Friday, 25 May 2012

Education in the DRC!

Just so you know, Jen started this post but got caught up with other things. I was also blogging and had a great topic to blog about until I found her unfinished post! So I decided to finish it for her! At least I'm not the only one trying to get this blog updated!
This weekend is Grad weekend. This evening, they have what is called Friday Night Grad, which is only open to the Grade 12's and teachers, and then tomorrow is the ceremony. This year I am important enough to get to go!!! :)

So it got me wondering.... what kind of education system is in the DRC?
File:DRC classroom.jpg

Out of a population of 3 883 000, 47% are under the age of 15 years old. That is a large amount of school aged children. 12.6% of the Congolese budget is spent on education, divided up as so. The school system is like Belgium because Belgium was the country that claimed the Congo.

(By this point, I, Chibiko if you want to be technical, has taken over this post!)
Not very many kids in the Congo attend school. Children who actually go to school will most likely have to walk to the nearest school near their village which maybe miles away. Also, some schools aren't funded the money they need to get equipment or new computers for students. I am quite thankful for the new computers we have at my school. The one thing I'm thankful for is that we don't have to wear school uniforms.

School uniforms define what school you go to. So if you went to another school and wore your school uniform there, they would be able to tell that you are a student at this certain school. When I went to school in the Philippines (I'm Filipino!), we always had to wear uniforms. The downside to having to wear school uniforms is that you won't be able to wear what ever you want. I loved wearing uniforms because I didn't have to worry about thinking about what to wear the next day. Plus, we students would look the same and won't be judged of what we wear. It feels nice. Of course, some students at my school will object.

Schools in the Congo or in Africa won't allow children to come to school without proper uniform. Some kids even get sent home because they aren't wearing their uniform. Children either have parents that can't afford school uniforms or don't have parents at all.
Spread the Word!


Ok so I was saying this...

Out of a population of 3 883 000, 47% are under the age of 15 years old. That is a large amount of school aged children. 12.6% of the Congolese budget is spent on education, divided up as so: 40% on primary education, 31% on secondary education, 27% on tertiary education, and 1% on pre-primary education. The school system is like Belgium because Belgium was the country that claimed the Congo.

The literacy rate for women over the age of 15 is 55%. That means almost half of the women in the Congo can't read or write. However, 78% of men are literate. This is another example of gender based inequalities.

The ratio of teachers to students is 1:70, meaning each class has an average of 70 students. I can't even imagine having that many kids running around! I guess school is different there. Here, at least when we are young, it's something your parents make you do, and a time for you to hang out with friends and make fun projects. In the Congo, going to school is a privilege. I can imagine they wouldn't misbehave AT ALL for fear of getting kicked out.

But the exciting news? Three out of four children in the Congo now go to school (according to this source). Change is happening! It isn't perfect yet, but it is getting closer. There is hope!

Alright, sorry about the posting confusion. It's all Rosanne's fault. She stole my post!

Spread the word!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Congolese Children

Today in Social class, our social teacher, Mrs. Shepherd (she is amazing!) brought a whole pile of toys. It was May long weekend and she decided that we should play. Mrs. Shepherd had to persuade her two year old son to bring his toys to school. Of course, Mrs. Shepherd always has an interesting lesson attached. I love her teaching methods, they always stay in my mind!

Anyways, if you were wondering what our lesson was about, it was about how toys that were made in China had to get reimbursed because the paint contained a chemical called Lead. It is very harmful to us and it was in children's toys. This reminded me of how Globalization effected the Congo. Everything that we have that is linked electronically is linked back to the Congo. The Congo is rich in many resources you can think of but the people are still suffering.

After our little lesson, I started to think about the children in the Congo. What kind of toys do they play with? What kind of games do they play?

To the internet! :D

Congolese childern mainly play Soccer or Football depending what country you are from. I'm from Canada I prefer the sport to be called Soccer. Boys don't use an actually soccer ball. Guess what they use?

A grapefruit! They are sour. Or anything that is round! :D That is awfully interesting! That would really hurt.... ^_^

They even make their own! These kids are really creative!!

Something I found out is that kids make models of planes or trucks out of balsa wood and clay. Little kids roll around with a tires. Boys also love to play tag or even swim in the nearest river and play. I miss being a kid (a teenager is technically a kid but I never have the time to play!). I love to play tag!

Congolese girls usually don't play as much as the boys. They start to help their mother at the age of five. But the girls do what girls in Canada do. They play jump rope (I love jump rope!), talk, dance, sing in choirs of their own (amazing!), play with each others hair and dress up.

A game girls love to play is Tobeta Maboko. The game goes like this, kids face each other clap their hands and jump to a certain rhtymn. Whoever can last the longest with the right feet placement at the right time, they win!

Congolese children are quite lucky to have the time to play. Since many of them are orphans, the older kids don't have the time to play. They have to take care of their familes that might consist of many children. Some children are sent to become Child soldiers or to work at mines at a very young to earn money for their starving familes. Females are often raped and shunned from their own community.

It was a bit difficult to find Congolese children and their toys but I found a video about kids and tennis! It was very interesting. Since these children basically have nothing, they make use of things such as garbage or scraps that lay around and turn them into toys!

Kids also go to school. Familes have to pay a fee in order for their kids to attend. But if they don't have enough money, they always send the males instead of the females. They believe males need more education and females will only get some education. Females are ment to be at home, doing the chores and help the mother. Congolese kids sometimes have to walk long distances to go to school. Or even stay with relatives or in a dorm because the school is that far. On weekends, they go home.

My friends family are missionaries. They tell me that in Africa the churches are more active. I looked it up and in the Congo, the people get up and sing and dance! At my church, they would sing but rarely dance. We have guitars, a piano and drums. In the Congo, they have singers in choirs. Sometimes they have a traditional drum but thats pretty much it. I can't remember what part of Africa my friend was saying but the people don't have an actual building to worship their god so they go under a random mango tree!

I got my information here! It is such an interesting site so check it out!

Spread the word!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Lifestyle of the Congolese people

Canada is such a safe place to live. Considering the crime rates.......yeah, I'd say Canada feel safe. The crime rates aren't entirely bad. Well, not that I know of. Anyways, I have wondered what it is like to live in a place like Africa or Mexico. If you ever been in Mexico (I never have!), all you would see is the tourist sites. The tourist sites would look utterly gorgeous and breath taking but its just a mask. Behind that mask is poverty and poor people. If you didn't know, the Congo is considered the richest country in the whole entire world because of all its many resources it has. However, that is just a mask. Behind it lies child soldiers, poverty, orphans, gender-based violence and mass rapes of women.

I looked up of how the people live like in the Congo and I couldn't get any direct information but a whole bunch of article. I read some and its definitely different from here. I read one article called, "Living in fear: Camp life in Congo". The article started out with 17 year-old girl named Madeleine and her story shocked and terrified me. She was raped twice while working and bleed for a week in her home. But her father threw her out thinking she is pregnant with the enemies child. I can't believe that her own father would do something like that. I can never imagine my own father doing that to me. If I got raped, my father would be heart broken and he would still keep me in his home. However, Madeleine's father just threw her out. Her story is so sad! I'm a very sensitive person and I'm crying right now......

Here in Canada, some kids would complain about school and how they hate learning. Well, those kids should shut up and look at the kids from Africa. The kids in Canada should be thankful that we have an excellent school system and working government. Congolese kids don't get the opportunity to learn and go to school. From the article, "Living in Fear: Camp life in Congo", a child complains that life is boring and wants to go school. They want desks, books and uniforms. I was on the verge on crying again because its so sad and heartbreaking. The kids of the Congo are whipped into the world of war. The children of the Congo yearn for their parents while some kids in Canada hate their parents.

If you are wondering what kind of lifestyle the people in the Congo live, here it is. Children and adults basically work and starve. They have to look for food or something to drink. Women are often raped. Children are taken in to be child soldiers. If children are lucky, they get to go to school and actually be happy, normal kids. Children are forced to quit school to work to help their starving families. Its so sad! :( I am really happy that we have agencies or organizations that try and help the people in the Congo. I can't stand it when something with kids getting ignored by the world. They deserve a future.

Spread the Word!

Congo Bracelets!

Today in Flex today one group started selling their Congo bracelet's! We are raising money to save the children of the Congo! The Congo bracelets are 2$!

Spread the Word!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Progress in Social Activism projects

Today in Social class, Mrs. Shepherd talked about our Social Activism projects. Mrs. Shepherd took out a pretty box that consisted of money from a couple groups that went around town and placed donation boxes in the stores. Everybody is doing extremely well. One group got their bracelets today! They get to sell them during Flex time at school to help support the Congo. The bracelets are 2 dollars!

Another group is getting their awarness video together to put up on our school's daily showing of Cat Corner. During class, Mrs. Shepherd estimated the amount of money that the class will make in total. It turns out that we will be making at least 2,000 dollars! That is amazing! :D

Spread the Word!