It’s an all too familiar story, young children dropping out of school because they must learn the basic subjects in a language they do not speak. However, in a remote, peaceful region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this trend is being reversed.
Ngbaka language communities are proud of their language and comprise 1.5 million speakers. The children are now starting their education in the language they use at home. Once these children understand that learning is achievable, they are then learning French, the national language, and progressing through their classes with more success. Dropout rates have reduced since the program started three years ago (with another funder who is unable to continue) so more children are remaining at school. MLE better equips young children for life-long learning and increases their ability to engage successfully in activities that contribute to the well-being of their families and community.
This program sits alongside the government school program and utilises government paid teachers. However, the government is not able to provide books for the schools nor the teacher training needed. This project provides those, as well as classroom supplies in the 114 schools in the program. As more teachers are trained, neighbouring schools are able to adopt the MLE approach.
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