is significant even for students who are 1 year
older than the norm. Furthermore, the greater the age delay, the greater the
negative effect.
ɶ French being spoken at home exercises a positive and significant effect on
achievement, with a stronger effect on mathematics scores. Since French is the
language of instruction, this effect is to be expected. However, the effect of this
variable underscores the importance of policy regarding the language of
instruction.
ɶ Students whose fathers have secondary educations get better scores. However,
fathers with university education do not produce this result.
ɶ Alternative model specifications, not shown in appendix tables A1.1 and A1.2,
reveal that the two variables “language spoken at home” and
“fathers’/mothers’ education level” correlate. Higher education is associated
with speaking French in the home. If the language variable is omitted, the
coefficients associated with secondary and higher education status of parents
are larger, and all are statistically significant.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 29

ɶ Possession of a textbook has a positive effect on achievement in science, but


not in mathematics.
ɶ The most significant school-level variable is the type of school. Public schools
score significantly higher (by 6 percentage points) than private schools.

Appendix 1 gives the details of the estimated models.

Notes
1
World Bank 2005a.
2
World Bank, 2008a, p.35.
3
World Bank, 2005a, p.33.
4
World Bank, 2008a, p.22.
5
World Bank 2005a.
6
The amount of variance in scores due to schools at the secondary level was higher (over 50
percent) than at the primary level (between 30–40 percent). At the primary level, 4th grade
students were tested in mathematics and French.
CHAPTER 6

Technical and Vocational


Education and Training (TVET)

T he formal technical and vocational education system at the post-primary level in


the public sector comprises the short cycle vocational courses (after grade 6) and
the technical and vocational streams in higher secondary (after grade 8). As stated
earlier, the short cycle enrolls only 1 percent of secondary students. Enrollment in the
higher secondary vocational stream also constitutes just 1 percent of the total.
However, the technical stream of higher secondary education enrolls approximately 20
percent of secondary students.
The enrollment share of TVET is high in DRC compared to the SSA average of
about 7 percent. However, this higher share may simply reflect a lack of access to
general secondary education. The limited enrollment in the vocational training courses
reflects the fact that these courses neither prepare for jobs nor allow students to
continue their education.
The nonformal system provides additional training opportunities but again with
very limited coverage. In fact, the total number of institutions providing training is not
fully known. The most recent directory of TVET institutions dates from 1993. Over the
last 15 years, a large number of private institutions have been created with or without
official recognition. The distinction between “recognized” and “unrecognized”
institutions is not very useful as the criteria for recognition are applied inconsistently.
Local authorities often grant recognition due to political pressure. The lack of a system
of accreditation means that employers do not have reliable information about the
quality of the programs in the public or private sector.
There is no systematic information about the labor market outcomes of students
enrolled in these programs. The short cycle vocational programs clearly are not in
demand and are underfunded. Nevertheless, they continue to absorb public funds to
maintain staff and facilities. Curricula have not been updated for decades. Many
occupational specializations are no longer relevant; there is little modern equipment or
even materials for training; and the majority of instructors are old, with few
opportunities to upgrade their competencies.
The outmoded craft and occupational specialization in TVET is illustrated by the
technical stream in higher secondary, which offers more than 30 subject combinations.
This overfragmentation raises delivery costs and reduces the relevance of the
programs. Emerging labor market needs require generic transferable skills, rather than
narrow specialization.

30
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 31

The lack of employer participation in identifying needs or certifying the quality of


graduates is a systemic deficiency. The TVET system does not provide any skills
training for rural areas and the informal sector.
CHAPTER 7

Enrollment and
Learning Outcomes in
Nonformal Education

A ccording to the 1-2-3 household survey, total enrollment in all nonformal


education programs was estimated to be fewer than 200,000. This represents less
than 0.5 percent of the youth population.
The UNICEF-supported remedial program for children aged 8–15 years, run by the
Ministry of Social and Family Affairs, offers a second chance to primary dropouts to
complete their educations. The program is estimated to enroll 20,000 children. This is
an infinitesimal proportion of the estimated 4 million children without at least 2 years
of primary education, who comprise the potential target group the program. Moreover,
about half the enrollment is concentrated in Kinshasa with 51 centers and
approximately 10,000 students in 2006, of which half were girls. With 408 instructors,
the student-instructor ratio was 25:1. The town of Mbuji-Mayi in Kasai Oriental had
132 centers with 1056 instructors and Tshikapa (Kasai Occidental) had 5 centers with 40
instructors.
There is no reliable information on the quality or learning outcomes in nonformal
education. The remedial education program apparently has a high success rate for
those children who do sit for the primary leaving examination. In 2005 approximately
1,300 students sat for the exam with a pass rate of 93 percent. The majority, of course,
did not appear for the examinations.
The program is organized in three levels corresponding to the three cycles of
primary education, with the content of each 2-year cycle being provided in one year.
Children learn in the center for half a day, in order to be able to continue their other
activities.
The students in this program come from the most deprived socioeconomic
backgrounds: orphans, street children, and those from very poor families. About 30-40
percent of them have never been to school. Despite this and the compressed nature of
the program, the high pass rate in the primary leaving examination undoubtedly is due
in large measure to self-selection. Only the most motivated and capable students sit for
the exam. Nonetheless, these results show the potential of such programs to impart
basic competencies to children. This fact, together with the flexibility in delivery and
ability to reach children out of reach of formal schools, suggests that these programs
should be considered as realistic alternatives to formal schools.

32
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 33

The traditional nonformal program is offered in the 327 centers of the MASF for
children of around 15 years, who have either never gone to school or left it before
completing 6 years of primary. The program lasts 3 years and is supposed to confer the
same competencies as formal primary education. However, those completing the
program cannot reenter the formal system and are directed towards the vocational
training centers (CAPs) where the training lasts for 1–3 years and leads to a formal
vocational training certificate. There is little available data on the content or results of
these programs.
CHAPTER 8

Cost Structure of
Secondary Education

Unit Costs in Secondary Schools


Unit costs of secondary education in public schools (which includes estimated
household contributions to teachers’ salaries) are low in absolute terms because of the
low salary levels, even though these were raised in 2005. The average salary of
secondary teachers is approximately three times per capita GDP, or about the same as
for primary teachers—the low absolute levels result from the low per capita GDP.
However, these low absolute levels hide the fact that unit costs are high in relative
terms because the student-teacher ratio is low. Differences in student-teacher ratio also
are responsible for the large differences in unit costs among different levels of
secondary education. Reasons for the low student-teacher ratio are discussed below.
Table 8.1 depicts the unit costs in 2005, the latest year for which data could be
collected. The overall unit recurrent costs were $61 per year. For the 2-year tronc
commun of general secondary education, the unit cost is just $28. Two streams of the
long cycle (general secondary and teacher training) have slightly higher unit costs of
$35 and $39, respectively. Both the technical stream of the long cycle and the vocational
stream (short duration) have substantially higher unit costs: $114 and $130,
respectively.
The unit cost in tronc commun represents just under twice the unit cost at primary
level of about $15; that of the general stream of higher secondary represents close to 3.5
times the primary unit cost.1 However, the relative costliness of the technical and
vocational streams stands out in stark relief—providing one year of this type of
education/training costs between 8 to 9 times more than providing one year of primary
education. These ratios are not dissimilar to those in other SSA countries, where unit
public costs at lower secondary and higher secondary are about three and six times,
respectively, that at the primary level.2 However, they are significantly higher than in
other regions such as East Asia or the OECD counties, where expenditure per
secondary student is less than twice that on a primary student. These higher relative
costs in DRC and SSA reflect both relatively low enrollment rates at the secondary level
and a higher cost structure, arising from lower pupil-teacher ratios, higher salary
differentials between primary and secondary teachers, and larger numbers of
nonteaching support staff.

34
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 35

Table 8.1. Unit Costs in Public Secondary Schools, 2005

Long cycle Vocational


Tronc (short
Teacher
commun cycle) Total
General training Technical

Personnel FC 9,959 12,799 13,459 46,691 52,512 21,567

$ 20 25 28 98 111 46

Operating cost FC 3,851 4,624 5,182 7,226 8,904 7,392

$ 8 10 11 15 19 16

Total recurrent FC 13,811 17,423 18,641 53,916 61,416 28,960

$ 28 35 39 114 130 61

Investment (annualized) FC 6,724 8,293 11,392 32,820 30,366 13,107

$ 14 17 24 69 64 28

Total FC 20,535 25,716 30,033 86,736 91,782 42,066

$ 42 52 63 183 194 89

Source: World Bank estimates.


Note: FC = Congolese franc. $ =U.S. dollar. The exchange rate was 1 US$=474 FC in 2005.

Overall, in DRC, teachers’ salaries comprised over two-thirds of the unit cost: of
the total unit cost of $61, $46 was spent on salaries and $16 on nonpersonnel spending.
The share is significantly higher for the vocational and technical streams. The average
student-teacher ratio in secondary education is only 14, and it is lower in these two
streams—due to low enrollment in vocational programs, lower teaching loads, and the
large number of specialized subjects in the technical stream. Each teacher is supposed
to teach 22–24 hours in class (those in the vocational stream are expected to teach 16
hours). The pupil-teacher ratio is significantly lower than the SSA region-wide average
of 25:1, which is already low compared to other regions.3 These teaching loads are also
relatively light, again a common phenomenon across the region.
The unit cost of nonpersonnel expenditure did not vary much among the different
streams: from $8 in the tronc commun to $15–19 in the technical/vocational streams. The
main reason for the difference in unit costs among these streams is the per student
personnel cost caused by the different student-teacher ratios. Low enrollment in the
vocational short cycle courses is responsible for the highest unit costs.
Adding the annualized capital costs increases the range of unit costs due to the
higher capital requirements in the technical and vocational streams. The unit costs
were $42 in the tronc commun; $52 and $63 in the general and teacher training streams,
respectively; and $183 and $194 in the technical and vocational streams, respectively.
The very low student-teacher ratios in secondary education are a corollary of small
class sizes, which in turn are partly the result of small schools, at least for the general
and teacher training streams. The majority of secondary schools have fewer than 200
students (2001–02 data, table 8.2).
36 World Bank Working Paper

Table 8.2. Distribution and Average Enrollment Size of


Secondary Schools by Type of Program, 2001–02

Program Distribution (%) Average enrollment

General 21 145

Teacher training 30 143

Technical 18 130

General and teacher training 9 301

General and technical 22 331

General and vocational 1 232

Total 100 197


Source: Annuaire Statistique 2001–02.

Table 8.3. Norms for Class Size in Secondary Education


st nd rd th th th
School year 1 2 3 4 5 6

Minimum size 20 20 18 18 15 15

Maximum size 55 55 55 55 50 50

Source: Estimated from annual statistics.

In fact, the expansion of secondary education has taken place almost entirely
through increasing the number of schools, which has led to greater geographic
coverage. As an example, the average size of Catholic schools (212 students) remained
the same between 1977–78 and 2003–04. However, during the same period, the number
of students increased by 150 percent, indicating that the increase was accommodated
by increasing the number of schools.
The rapid increase in the number of schools has meant that class sizes often are
well below the minimum norm prescribed by the regulations. The minimum and
maximum norms for each class are given in table 8.3. These norms are generous; in
practice, the average class size is only 24 students.
The compliance with minimum class size norms is even more limited in the classes
beyond the tronc commun. More than 50 percent have fewer than the minimum norm of
15–18 students (table 8.4). This is true of all streams. In the technical and professional
streams, class sizes below 20 are common, even in the early years.
There is considerable room for lowering unit costs solely by increasing the average
class size while keeping other factors constant. Simulations indicate that increasing the
class size from the present level of 20 to 40 would reduce the unit cost by 30 percent.
Alternatively, a substantial increase in nonpersonnel expenditure could be
accommodated within the existing unit cost by raising the class size.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 37

Table 8.4. Compliance with Class Size Norms in Secondary Schools (%)

% of classes in which
Concentration no. of students is: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

< minimum 12 22 45 57 57 53
General
> maximum 18 12 6 3 4 2

< minimum 19 36 50 58 54 47
Teacher training
> maximum 10 4 4 3 4 1

< minimum 27 44 57 68 64 57
Technical
> maximum 7 4 5 2 3 2

< minimum 59 75 69 75 57
Vocational
> maximum 2 0 5 1 1

< minimum 18 31 52 62 59 53
Total
> maximum 14 8 5 3 3 2
Source: Estimated from annual statistics.

Unit Costs in Nonformal Education


There is little data on costs of the nonformal education programs. The Ministry of
Education’s Education for All (EFA) plan (Plan d’action nationale de l’éducation pour tous,
or PANEPT) uses a unit cost of approximately $25 for remedial education programs.
The basis of this estimate is not clear. Costs can be lower due to the flexibility of these
programs, for example, due to the ability to hire instructors by the hour and lower
administration costs. However, several expenditures simply are not accounted for,
such as the technical support provided by NGOs or aid agencies and voluntary
personnel. If the remedial programs are to be expanded for a much larger coverage,
these hidden costs must be taken into account.

Notes
1
These ratios must be treated as approximate. The unit cost for primary education is based on
2004 data and may have gone up somewhat by 2006.
2
World Bank 2008a, p. 54.
3
World Bank 2008b.
CHAPTER 9

Demand for Education


and Skills: Findings from the
Investment Climate Assessment

T he majority of DRC’s labor force is employed in the agricultural and informal


sectors. It is estimated that the informal sector accounts for 80 percent of all
economic activity and has grown at approximately 20 percent per annum in recent
years. Post-primary education and skills training is important for the informal sector in
order to raise productivity and incomes, and thus reduce poverty. In the formal sector,
the skills content of new jobs will increase as new technology and work practices are
adopted by firms seeking to compete in a globalizing economy.
An important source of data on the workforce and on post-school training
practices is the Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) conducted by the World Bank in
2006.1 This survey collected information on 444 enterprises in Kinshasa, Matadi,
Lubumbabashi, and Kisangani. Responses came from informal firms with under 5
employees (104), formal manufacturing firms (149), retail (93), construction, and hotel
and other enterprises (98 combined). The survey also collected data from 410 workers
in 75 enterprises (table 9.1).
In the formal sector, reflecting recent economic recovery, employment has grown
since 2002 at an average rate of 5 percent per year. Almost 44 percent of enterprises in
DRC added jobs in the previous 4 years, while only 16 percent reduced their
workforce. Further analysis is required to see which sectors or types of firms
contributed to increases in employment.

Table 9.1. Median Monthly Compensation in Democratic Republic of Congo and


Selected African Countries (US$)
Worker South
category DRC Zambia Tanzania Africa Malawi Kenya Uganda Madagascar
Managers 319.7 357.71 217.26 2,086.9 348.95 376.26 139.08 168.91
Professionals 157.6 360.02 186.22 1,670.9 257.12 138.35 78.34 109.88
Skilled 101.3 83.08 82.77 554.7 78.06 87.22 43.12 53.34
Unskilled 98.5 42.48 56.9 292.5 32.14 114.92 44.51 33.6
Non-production 84.4 54 62.07 170.79 69.69 49.34
Source: World Bank 2007.

38
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 39

Overall, 16 percent of firms report the lack of skilled labor as a major or severe
constraint. Given the urgency of having basic infrastructure and correcting basic
regulatory issues, this low proportion is not surprising. However, the variation across
firm size is interesting. Almost twice the percentage of firms in the informal sector (20
percent) as large firms (10 percent) reported this constraint. The ICA report provides
an insight into the difficulties faced by construction firms. Although workers are
readily available, their training levels are low. Skilled workers and engineers with
sound theoretical and vocational backgrounds are scarce. The few good engineers have
been recruited by large firms.
Again not surprisingly, fewer than 10 percent of firms report any training, and
only 1 percent of workers report receiving training. Training incidence in DRC, as
measured by the percentage of firms offering training, is among the lowest in Sub-
Saharan Africa. DRC’s 10 percent is compared to 25 percent in Rwanda and 35 percent
in Tanzania. The small size of firms and the use of temporary workers limit firms’
incentives to invest in training. Furthermore, clearly, the lack of training providers and
good quality training limits the opportunities for employers to offer training. Finally,
the overall business environment does not reward entrepreneurs for expanding
physical or human capital.
Wages of workers in DRC, especially for unskilled workers, are significantly
higher than in other SSA countries due to the higher cost of living. Strikingly, there is
little difference between wages of skilled and unskilled workers. Professionals earn
approximately only 50 percent more than skilled workers. This figure contrasts with a
differential of 200–300 percent in the wages for the latter two groups in other SSA
countries.
There are significant differences in wages across size of firms and by type of
ownership across all worker categories. Larger firms pay significantly more than all
other sizes, and foreign owned firms offer better compensation than domestic firms
(table 9.2). The ICA report estimates a private rate of return of 7 percent for each
additional year of education, but does not present returns to different levels of
education. In-service training has no impact on earnings, which is to be expected given
the tiny proportion of workers who do receive training (appendix 2).

Table 9.2. Median Monthly Earning by Worker and Firm Category in Democratic
Republic of Congo (US$)
Domestically Foreign
Worker category Micro Small Medium Large owned owned
Managers 56.4 — — — 98.5 319.7
Professionals — 67.1 107.2 194.9 151.2 157.6
Skilled production 65.4 65.4 116.1 102.1 65.8 101.3
Unskilled production 63.3 73.9 67.3 102.1 56.4 98.5
Non-production 56.4 63.3 74.7 97.5 81.1 84.4
Source: World Bank 2007.
40 World Bank Working Paper

The wages of skilled and unskilled workers in this sample are higher than the
average monthly compensation of primary and secondary teachers. In 2005–06 the
average monthly salary of a primary teacher was $25 and that of a secondary teacher
$45. These figures include both state salaries and supplements paid by contributions
levied on parents. Teachers in Kinshasa earn more because the state salaries are
significantly higher due to the transport allowance and also possibly due to the higher
level of parental contributions. Hence, the salaries of Kinshasa workers are more likely
to approximate those of workers in the manufacturing sector.
These compensation differentials seem to imply that the link between education
and earnings is not direct. Most unskilled workers in industry presumably have 6 years
of education or less. In contrast, according to norms, primary teachers are expected to
have at least 10 years of education, and apparently most do have this level of
education.2 These compensation differentials in part may reflect differences in working
conditions or in the cost of living between the two occupational groups. However, they
highlight both the relatively low pay of teachers as well as the difficulties of recruiting
and retaining staff for the education sector.
Equally importantly, these figures show that, at current compensation levels,
should the manufacturing sector grow rapidly, it will be difficult to attract fresh
graduates into the teaching force. This fact may be especially true in particular
provinces with limited supply of secondary education graduates.
While the above analysis throws light on the current state of the market for skilled
workers, education and training policy at the post-primary level should not be
determined by these factors alone. Investment in education has a long gestation, and
decisions taken now, or delayed further, will affect the skill level of new entrants in the
workforce a decade from now. Over the medium term, if investment and growth pick
up, skill shortages are likely to appear rather quickly in the DRC.
The DRC already attracts the largest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in SSA,
approximately $1 billion in 2006. This amount is projected to grow enormously,
especially as investment in mining comes to fruition.3 Unlike in many other SSA
countries, DRC’s foreign investment is not concentrated in resource-extractive
industries. The manufacturing and service sectors have benefited, and they have
spurred the growth of relatively small enterprises. In the ICA survey, over 30 percent
of firms were fully or partially owned by foreigners.
Foreign investors are particularly sensitive to the availability of skilled labor. In
countries that participated in the World Bank Africa-Asia Trade and Investment
(WBAATI) firm-level surveys and business case studies, “the shortage of skilled labor
is reported as the most significant constraint by the majority of (foreign) firms.”4 These
include Chinese and Indian firms that are investing heavily in consumer and
investment goods industries. The shortage of local skilled labor leads these firms to
import either labor or manufactured components from their home countries.
Other aspects of recent economic growth in the DRC also are noteworthy. A broad
spectrum of sectors contributed to recent growth, including cement and construction,
wood, beverages, and infrastructure (telecommunication, electricity, and transport).
The DRC’s informal sector seems dynamic, and, in contrast to other SSA countries, a
large proportion (40 percent) of its workers has university education.5 This may partly
reflect the lack of opportunities for employment for university graduates. Hence, due
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 41

to investment in new technology and processes, the demand for skills upgrades is
likely to be spread across sectors in both the formal and informal parts of the economy.
A higher stock of human capital in the labor force promotes intersectoral mobility
of the labor force and enables the economy to adjust to changing demand.
Entrepreneurs can respond to skill shortages through small amounts of additional
training. Low educational attainment also can create disincentives for firms to invest in
general training for fear of subsequently losing these trained workers to competitors.
Intervention through public policy can help to break the vicious cycle of low
educational attainment engendering low investment in post-school or enterprise-based
training.

Notes
1
World Bank 2007.
2
World Bank 2005a.
3
World Bank 2007.
4
Broadman 2007, p.222.
5
World Bank, 2007.
CHAPTER 10

Challenges and Constraints

Summary of Challenges
Five challenges emerge from the preceding analysis:
1. Raising the human capital stock in DRC, particularly by improving the
education attainment of new entrants into the labor force, is an important
policy priority for the country to support its economic development. The
demand for workers and technicians with skills for new technologies used in
the modern sector is likely to grow as foreign investment and exports increase.
Equally importantly, raising the human capital of young workers who will
join the informal sector can raise productivity and incomes and have a broad
impact on reducing poverty.
2. To achieve this goal in the next 10–15 years, moving rapidly to ensure
universal primary completion by 2015, while essential, will not be sufficient.
The reason is that the number of out-of-school children and youth who have
not completed primary education is enormous. This number will continue to
grow for some time, even under the most optimistic scenarios for reducing the
primary drop-out rate.
To rapidly upgrade the human capital stock of the young labor force, it is
necessary to provide alternative education/training for a significant proportion of the
out-of-school children. Paradoxically, the slower the progress in ensuring
primary completion (resulting in more children with less than primary
education), the more urgent is this strategy.
It will be also necessary to provide post-primary education and training
opportunities up to the age of 15 for the majority of young people, implying universal
education of 8–9 years in line with international trends.
3. The existing formal secondary education and TVET system is characterized by
low efficiency, poor quality, and irrelevance, and caters only to the formal
sector of the economy. The short duration vocational cycle attracts few
students due to its perceived irrelevance. Due to the long duration of the other
cycle and high repetition and failure rates on examinations, the number of
secondary completers is low. The graduates of the system do not have the
competencies and skills required by a modern economy. Skills training for the
informal sector, the largest employer in the DRC, is virtually nonexistent.
4. Unit costs are high due to low pupil-teacher ratios and small class sizes. These
are partly the result of fragmentation of courses and early specialization. This
high cost and inefficient system is under pressure to expand due to rapid
demographic growth and the increase in the number of primary education

42
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 43

completers, unless relevant alternative channels are created and/or the formal
system is restructured.
5. Even with rapid economic growth, the state’s financial resources for secondary
education will continue to be limited because of the low base from which it is
starting and enormous demands for primary education.

Demographic Pressures
To the above five challenges, a sixth must be added due to demographic pressures.
With a demographic growth of 2.5 percent per year, the total population of 12–24 year
olds will grow from 16.9 million in 2006 to 20.65 million in 2015 and 25.1 million in
2022. Figure 10.1 gives the breakdown of this population by age groups corresponding
broadly to the tronc commun (12–14 years), upper secondary (15–19 years), and higher
education (20–24 years). The increase will be most rapid in the 12–14 year age group, at
2.74 percent per year, with the numbers growing from 4.3 million to 6.7 million in the
same period. The number of 15–19 year olds will increase from 6.6 million in 2006 to
almost 10 million by 2022.

Figure 10.1. Population Growth by Age Group, 2006–22 Projected

Source: World Bank estimates.


44 World Bank Working Paper

Figure 10.2. Growth in Enrollment, by Level, 2000–22 Projected:


Uncontrolled Student Flow

Source: World Bank estimates.

Unviable Option: Continuing Status Quo of Exclusive


Reliance on the Formal Education System
Maintaining the existing structure of the education system, without any regulation of
student flows among levels of education or introducing alternatives to formal
education, is unviable for two reasons. First, if there is no regulation of student flows
and the existing high transition rates between levels of education are maintained, the
formal secondary and higher education system will have to expand enormously. The
capacity requirements are simply enormous (for teachers, rooms, books). Second, the
financial requirements for this system will become unsustainable.
Figure 10.2 shows the growth in enrollment at different levels of the system,
assuming the status quo. The transition rate between primary and secondary would
remain at the current level of 80 percent. The distribution of upper secondary students
between the four streams (general, teacher training, technical, and vocational) also
would remain the same. The numbers enrolled in secondary education would double
between 2007 and 2011 and more than quadruple by 2015, increasing from close to 2
million in 2006 to 8.5 million in 2015. Enrollment in higher education would increase 6-
fold from approximately 220,000 in 2006 to approximately 1.35 million 2015.
Undoubtedly, the above rapid expansion improves the education profile of the
youth population. Projections of the activity status show that if secondary and higher
education were expanded in this manner, 90 percent of 12–14 year olds would be in
primary or secondary school by 2015, and 70 percent in secondary school. Almost 55
percent of 15–19 year olds would be enrolled (mostly in secondary education, and a
small proportion in higher education). More significantly, these proportions would
expand rapidly. Thus, by 2022 almost 75 percent would be enrolled in post-primary
education, and 15 percent enrolled in higher education. By 2022, the number of
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 45

students in higher education per 100,000 population would approach 2,000––close to


the ratio for many middle-income countries.
The critical constraints will be the requirements for teachers and classrooms and
for financial resources. Simulations (not shown here) demonstrate that the
requirements for public funding would reach 50 percent of the state budget, clearly an
unattainable target.
Moreover, a very rapid expansion of formal post-primary education is not
warranted by DRC’s level of economic development. The projected enrollment status
of youth approximates that of the higher income and/or rapidly growing economies,
such as in East Asia and South Asia, which have invested in education for decades.
In practice, financial constraints will not allow the evolution of the system in this
manner. Compromises will be made on quality, or the system will adjust by producing
a very high level of dropouts and failures. The main point is that, if the status quo
continues, the consequences will occur by default rather than through deliberate policy
choice.
CHAPTER 11

Relevant Lessons from


International Experience

T he challenges and constraints faced by DRC in expanding opportunities for its


youth are by no means unique. Undoubtedly they are accentuated by the recent
history of conflict, widespread poverty, and the precariousness of public financing.
However, many other countries are faced with the common issues of how to expand
access, raise quality, and increase efficiency of spending.
This section provides an overview of international experience in three areas which
have the most impact on access, quality, and efficiency: (i) the structure of secondary
education and TVET, (ii) curriculum organization, and (iii) teacher preparation and
utilization.

Structure of Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Education


and Training
In most developing countries, the majority of youth leave formal education before the
completion of lower secondary. Education of 9–10 years for children between the ages
of 6 and 15/16 is increasingly viewed as the basic minimum for equipping young
people with the skills for the labor market and life. In SSA countries, only 30 percent of
a given age cohort complete lower secondary education. Moreover, lower secondary is
often not structured to provide students with basic theoretical knowledge and literacy.
Two major trends have emerged in response to these challenges. One, in response
to the need to increase student “survival rates” through lower secondary, countries
have lengthened compulsory education, often combining primary and lower
secondary into a single “basic” education cycle. Two, and in response to the need to
ensure that students acquire basic theoretical capabilities, countries have restructured
lower secondary to provide a strong general curriculum instead of early vocational
tracking.
Extended compulsory education. Many developing countries have extended the
length of compulsory education. Between 2000 and 2005, 13 low- and middle-income
countries lengthened their compulsory education cycle, by an average of 2 years.1 For
these countries, the compulsory education cycle now averages 9.2 years.
Compulsory education reforms often include the combination of primary and
lower secondary into a single “basic” education cycle. The rationale is that students are
more likely to stay in school if they can continue in a single cycle, instead of having to
manage the transition to another educational cycle that may have significant

46
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 47

“transition costs” at a young age—completion or exit exams and abrupt changes in


curricula or language of instruction. The basic education cycle can still be provided in
different schools, such as primary and middle/lower secondary schools, to minimize
the cost of infrastructure provision. Box 11.1 describes educational reforms
implemented in South Africa and in progress in Madagascar, which include provision
of basic education.

Box 11.1. Education Reform in South Africa and Madagascar

South Africa
South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) recognizes three strands of
education: General Education and Training (grades 0–9), Further Education and Training
(grades 10–12), and Higher Education and Training.
The duration of school education is 13 years or grades, which includes grade 0 (known as
grade R or “reception year”) through to grade 12 or “matric”—the year of matriculation.
Education is compulsory for all South Africans from age 7 (grade 1) to age 15, or the
completion of grade 9, under the South African Schools Act of 1996.
Further Education and Training takes includes career-oriented education and training
offered in other Further Education and Training institutions—technical colleges,
community colleges and private colleges. Diplomas and certificates are qualifications
recognized at this level, which lead either to the job market or to higher education.
Madagascar
In 2006, gross primary enrollment in Madagascar was 57 percent, and gross lower
secondary enrollment was 27 percent. The government recognized the need to expand
enrollment, to make educational curricula more relevant to the needs of Madagascar’s
growing economy, and to align the education system with the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) countries.
To do so, the government designed a comprehensive overhaul of its education system,
which is now underway. Consistent with its broad reform goals, the changes to
Madagascar’s school system will:
• lengthen primary education from 5 to 7 years and gradually move to
universalization
• shift lower secondary from grades 6–8 to grades 8–10 and expand access to 10-
year basic education
• provide a 2-year senior higher secondary education, expanded and restructured
with a focus on technical and vocational preparation
• reorganize TVET, eliminating vocational training at the lower secondary level, and
reducing occupational specialization at the higher secondary level
• transform and expand higher education to provide advanced scientific and
technical skills.

Secondary education structure. The second challenge that developing countries


face is how to structure lower and higher secondary education, particularly to ensure
that students completing lower secondary are equipped with basic theoretical
knowledge and literacy.
48 World Bank Working Paper

Table 11.1. Structure of Lower Secondary Education in Different Countries


Structure Example countries
1. “Basic”: Combined primary and lower Asia: Indonesia, Rep. of Korea, Nepal, Thailand,
secondary education SSA: Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South
Africa
OECD: Denmark, Finland, Rep. of Korea, Slovak Republic,
Sweden
Other: Ecuador, Grenada, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine,
Yemen
2. Separate primary and lower secondary, Asia: India
with no tracking in lower secondary OECD: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy,
Portugal, Spain, United States
Other: Colombia, Turkey
3. Separate primary and lower secondary, OECD: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg,
with tracking in lower secondary Netherlands, Poland
Other: Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru
4. Combined lower and higher secondary Latin America: Brazil
Source: Adapted from World Bank,2005b.

Table 11.1 provides the basic types of secondary education worldwide. Four basic
structures emerge in lower secondary: (i) combined primary and lower secondary
education, or “basic”; (ii) separate primary and lower secondary, with no tracking in
lower secondary; (iii) separate primary and lower secondary, with tracking in lower
secondary; and (iv) combined lower and higher secondary.2
The first observation here is that a significant number of countries—including
those in Asia, anglophone SSA, and the OECD—have a single “basic” education
structure that combines primary and lower secondary.
The second observation is that few countries continue to track students in lower
secondary. Most countries—including Indonesia, India, South Africa, and others—
have shifted to general education in lower secondary, although tracking students in
lower secondary is still common to francophone SSA. In table 11.1, countries with
general education in lower secondary are those that offer combined “basic” education
(structure 1) or separate lower secondary, without tracking (structure 2).
The transition to a combined “basic” education and the elimination of tracking in
lower secondary reflect countries’ desire to ensure that students acquire basic
analytical capabilities prior to completing lower secondary. Many students will end
their formal education at this level and this stage typically represents students’ last
chance to gain basic theoretical knowledge and literacy.
There is less cross-country variation in higher secondary school structure than in
lower secondary school structure. Most countries offer a general education track and a
vocational education track. Many developing countries provide two tracks, while the
distinction between the two tracks is fading in some advanced countries.3
TVET structure, duration, and timing. Decisions on the length and structure of
secondary education also affect TVET. There are three basic types of TVET programs:
vocational education, workplace training, and third-party training. There are also three
educational levels at which TVET is offered: lower secondary, often as a terminal
option with no possibility to continue formal education; upper secondary; and tertiary.
Table 11.2 compares both the types and timing of TVET programs.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 49

Table 11.2. Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Comparison of


Program Types and Timing
Type Example countries/programs Impact Cost
Vocational education
• Double qualifying pathways Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique Low —
• Dual system (education + Austria, Norway Med —
work) Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, High High
Indonesia, Rep. of Korea, Poland
Workplace
• Formal apprenticeships Industrialized—France, UK, U.S. Med —
• Traditional apprenticeships Developing—Ghana — Low
• Internships Industrialized—Sweden, Med —
• Enterprise-based training Netherlands Low —
Worldwide
Third party (outside work/formal U.S.—Job Corps, Career High High
school) Academies; Latin America—Joven
Programs
Timing Example countries Impact Cost
Lower secondary Developing Low Med
Upper secondary All Med/High Med
Tertiary Industrialized Med/High Med
Source: Adam 2007.

Three main lessons can be drawn from international experience. First, TVET
programs offered in lower secondary have low impact. The main reason for low
program impact is that TVET at this level often provides skills that the private sector
already trains its employees on, while neglecting the educational foundations that they
need to learn new skills and increase their productivity in the labor market over time.
Second, a growing number of countries are choosing to defer TVET until higher
secondary because students are better positioned to make informed career choices.4
Third, TVET enrollment rates are higher when students have the option to continue
their education or seek employment after program completion. In Austria and
Norway, where this “double pathways” approach has been developed, enrollment in
TVET has increased. An alternative to this approach—adopted in Tunisia, the Republic
of Korea, South Africa, and Denmark—is to allow students to continue their studies
upon completion of a given TVET cycle.5
Alternatives to formal education. Due to the large number of primary school
dropouts as well as poverty and associated high opportunity costs of attending formal
secondary schools, many countries have tried to introduce flexible mechanisms to
enable these excluded children to access post-primary education. These include several
Asian countries which now have very high secondary enrollment rates. As part of its
strategy to extend compulsory education from 6 to 9 years, Thailand recognized
alternative forms of education, including graduates from nonformal education centers
for marginalized children, such as HIV/AIDs orphans and street children. India has set
up open schools that enable students to acquire a secondary school certificate through
a combination of distance and face-to-face education provided in a variety of settings
with self-paced learning.
50 World Bank Working Paper

Curriculum
Many countries have introduced broad curricular changes in secondary education in
order to improve quality and relevance and to keep up with the developments in
knowledge, science, and technology. Experience shows that curriculum reform is
difficult and requires protracted effort, but when well planned and implemented, it
pays off in terms of improvement in student outcomes. Often, changes in the structure
of education, including the choice of a basic education provide an opportunity for
introducing curricular reform.
Four trends emerge from the experience of countries that have undertaken
curricular reform.6
The first trend is to minimize the divide between general and vocational
education. This is an especially important trend in lower secondary. Countries have
made their secondary school education more relevant by complimenting updated
general content with an emphasis on occupationally oriented skills, in the form of
strong vocational preparation modules in general secondary or occupation-specific
training in TVET institutions. The occupational skills respond to labor market demand,
but are general enough not to have an “expiration date.”
The second trend is to update the general curriculum to make the curriculum
more relevant. Updated curricula are likely to include courses that are more applicable
to general labor market needs. There is more demand for traditional subjects such as
science, mathematics and an international language, as well as new subjects such as
technology, economics, citizenship education, environmental education, and health.
Many countries are introducing English in lower secondary education as the favored
language of international communication.
The third trend is make curriculum relevant to the needs of all youth—a “mass”
instead of an “elite” curriculum. School systems created under colonial systems sought
to train a limited number of students for elite administrative positions. School systems
today need to provide a curriculum that will allow secondary school students—a
larger proportion of youth than ever before—to gainfully participate in the labor
market. This requires a more applied curriculum than the traditional general education
curriculum, which was highly theoretical.
The fourth trend is to reduce the number of possible subject combinations.
Streamlining the curriculum is intended to reduce curriculum overload, facilitate active
learning, and manage the limited availability of subject teachers.

Teacher Preparation and Utilization


There is a shortage of qualified secondary teachers in the developing world as a whole,
and in SSA specifically. Secondary teachers are the most difficult segment for the
teaching profession to attract, the most expensive to educate, and the most difficult to
retain.7 As a result, the existing stock of secondary teachers in SSA is largely
underqualified. The expansion of secondary education is making the shortage of
qualified secondary teachers more acute. Analysis has calculated the estimated gap in
new secondary teachers required in Chad, Benin, Malawi, and Tanzania in 2005. Even
under the “best case” scenario, 3.4 times as many new teachers are needed as the
teaching system can produce in a given year.8
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 51

Need to address the teacher shortage. Given the shortage of qualified secondary
teachers under even “best case” scenarios, it is important that policy makers determine
how to address the teacher shortage. Policy makers can do so by carefully considering
decisions about secondary education structure and/or curriculum, and by enhancing
teacher recruitment, training, and retention.
Secondary education structure and curriculum. One of the most important areas
of focus is decision-making regarding the structure and curriculum of secondary
education. These decisions determine the number of teachers required. The
implications of these choices for secondary teacher requirements should be carefully
considered. The greater the number of tracks or subjects covered, for example, the
greater the number of teachers required. Conversely, reforms that streamline the
number of subjects or tracks reduce the need for more teachers.
In addition, policy makers need to consider choices regarding teacher qualifications,
the length and duration of teacher training, teacher deployment, and salaries.
Significant savings can be obtained by appropriate teacher utilization. A 2004
study in Kenya projected that it would be possible to increase secondary enrollments
by 50 percent without increasing the number of teachers by:9

ɶ increasing the teaching load from 18 to 25 hours a week


ɶ using part-time teachers for subjects that are taught only a few periods a week
ɶ increasing class sizes to about 45
ɶ expanding existing schools to at least three parallel streams
ɶ sharing teachers across schools
ɶ establishing a minimum class size for optional subjects.

Notes
1
World Bank analysis based on Edstats. These countries include Afghanistan, Belarus, Egypt,
Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mongolia, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe,
Syria, and Ukraine.
2
World Bank, 2005b, p. 6.
3
World Bank, 2005b, p. 5–6.
4
Adams 2007, p. 11.
5
Adams 2007, p. 11.
6
World Bank, 2005b.
7
World Bank, 2005b, p. 104.
8
Adapted from Mulkeen et al., 2004, pp. 23–24. Assumes that teacher training colleges produce 10
percent of the total teacher stock each year. The most conservative teacher demand scenario estimates
the number of new teachers required if secondary enrollment increases at the rate of population
growth.
9
World Bank, 2008a.
CHAPTER 12

Expanding Opportunities for


Democratic Republic of Congo
Youth: Promising Avenues

Principles of Reform
The preceding analyses and relevant international experiences suggest that the DRC
should develop a new a new policy framework for post-primary education and
training in the DRC, which clearly lays out the goals and broad strategies for achieving
them. Two criteria must be used to assess the desirability of the policy framework: (i) a
rise in the human capital accumulation of young people, as demonstrated by the
educational attainment of those who have terminated their education and the
proportion of young people who are currently enrolled (hence, investments are
continuing); and (ii) the sustainability of public and overall expenditures. In addition,
the implementation challenges of reforms need to be taken into account in choosing a
desired trajectory.
Certain principles are common, irrespective of the option chosen:

ɶ Quality and relevance of secondary education and vocational training must


improve. This will require an increase in nonpersonnel expenditures and a rise
in teachers’ salaries to make the teaching profession competitive with others
requiring similar qualifications.
ɶ Rationalization measures regarding class size and student-teacher ratio should
be adopted to reduce the cost of provision of secondary schools.
ɶ In order to be sustainable, costs have to be shared between public resources
(including foreign aid), households, and the private sector. Financing of
education must allow for universal access at lower levels of the system and
more equitable participation at higher levels.
ɶ Student flow between levels of education at the post-primary level will have to
be managed in order to keep costs fiscally sustainable. Maintaining the current
high transition rates of 85 percent between primary and lower secondary, and
similar high levels beyond, is unfeasible.

Feasible Scenarios
In order to evaluate the impact on youth outcomes and costs of different policy choices,
we focus on three scenarios that incorporate directions for the reform agenda:

52
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 53

Status Quo—Scenario 1
ɶ No change in secondary/TVET system.
ɶ Expand enrollments but with lower transition rate between primary and
secondary education and beyond.
This scenario is expected to have manageable costs and lower implementation
risks, but also a low impact on youth outcomes.

Moderate Reform—Scenario 2
ɶ Eliminate specialization in upper secondary education.
ɶ Introduce two types of alternative education programs for significant
proportions of out-of-school children in the age group 8–15 years (basic
education for younger children reentering the formal system and life skills
training for entry into the job market for older children); manage student
flows as in scenario 1.
This scenario is expected to have a better impact on the education profile of youth,
while lowering unit costs by eliminating specialization. Implementation challenges are
moderate, resulting mainly from the need to reorganize the curricula for upper
secondary and the design new programs for alternative education.

Structural Reform—Scenario 3
ɶ Provide 8 years education to all primary completers through the short cycle at
the post-primary level; however, only 10 percent of children completing 8
years would continue beyond that level.
ɶ Introduce alternative education programs as in Scenario 2.
This scenario is expected to have the highest impact on the education profile of
youth, but could affect the proportion of students in higher secondary and higher
education. Implementation challenges would be higher, involving a redesign of the
structure of school education cycles.
In order to assess the impact on youth outcomes and costs, we use a simulation
model that explicitly incorporates education and training provision for, and outcomes
of, the out-of-school youth, who constitute the majority of the youth of DRC. The
structure of the model is summarized in box 12.1.

Box 12.1. Structure of Simulation Model

The simulation model for the DRC education system developed for this paper differs from others
in two ways: (i) it explicitly incorporates alternatives to formal education, and (ii) it projects not
only enrollment in formal and alternative education but also the activity status of youth who are
out of school.
The simulation model comprises three elements :
A. Formal Education
The formal education sector in the model encompasses preschool, primary, secondary, and
higher education, which are linked by the transition of students among levels. Policy changes at
one level can affect the size of the system at other levels.
(Box continues on next page)
54 World Bank Working Paper

Box 12.1 (continued)

1. Policy objectives regarding access, completion, transition rates, internal efficiency, and the
year by which these are achieved determine enrollment at different levels. With the
inclusion of alternative education, reentry of students from these programs in the formal
system is explicitly built in.
2. The policy objective for staff/student ratio (which is affected by decisions regarding the
structure of the curriculum and quality) together with student enrollment determines class
sizes and classroom and personnel (teaching and nonteaching) requirements.
3. The number of personnel together with assumptions for the evolution of salary levels
determines the total salary expenditures.
4. Objectives regarding education quality as well as the results of student enrollment,
number of classes, classrooms, and personnel numbers determine nonsalary operating
expenses and necessary investments based on unit costs.
5. The expenses thus generated are summarized by category. Their financing is divided
among the three main funding sources: public (also broken down by central and local
governments), households, and external aid.
B. Alternative Education
The model incorporates two programs of alternative education: (i) basic, the objective of which is
to ensure that children re-enter the formal system, and (ii) livelihood/skills training for entry into
the labor market. The duration for the first program (Alternative A) is 3 years for those who have
not completed 1st grade primary, 2 years for those who have not completed 3rd grade primary,
and 1 year for those who have completed at least 3 years of primary. The duration of the second
program is uniformly 1 year (Alternative B).
The out-of-school population and its educational attainment are given by the progress of cohorts
through the formal system, hence are determined by education policy objectives regarding
access, dropout, and transition to higher levels. Enrollment in alternative programs is generated
by policy objectives for coverage by age group of the out-of-school population. Only a certain
proportion of out-of-school children is included in the alternative programs. From a current level of
20 percent, by 2015 approximately 90 percent of students in the first program will reenter the
formal education system. In the second program, there is no reentry to formal education.
Financial requirements are projected using unit recurrent costs. Capital costs are not included.
The financing is assumed to be entirely by the state.
C. Activity Status of Youth
The model classifies youth of different age groups into 1 of 3 mutually exclusive categories:
1. currently in labor force
2. currently not in the labor force and not enrolled in school
3. currently enrolled in school or alternative programs.
The currently enrolled group is determined by the education sector policy objectives and
parameters discussed above. The model makes some assumptions for distributing the out-of-
school population under 16 years of age into those in the labor force (and hence no longer
continuing their education) and those who are not (and hence may join the alternative education
program). For those above age 15, it is assumed that all those who are out of school are in the
labor force. (This assumption is made to exclude them from alternative programs, because the
aim of this exercise is not to project labor force numbers.)
The educational attainment of the out-of school population (those both in and out of the labor
force) is generated as a result.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 55

Table 12.1. Policy Goals of Scenarios

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3

Transition rates (%)


Grade 6 to 7 (primary to lower secondary) 45 45 95
Grade 8 to 9 (lower to higher secondary) 25 25 85
Grade 12 to tertiary 20 20 20
Shares (% of total) : Grades 7 and 8
Long cycle 95 100 10
Short cycle 5 0 90
Shares (% of total) : Grades 9 to12
General 33 100 110
Teacher Training 33
Technical 31
Vocational 2
Alternative education:
Enrollment objective for 8–15 year age group Range from 90% for those with
no education to 20% for those
with 6 years of primary
Share in basic program (%) 100 for 8–12 year olds
50 for 13–15 year olds
Share in life skills training (%) 50 for 13–15 year olds
Re-entry into formal education (%)
Basic program 90 90
Life skills training 0 0

The specific quantitative targets for the policy goals underlying each scenario are
outlined in table 12.1.
Certain common assumptions underlie all three scenarios (box 12.2). Some relate to
the economic and social context and are out of the hands of the policy makers. Others
are amenable to policy manipulation, but are treated as policy decisions that are
invariant across scenarios. These include:

ɶ Higher expenditures related to quality improvement, notably on non-


personnel expenditures and teachers’ salaries.1 Per-student nonpersonnel
expenditures in secondary education increase from $19 in 2006 to $50 by 2015.
The monthly salary of a teacher rises from under $50 in 2006 to about $97 a
month in 2015, which is in line with the salary of an unskilled worker in the
modern sector and places it on par with secondary teacher salary levels in
other low-income countries (salary to GDP multiple of 4.6)
56 World Bank Working Paper

Box 12.2. Common Assumption Underlying Three Scenarios

1. Demographic growth
• Growth rate of youth population: 2.5% per year (overall population growth rate is
approximately 2% per year)
2. Macroeconomic
• IMF projections of growth rates in short run and 10% per year real growth in GDP until
2010
• Tax revenues as % of GDP: objective = 14% by 2015
3. Primary education goals
• Full enrollment of all 6-year-olds by 2010
• Universal completion of primary education by 2015
• Primary repetition reduced to 5% and dropouts to 1% by 2010
4. Child labor
• No children under 15 years of age working after 2015
5. Cost rationalization measures
• Primary: Reducing small schools, introducing multigrade schools, reducing number of
nonteaching staff
• Secondary: Increasing class size and student-teacher ratio, reducing ratio of nonteaching
staff to teaching staff
• Higher education: Reducing ratio of nonteaching staff to teaching staff
6. Quality improvement: Cost factors
• Improve education quality by increasing nonpersonnel spending in 2011–12 to
approximately $21 per student in primary (current level approximately $9), $53 in
secondary (current level $19), and $306 in higher education (current level $62).
• Increase salary levels by 2015 to 4.4 times per capita GDP at primary level ($85 per
month) and to 4.6 times per capita GDP at secondary level ($90 per month). All prices are
in 2005 US$. Existing salary differential of 1:3 between secondary and university teachers
is expected to be maintained.
7. Financing shares
• Primary: All costs, including school construction and recurrent costs of salaries and
student supplies, gradually are borne by public funds or external aid.
• Secondary: All school-based recurrent costs (staff, school supplies) and investment in
teacher training and curriculum are financed by state or external aid. Individual student
supplies (textbooks) and construction are financed by families.

ɶ Cost rationalization measures in formal secondary education, involving


increase in school size, student-teacher ratios, and reduction of the high ratio
of administrative to teaching staff noted earlier. However, the cost-
rationalization measures are relatively modest. The student-teacher ratio, for
instance rises to 22 in 2015, through an increase in school size and
consolidation measures.
ɶ Recurrent unit costs in alternative education of $53 for the basic program
(about the same as in primary) and $106 for the lifeskills program.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 57

ɶ Primary education 100 percent financed by the state and significant cost
sharing with households and private sector in secondary education. All
school-based recurrent costs (staff, school supplies), teacher training, and
curriculum are financed by the state in secondary education. Individual
student supplies (textbooks) and construction are financed by families or the
private sector. This appears to be an extreme assumption, but without this
assumption, resource requirements for the government would be even larger.

Impact on Enrollment Status of Youth under 15 Years of Age


How would the enrollment status of this age group evolve under these different
scenarios? During the medium term, the enrollment status of persons under 15 years of
age indicates the investments in human capital in the younger cohorts, who potentially
could increase the stock of human capital when they enter the labor market. Broadly
speaking, we are interested in ensuring that a large proportion of them are enrolled in
some form of education––whether primary, secondary, or alternative––and that the
proportion of those who drop out without primary will decrease.
We are interested in two specific age groups: 6–11 year olds (primary age cohort)
and 12–14 year olds (correspond to the tronc commun). The results, obtained from the
model, are summarized below.

Impact on Enrollment Status of 6–11 Year Olds


Under Scenarios 2 and 3, in 2010 the introduction of alternative education programs for
those who have dropped out of primary school would reduce the percentage of 6–11
year olds out of school to approximately 12 percent, compared to 25 percent under
Scenario 1 (no alternative programs). Equally important, these programs would raise
enrollment in post-primary education. Between 2009 and 2011, 1.0–1.5 million
additional children (aged 6–11 years) would be in the basic education program, and 90
percent of completers would reenter formal education.
In Scenario 1, over 45 percent of the total population of 5.5 million 12–14 year olds
would be in either formal primary or secondary education by 2015. Nearly 25 percent
would be in secondary education. Of those out of school, over 60 percent would have
completed at least primary education, a result of the assumption that the system is
moving toward universal completion of primary education by 2015.
In Scenario 2, over 60 percent of this age group would be in some education
program, including alternative programs, by 2015. The proportion in formal secondary
education remains roughly the same as in Scenario 1, approximately 25 percent. In fact,
in 2011 under this scenario, almost 70 percent of 12–14 year olds would be in some
form of education, due partly to the rapid expansion of alternative programs.
In Scenario 3, almost 85 percent of the age group would be in an education
program by 2015. The proportion in formal secondary education is almost 50 percent.
This high proportion is due primarily to the universalization of the post-primary
vocational track in grades 7 and 8.
Finally, we examine the educational attainment and enrollment status of 15–19
year olds in 2015. By age 15, a significant percentage of youth in DRC will have
completed their education and will have entered the labor force. Others will be
continuing their education. Different policy objectives will change these relative
58 World Bank Working Paper

proportions and could affect educational attainment of the population later. For
instance, Scenario 3 restricts access to formal secondary education after grade 8 and
could produce unintended effects. To understand the full effect of educational policies,
we examine the educational attainment of this cohort 5 years later by looking at the age
cohort 20–24 in 2020. By this time, this cohort would have largely completed investing
in education.
Figure 12.1 shows the projected proportions of 15–19 year olds in 2015 who would
have completed their education (left school, whether in or out of the labor force) and
those who would be still enrolled under the 3 scenarios. The following results are
striking:

ɶ The proportion of youth without 6 years of primary education is significantly lower


(30 percent) in Scenarios 2 and 3 compared to Scenario 1 (50 percent). This is the
impact of introduction of alternative education programs in the former two
scenarios.
ɶ Completion of at least primary education increases substantially under all three
scenarios, compared to the situation in 2006––40 percent in Scenario 1 and 45
percent in the other two scenarios. These across-the-board increases are the
result of the rapid progression to primary completion, common to all 3
scenarios, with the addition of out-of-school primary-level children in the last
two scenarios.
ɶ Completion of 8 years of education shows a dramatic increase in Scenario 3. 45
percent of age group will have 8 years of education under this scenario,
compared to negligible proportions under the other 2 scenarios. Clearly, this
ratio will have the biggest impact in raising the human capital stock of new
entrants into the labor force.
ɶ The proportion continuing their education is significantly higher in Scenarios 2 and 3,
about 25 percent, compared to less than10 percent in Scenario 1.

Figure 12.1. Investment in Education and Training of Youth under Scenarios 1–3,
15–19 Year Olds, 2015

Currently enrolled
70
Completed education -
60
at least 12 years
50
Completed education -
40 at least 8 years, but less
Percent

than 12 years
30
Completed education -
20 at least 6 years, but less
10 than 8 years

0 Completed education -
less than primary or
Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3
no education
Note: Total 8.07 millions = 100 percent.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 59

Since a significant proportion of 15–19 year olds would still be enrolled in 2015 in
Scenarios 2 and 3, it would be pertinent to examine what the final educational
attainment of this cohort would look like. We do this by examining the attainment of
20–24 year olds in 2020 (which corresponds to the 15–19 year old cohort in 2015). The
results shown in figure 12.2 are summarized below:

ɶ Completion of at least primary education increases even in Scenario 1 to 45


percent, and to 55 percent in Scenario 2, as over-age students in 2015 (above 15
years) in the cohort complete their education.
ɶ Completion of 8 years of education increases to 80 percent in Scenario 3. The
proportions are still negligible in the other two scenarios. Hence, the long-term
impact of Scenario 3 is even more pronounced than in the medium term.
ɶ Completion of 12 years of education is roughly similar in Scenarios 1 and 3
and larger in Scenario 2. This is a result of the differing assumptions regarding
transition rates at lower levels.
ɶ The proportion continuing their education is small in all three scenarios, but
scenario 2 has the largest share. Again, this is the result of assumptions
regarding transition rates at lower levels.

Figure 12.2. Investment in Education and Training of Youth under Different Scenarios,
20–24 Year Olds, 2020

70

60 Currently enrolled
Completed education -
50 at least 12 years
Completed education -
40
Percent

at least 8 years, but less


than 12 years
30
Completed education -
at least 6 years, but less
20 than 8 years
Completed education -
10
less than primary or
no education
0
Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3
Note: Total 8.02 millions = 100 percent.
60 World Bank Working Paper

Summarizing the main conclusions:

ɶ The status quo scenario has modest impact on the educational profile of youth
and improvements are largely due to the universal completion of primary
education.
ɶ The moderate reform scenario, with the introduction of large-scale alternative
education programs, significantly raises the proportion of primary completers
and boosts post-primary enrollment.
ɶ The structural reform scenario, which universalizes 8 years of education, has the
greatest impact on the education profile of future new entrants into the labor
force. The impacts are larger over a longer time span.
ɶ However, the structural reform scenario envisaged in this paper channels 90
percent of primary completers into the existing short cycle. Clearly, tracking
children into the existing vocational track is not desirable and is merely used
here to illustrate the impact on educational attainment of the young. Further,
this effectively makes grade 8 the terminal year for the majority of students
and does not allow gradual extension of coverage at the post-basic level. As
the results show, the coverage at the post-secondary level may also be lower
than desired.
ɶ A compromise between the policy priorities embodied in Scenarios 2 and 3
may be desirable, with an accelerated, though not as rapid as envisaged in
Scenario 3, move to universalizing 8 years of basic education combined with a
gradual expansion beyond 8 years.

Coverage and Size of the Formal Education and Training System


The commonly used indicators of coverage are shown in table 12.2, with the primary
enrollment ratios being constant in all scenarios. In Scenario 1, the GER actually would
fall from the current level to 19 percent in 2015––due to the greatly reduced transition
rate. Total enrollment would remain roughly stable at approximately 2 million,
although it would decline between now and 2015. Scenario 2 would result in a modest
increase in the GER to 29 percent by 2015, while Scenario 3 would display a dramatic
increase to 43 percent. Enrollment in 2015 would be 3 million and 4.5 million,
respectively.
In Scenario 1, lowering the transition rate between primary and secondary (as well
as improved efficiency of the system) would lower the secondary GER to
approximately 19 percent in 2015. In Scenarios 2 and 3, there is a rapid increase in the
secondary GER due to the expansion of alternative programs or ensuring universal
enrollment in grades 7 and 8. However, Scenario 3 actually shows a reduction in higher
education coverage due to the drastic reduction in the transition to academic general
secondary education, and hence to higher education.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 61

Table 12.2. Coverage of the Education System, 2015 Projected

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3

Enrollment rates

Primary gross enrollment rate (%) 103 103 103

Primary net enrollment rate (%) 92 92 92

Secondary gross enrollment rate (%) 19 29 43

Number of higher education students


per 100,000 inhabitants 124 124 102

Number of students

Primary 12,992,598 12,992,598 12,992,598

Secondary 2,019,389 2,991,677 4,491,279


th th
8 and 9 grade 1,594,767 2,270,391 4,092,143

Higher secondary 424,622 721,286 399,136

Higher 92,844 92,205 75,988

Source: Model projections.

Physical and Financial Requirements of Expansion


Teacher Requirements
The constraints of hiring new teachers could pose an obstacle to the rapid expansion of
post-primary education. As compared to a secondary teacher requirement in 2015 of
approximately 87,000 under Scenario 1, the other 2 scenarios demand 121,000 and
283,000, respectively (table 12.3). Moreover, the qualification level of these teachers
varies substantially. In Scenarios 2 and 3, the requirement is mainly for those who have
completed upper secondary education, as enrollment expansion is mostly for the 2 year
post-primary (tronc commun). By contrast, Scenario 1 requires a substantial number of
teachers with university education.

Classrooms
Due to the requirement for grades 7 and 8 in the vocational track, classroom
requirements are significantly greater in Scenario 3, more than triple those of Scenario
2 and more than double those of Scenario 2. Even though not financed by public funds,
under the model assumptions, clearly the capacity to build and finance these
classrooms needs to be taken into account.
62 World Bank Working Paper

Table 12.3. Teacher and Classroom Requirements, 2015 Projected

Sc. 1 Sc. 2 Sc. 3

Teachers:

Primary 334,919 334,431 334,433

Secondary (including vocational) 86,935 120,597 283,469

Higher 3,858 3,831 3,157

Classrooms:

General and tronc commun 44,661 76,065 20,083

Teacher training 3,606 2 2

Technical 4,499 2 2

Vocational 1,269 0 159,513

Total 54,035 76,069 179,601

Source: Model projections.

Financial Requirements of Different Policy Options


All scenarios involve a substantial increase in allocation of public resources and
external aid (tables 12.4 and 12.5).
In Scenario 1, total spending on education (government, aid, and household)
would peak at 7 percent per year in the period 2008–10, and average 6 percent in the
period up to 2015. This is probably the minimum effort that the country should make
for education. External aid is substantial, totaling approximately $850 million in this
period, but of course, a substantial part will go to primary education, which is
presumed to be almost entirely publicly funded. The share of education in the
government budget is high, but reasonable (25 percent maximum, and averaging
approximately 22 percent up to 2015).
In the moderate reform scenario 2, the costs are similar: the cost of nonformal and
alternative education programs and increased coverage is compensated by the modest
rationalization measures introduced and the elimination of specialization in grades 9–12.
Scenario 3 adds to costs in a perceptible way. Total spending would have reach
about 10 percent of GDP and government spending on education would have to be
close to 30 percent of the state budget. Such figures are not unusual when countries try
to advance rapidly to universalize basic education. One reason for the higher costs in
Scenario 3 is the assumption of providing grades 7 and 8 in the vocational track which
has higher per pupil costs, which counterbalances the cost savings induced by the very
controlled expansion of formal secondary education after 8 years.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 63

Table 12.4. Summary of Financial Requirements for the Education Sector, 2015

Cumulated education spending 2005–15 Education spending for 2015

Public
Total (all Domestic expenditure Domestic
sources, public government Public Foreign (including government
and private) expenditure Investment aid Total foreign aid) expenditure

% of
spending % of total
FC in public % of education % of budget
(bil.) $ (bil.) FC (bil.) $ (bil.) sector $ (bil.) GDP expenditure of state

Sc.1 3,241 6.8 2,636 5.6 18.7 0.9 7.0 73 21

Sc.2 3,318 7.0 2,680 5.7 15.1 0.9 8.0 66 22

Sc.3 3,971 8.4 3,128 6.6 14.6 0.9 10.0 68 30


Source: Model projections.
Notes: Total expenditure includes expenditure by the government (central and local), external partners
and households. Domestic government expenditure is expenditure by central and local governments.
Public Investment = investment by government and foreign aid. Public spending = government
expenditure plus foreign aid. Domestic public spending does not include foreign aid.

Table 12.5. Subsectoral Distribution of Government Expenditure on Education, 2015 (%)

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3

Primary 71 67 49

Secondary 24 29 48

Higher 5 4 3

Source: Model projections.


Note: Government expenditure refers to spending by central and local governments.

Both Scenarios 2 and 3 are desirable regarding raising the human capital stock of
the youth population, but providing universal 8 years has additional costs. These costs
must be weighed against the benefits of having a more educated youth population.

Notes
1
It should be stressed that increase in expenditures alone is insufficient to improve quality.
Reforms in governance and accountability are also required. However, given the degraded state
of the system in DRC, substantial expenditures are required to create basic teaching-learning
conditions
CHAPTER 13

Conclusions and
Recommendations

A n important policy imperative for the DRC is to rapidly increase the stock of
human capital in the population (hence of the labor force) to support economic
growth. The best way to do this is to rapidly increase the investment in education and
training of new generations of workers. Another imperative is to manage the social
consequences of having a large number of youth with limited skills who are out of
school and not working. These two policy goals are circumscribed by the availability of
financial resources. Other constraints include the capacity to meet the physical
requirements of expansion and the institutional capacity to manage it.
The benefits and risks of the above scenarios and are summarized in table 13.1.

Recommendations
1. Create a holistic policy framework for youth aged 12–19 years
The focus should be on youth outcomes and developing multiple delivery
mechanisms and flexibility for youth to invest in education and training. The new
policy framework should cover formal and alternative schooling/training options, for
both those who are able to continue through formal education and those who cannot,
to enable the latter to upgrade their skills and re-enter the formal education system, if
possible.
Whatever the specific option chosen made, the analysis and simulations suggest
that the following three fundamental requirements for any future development of the
post-primary system.

1. Focus on improving primary completion and quality. This is the most cost-
effective and rapid means to raise skills for youth in the 12–19 year age group
over the next 10 years. Moving toward universal entry into grade 1 and
reducing children’s dropping out and repeating grades is a priority.
2. Provide alternative education for the millions of out-of-school children and
youth is necessary. Unless this is done, a large number of youth will enter the
labor force without basic literacy and numeracy skills. The slower the progress
toward primary completion, the slower will be the accumulation of skills at
the post-primary level.

64
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 65

Table 13.1 Summary of Benefits and Risks of Three Scenarios


Impact on youth
(15-19 yr)
educational Alternatives to be
Scenarios profile Impact on costs Risks considered
1– Low : Moderate Social cost of large Raise transition rate to
Status quo (i) % with number of out-of-school lower secondary AND
completed primary youth with low levels of allocate more resources to
improves but education secondary education.
relatively few
complete 8 years
or more
(ii) 50 % do not
complete primary
2– Significant: Moderate (i) Designing alternative Experiment and scale up
Moderate (i) % with (i) Elimination of education programs on alternative programs
reform completed primary specialization large scale can be based on evaluations;
improves and % between tracks difficult—re-entry into phase in curricular reform.
currently enrolled reduces costs and formal programs may
increases partly offsets costs of not be high
(ii) % of those alternative programs (ii) Eliminating
completing 12 specialization in higher
years of education secondary requires
is higher 5 years curriculum reform
later
3– Highly significant: Significant (i) Risks as for Scenario Consider restructuring
Structural (i) 45 percent (i) This is partly due 2 education cycles either
reform would have to higher coverage (ii) As envisaged in the through expansion of
completed 8 years for grades 7 and 8 scenarios, majority of primary education to 8
by 2015. By 2020, and partly due to children cannot go years or creating basic
80 percent of the higher cost of the continue education; can cycle consisting of 6 years
cohort would have existing short cycle impact future expansion primary and 2 years lower
8 years vocational track of other levels and ability secondary.
(ii) % completing to satisfy needs of highly This will enable a more
12 years or more skilled labor balanced growth of the
would be lower system coupled with rapid
than in scenario 2 move to 8 years of
education.
This will also help to
reduce costs.
Implementation can be
phased in as part of a
medium-term program of
reform.

3. Reorganize formal secondary education in order to improve access, quality,


and relevance and contain costs. This may include eliminating specialization
in the upper secondary cycle, extending the primary education cycle, creating
a basic education cycle, eliminating the existing post-primary vocational track.

2. Reconsider the structure of school education and TVET


The model simulations show the cost savings that can result from eliminating
specialization and reducing unit costs. However, providing a high cost vocational track
in grades 7 and 8 virtually offsets this cost advantage.
One possibility is to universalize 8 years of education by extending primary
education and restructuring secondary education and TVET. Extending primary
education is significantly cheaper than expanding coverage in grades 7 and 8, either in
the tronc commun or the vocational track. This extension is in line with the trends in
Africa and the rest of the developing world. To lower costs, only a proportion of
66 World Bank Working Paper

primary schools should be upgraded to include grades 7 and 8. The curriculum for
these grades should require a minimum of specialized teachers. Alternative schooling
mechanisms should be developed for the 12–14 year age group to acquire the
competencies of 8th grade and enter the labor market or transition to secondary
education.
Formal secondary education in the new structure would consist of 4 years. This
could be divided into 2 cycles of 2 years each. The lower secondary cycle, comprising
grades 9 and 10, would have a curriculum with limited specialization that grouped
subjects in 3 or so major domains. This structure would enable the use of polyvalent
teachers and facilities, thereby reducing costs and creating the possibility of increasing
access. Eventually, in line with worldwide trends, DRC could move toward 10 years of
universal basic education. The upper secondary cycle, comprising grades 11 and 12, would
be the main entry point for higher education and for providing skilled technicians for
the labor market.
Phase out vocational education programs in early grades and focus vocational
training programs on skills required by the labor market. Existing vocational
education programs up to grade 8 should be phased out. They are not cost effective
because, if done properly, they would need a high component of general education,
which is best provided in the regular school program. Existing facilities can be used for
upgrading primary schools or for alternative schools. After grade 8, vocational training
courses are best provided as part of the alternative school network for the 15–19 year
group, not as a separate stream in junior secondary education. Vocational courses
should be restructured to provide short competency-based training (3–18 months) that
focuses on generic skills and avoids too much specialization. Employers must be
involved in providing input for the curricula, financing, and certifying outputs to
ensure a closer match with labor market needs. Informal sector associations and local
governments also should be involved to identify the needs of the informal sector and
to supplement funding.
Restructure technical education. Technical education at the higher secondary level
should aim to provide lower-level technicians for the economy. Employer participation
is vital in all the areas indicated above for vocational training. Reducing the number of
subjects and combinations, increasing the coverage of science and mathematics, and
giving students more time in each subject to acquire practical competencies should be
three foci of curriculum reform. The objective is to supply technicians for all economic
sectors rather than for specialized occupations or specific sectors. However, a few
specialized technical schools could be created to address the need for technicians in
important sectors, such as mining and forestry, and to provide a link to specialized
higher education institutes in these areas.
Alternative school/flexible learning mechanisms must complement the formal
education and training system with pathways for re-entry. These mechanisms are an
absolute necessity to cater to the skills needs of the millions of out-of-school youth with
less than primary education. The risk of such programs is that instead of providing a
second chance, they would be viewed as second rate, especially if they are not closely
linked to the formal system. To avoid this and to ensure equivalence and transferability
with the formal education programs, the alternative school programs should be
redesigned together with the restructuring of the formal primary and secondary
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 67

education curricula, Although the providers are likely to be NGOs, the links with
public and private formal schools should be institutionalized and the outputs of the
alternative school system should be monitored and assessed annually by the Ministry of
Education.
An outline of a possible new structure is shown in figure 13.1.

3. Cost sharing and demand-side interventions are essential


Financing should be shared among government, households, and employers. This
principle should be accepted, even if the question of what should be financed by whom
needs to be further investigated. Full public funding of post-primary education would
limit access––unless the priority of primary education is shelved––and would be
inequitable. This paper proposes that, for formal education, school-based recurrent
costs and investment costs related to curriculum and training should be borne by the
government, and individual recurrent costs and costs of construction should be borne
by households. Alternatives can be considered in future modeling exercises.
Furthermore, after the appropriate financing choices are made, choices can be made
about the methods of providing public financing (funding institutions; vouchers; or, in
the case of vocational training, paying for outputs).
Targeted demand-side interventions should be considered. Due to high
opportunity costs and/or social constraints, many marginalized groups will be unable
to attend school, even if supply is made more accessible and flexible. These could
include scholarships, conditional cash transfers, free textbooks for specific groups, and
so forth.

Figure 13.1. Possible New Structure of Education and Training

Formal education Alternative education

Skills for
livelihood/
informal sector

L L
Technical

Higher
A 2 years Secondary A
B B
O Basic
O
R Lower education R
2 years
Secondary
F F
O O
R R
C Primary Education C
E 8 years E
68 World Bank Working Paper

4. Prepare detailed strategies for quality improvement and improving access


Undertake studies and develop strategies to provide teachers, books, and classrooms
in formal education. After the basic reform program, curriculum structures, and
phasing have been decided, it is essential to craft the strategies for four areas:

1. curriculum and assessment reform


2. secondary and alternative education teacher/instructors that address the
teacher labor market and requirements for qualifications, training, salaries,
and professional development
3. textbook and learning materials provision and supply that addresses
alternatives for production, unit costs and financing, and distribution
4. design and construction of classrooms that meet curricular needs development
of planning and technical norms and implementation modalities to reduce
costs.

To provide input for the curriculum reform and alternative schools/vocational


training programs, assess employer needs for skills. The ICA survey should be
further analyzed, but the sample and information are limited. A survey of employers
and graduates of secondary schools/vocational training/other nonformal training
should be conducted to assess competencies provided by existing programs and
desirable competencies. The survey would be followed up by developing a set of
occupational standards, especially for designing curricula for vocational training
programs.

5. Improve governance and management capacity


Delineate intergovernmental responsibilities and decentralize responsibilities to
local governments and schools. The role of the central government could focus on
developing policy, developing technical capacity, and managing the system. The
reform program should incorporate decentralization to provinces and building
capacity there. In particular, the development of alternative schools/vocational training
requires the active involvement of provincial governments to meet the needs of the
local economy. The possibility of linking up educational reform at the provincial level
with the Bank’s proposed governance project should be explored.
Start building institutional capacity in key technical and management areas. A
critical limiting factor will be the capacity of the ministry to adopt a reform program.
An assessment of the capacity for implementation, recruiting new staff, and training
them will be required. Capacity building should start before the program is launched.
Upgrade Ministry of Education statistical database and undertake fresh
simulations. This is required for more detailed planning and should include better
data on private school provision, especially for technical/vocational training.
Investments are required in equipment, staffing, and training to ensure timely
provision of data. Once the database is upgraded and the policy framework is decided,
it would be useful to undertake new simulations based on agreed policy goals and
strategies.
Appendixes

69
70 World Bank Working Paper

Appendix 1. Multilevel Model of Mathematics Score


with Students and Schools Characteristics

Table A1.1. Multilevel Model of Mathematics Score


a
with Students and Schools Characteristics
Fixed effects
Reference category Active category Coefficient Standard error Significance
Gender
Male Female í0.88 0.44 **
Years over standard age
None 1 í0.03 0.52 n.s.
2 í0.94 0.66 n.s.
3 í1.73 0.69 ***
French language spoken at home
Yes No í1.85 0.50 ***
Family wealth index 0.04 0.08 n.s.
Type of family income
Other income Salary 0.57 0.43 n.s.
Father’s education level
No school Primary í0.07 0.90 n.s.
Secondary 1.20 0.69 *
Higher 0.96 0.76 n.s.
Mother’s education level
No school Primary 0.04 0.71 n.s.
Secondary í0.21 0.59 n.s.
Higher 0.45 0.83 n.s.
Index of school supplies 0.06 0.17 n.s.
Ownership of a math textbook
No Yes í0.79 0.59 n.s.
School type Private Public 5.97 3.17 **
Zone Urban Rural 0.92 2.34 n.s.
Constant 35.03 2.89 ***
Random effects
Level 2: Among-schools variation 227.89 24.60
Level 1: Within-school variation 120.14 3.02
Percentage of between-schools variation explained 0.68%
Percentage of within-school variation explained 1.42%
í2 log L 26,181.6
Source: Suchaut 2007.
Notes: a. Model estimates with two levels: students and schools.
* = significant with a 10% threshold. ** = significant with a 5% threshold. *** = significant with a 1%
threshold.
Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic Republic of Congo 71

Table A1.2. Multilevel Model of Science Score


a
with Students and Schools Characteristics
Fixed effects
Reference category Active category Coefficient Standard error Significance
Gender
Male Female í0.99 0.43 **
Years over standard age
None 1 í1.18 0.52 ***
2 í0.97 0.65 ***
3 í2.16 0.68 ***
French language spoken at home
Yes No í1.36 0.49 ***
Family wealth index -0.04 0.07 n.s.
Family income index
Other income Salary 0.58 0.43 n.s.
Father education level
No school Primary í0.80 0.89 n.s.
Secondary 1.11 0.68 *
Higher 1.05 0.75 n.s.
Mother education level
No school Primary 0.71 0.70 n.s.
Secondary 0.04 0.59 n.s.
Higher 0.34 0.16 n.s.
Index of school supplies 0.34 2.60 **
Ownership of a science textbook
No Yes 0.22 0.61 n.s.
School Type Private Public 2.04 2.80 n.s.
Zone Urban Rural 2.26 2.09 n.s.
Constant 42.85 2.60 ***
Random effects
Level 2: Between-schools variation 117.78 2.96
Level 1: Within-school variation 176.43 19.20
Percentage of between-schools variation explained 0.89%
Percentage of within-school variation explained 1.42%
í2 log L 26,181.6
Source: Suchaut 2007.
Notes: a. Model estimates with two levels: students and schools.
* = significant with a 10% threshold.
** = significant with a 5% threshold.
*** = significant with a 1% threshold.
72 World Bank Working Paper

Appendix 2. Determinants of Worker Earnings

Table A2.1. Determinants of Worker Earnings

Dependent Variable Log (monthly earnings)

Constant 3.02*** (0.19)

Years of schooling 0.07*** (0.008)

Log (worker experience) 0.12*** (0.05)

Log (tenure) 0.20*** (0.04)

Male 0.02 (0.07)

Worker training 0.06 (0.07)

Worker belongs to union 0.10 (0.07)

Firm age (log) í0.08*** (0.03)

Medium 0.07 (0.08)

Large 0.29*** (0.08)

Foreign owned 0.12* (0.06)

Exporter 0.72*** (0.10)

Adjusted rsq. 0.37


N 390
Source: World Bank 2007.
Notes:
Robust p values in brackets: significant at 15%.
* = significant at 10%.
** = significant at 5%.
*** = significant at 1%.
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Changing the Trajectory: Education and Training for Youth in Democratic
Republic of Congo is part of the World Bank Working Paper series. These
papers are published to communicate the results of the Bank’s ongoing
research and to stimulate public discussion.

The Democratic Republic of Congo faces the challenge of providing


universal primary education and expanding opportunities for post-
secondary education and training for its youth, ages 12 to 24. This study
analyzes the current educational attainment and school enrollment
status of youth, as well as the formal and informal post-secondary
educational and training opportunities available to them. The study uses
the results of a simulation model that incorporates enrollment in
alternative education programs and considers alternative scenarios for
developing the post-primary sector. Each scenario is evaluated for the
impact on the human capital accumulation of young people and the
sustainability of public expenditures. The report offers policy options for
rapidly raising the educational attainment of young people who will be
entering the labor force in the next two decades, including expanding
opportunities for alternative education and training for out-of-school
children, the extension of primary education, and the reorganization of
secondary and technical/vocational training to reduce early
specialization.

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