The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) territory is vast and counts over 30 educational provinces. Kongo Central 1 and 2 were chosen because of agricultural potential, economic opportunities for young people in this sector, accessibility, facilities and good infrastructure, and the strong desire of youth to start small businesses after their studies.
However, transition from school to work is becoming more difficult for youth, especially for young women. There is a need to improve the quality and relevance of technical and vocational education in the DRC, in particular the quality of agricultural education, because formal employment opportunities are disappearing and unemployment rates are increasing. Young people need to explore opportunities in the agricultural sector, specifically in relation to production and food processing.
Improving the relevance and quality of technical agricultural education requires professional development of school leaders and teachers. Teacher professional development is also a challenge, as a majority of students that obtain a degree in pedagogy do not opt for the teaching profession, and technical agricultural schools are scattered all over the area.
School leaders and teachers of technical agricultural schools in the educational provinces of Kongo Central 1 and 2 have the competences to improve the quality and the relevance of teaching for all learners.
- Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, and Initiation to New Citizenship (MEPS-INC)
- Ministry of Technical and Professional Education
- 2 Provincial Inspection Services (IPP)
- 2 Provincial Education Divisions (PROVED)
The ETAGE programme focuses on increasing opportunities for and strengthening the quality of professional development for teachers and school leaders of technical agricultural schools.
The programme is built around three pillars:
- Strengthening school leadership of technical agricultural schools.
- Reinforcing active and participatory teaching in technical agricultural schools with special attention to equity including gender and environment.
- Supporting and encouraging students’ entrepreneurial ambitions and skills.
The programme contributes to the development of a widely supported strategy for relevant and quality technical agricultural education that includes approaches to school leadership, pedagogy, entrepreneurship, and learning networks.
Initially, 30 pilot technical agricultural schools benefit from the programme. This can be expanded to reach the 92 other technical agricultural schools in the two educational provinces, through replication by the partner.
By the end of the ETAGE programme:
IPP and PROVED:
- support technical agricultural schools in developing autonomous and accountable leadership structures;
- organise regular consultation meetings on school leadership and management between inspection, schools, and the private sector.
- manages learning networks for teachers and school leaders on active teaching, with special attention for gender, environment, and equity;
- will be implementing a professional development trajectory and supporting pedagogical materials for technical agricultural schools on active and participatory teaching, with special attention for gender, environment, and equity.
IPP will also be supporting technical and agricultural schools in:
- establishing production units and microprojects;
- developing linkages and exchanges with the local private and business sector, enterprises, cooperatives etc.;
- sharing their experiences on green and equitable entrepreneurship in the learning networks
The process and lessons learned during the development of the strategy for relevant and quality technical agricultural education, is documented by IPP and PROVED. The strategy is subsequently upscaled to benefit all 122 technical agricultural schools in Kongo Central 1 and 2.
To reach its goals, VVOB DRC develops the capacity of its education partners. VVOB uses capacity development trajectories that give partners maximal responsibility in the execution and management of their own change processes. This is done through technical assistance provided by the VVOB DRC team, which includes both local and international educational and change management experts.