It hurts when you experienced it on a first-hand. Otherwise, it may become a story or something close to that if the sense of humanity has gone away from someone. There is also a possibility of having experienced this; but for some reasons it fell within the absent-mind as you cannot imagine it happening again. Unfortunately, it is happening and not sure when it will stop.
This week reminds the start of 2014-15 School Year in DRC. The start of a new school year is a challenging period as parents are bothered on how to get school fees and materials. As they remained unwillingly self-reliant, parents with 5-6 children on average, have to deal by their own means to provide the necessary. These are parents, for decades, went unemployed not because they lack the willingness or capacities to get employed; rather because they hardly find opportunities that can employ them. In some cases, those seemingly employed have had difficult to get remunerated as the system in which they work is rooted by embezzlements and corruption.
This how it goes on when school year is about to start. It is through selling a cock, chicken, goats, sheep, farming harvests and to lesser extent cows that pupils got their school fees and materials in the second largest African country. Beyond selling their buffer stocks, mums have to resort of trading/detailing few commodities in order to have the family surviving as well as providing on these demands safeguarding their children’s future. Mothers are key pillars in dealing with households needs as they can work within these complex and harming environment. Though unconceivable in a country known of being potentially rich; strangely, it is yet happening in DRC where parents are resorting on these means to have their children going to school.
Regardless of the country potentialities, the distribution and redistribution system of national resources suffers from greediness. The consequences of greediness are illegal accumulation of wealth in the hands of those who access easily resources management. Despite few changes occurring the last 2 years, sounding sometimes as a drop in an ocean; it remains hard to find school infrastructures in many areas of the country, specifically in rural ones. The illicit accumulation leads to concentration of wealth into these hands, whereas ordinary citizens are striving on daily basis to provide on the primary needs. However, for unfamiliar people who probably are being astonished by the way to get school fees and materials; in the meantime, it raises another issue of where is the school in itself?
Most of rural “school buildings” are constructed in non-fitting ways. Even though conditions are different from rural to urban areas, these conditions require an improvement for the future of our children. Otherwise, these conditions wouldn’t help students and pupils to strongly deal with global competitiveness. The reader will unlikely disagree on the role of schooling environment in harnessing human capital accumulation. Therefore, the state needs to invest in as much as possible into education infrastructures in a comprehensive manner. That is, the state has to work on leisure and sport facilities instead of concentrating their efforts to occupy positions when people they represent still facing challenges of meeting these basic needs.
The list of challenges around education scheme is not exhaustive and reaches even the housing system. Lacking school fees, materials, building … is largely accompanied by the inexistent housing system in DRC. As part of the requirements to have our children evolving well, the housing system especially in rural areas have to be reviewed. However, the housing topic will be discussed in a next discussions but the attention of rulers must be wide to understand all these issues.
From the viewpoint of this article, these conditions have to be improved for the better of future generations. The only way to get this done is through establishing clear mechanisms of distributing and redistributing national resources. It imposes rulers as well as political and military leaders to stop individual illegal accumulation of wealth; and rather focusing on public infrastructures establishment. It remains a shame for a potentially rich country to have poorer citizens and this hasn’t to be interpreted as curse. These are manmade conditions created by rulers while implicitly supported by you and me as result of keeping quite. Please, voice to have these conditions improved by requesting equal treatment as do family members of rulers.
Ntanyoma R. Delphin
Twitter account @delphino12