BIENVENUE KARIBU WELCOME
The "Ecole de l'Unité" (School of Unity) is located in the city of Butembo in the north east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, sometimes refered to as Congo Kinshasa as compared to Congo-Brazzaville, the much smaller Republic of Congo .
Our school is a democraticly run private school recognized by the educational authorities of the RDC since 1996. It includes a Kindergarden (age 3 to 6), an elementary school (1st to 6th grade) and the so called "Cycle d'Orientation" (7th and 8th grade). When circumstances permit we will reopen the highschool section, which we have closed in the summer of 2012 for lack of means and space.
Our school consists of about one hundred students and a young team of eleven teachers plus the body of parents, which plays an important role in our daily functioning. In the early 2000s the Ecole de l'Unité was among the best schools of Butembo. However, during a severe crisis in spring and summer of 2011 the school almost collapsed. Due to a new team of leaders and a lot of support from within and outside of our country it was possible to overcome this crisis and to rebuild our school. This website documents this new beginning and our daily work.
The schools in our country are in very bad conditions: In many places they are entirely missing, school buildings are in poor condition, and teachers and students lack the most basic material to work with (books, paper, chalk). But worst of all: since the State has stopped to pay regular teacher salaries some 20 years ago students are usually forced to pay for their schooling. Those who cannot pay are not permitted into the school and if they try to enter anyways they are being beaten and kicked out. No wonder, that under such conditions the general level of education in our country is on the decline and – against all international trends - illiteracy rates are going up again. In view of this situation one of our most important beliefs is that no student should be excluded from our school because of financial reasons.
Another problem of the schools of our country is their old fashion authoritarian approach to teaching and learning and the quality of their curricula. Too often they ignore the real interests and questions of their students. Instead they favor abstract political and big business interests. In view of the real needs of our children and our country we belief that it is not only possible, but crucial to overcome these old concepts of schooling and turn all schools in places, where children are not treated as mear objects or empty vessels, but as human beings with their very specific needs and interests. We have therefore begun to turn our school into an "Ecole Active", a concept which governs not only the way our students learn, but also the way we live together and develop as a learning community.
Help us on this path with your interest, your feedback and support: