For the past three years, the Anti-Corruption Research Center has been promoting integrity and transparency across the South-Kivu’s educational establishments, with the support of the Integrity Action. As part of this support, more than 500 students have been empowered to engage more with school management boards in improving education services in schools. Integrity Clubs facilitate students’ engagement in and monitoring of the quality of education service delivery in South-Kivu.
February 10, 2020 – Improving the quality of education is a priority for the ACRC. With support from the Integrity Action-financed project “Student Acting for Honesty, Integrity and Equality (SHINE)”, the ACRC is implementing an innovative approach to improve learning and value-for-money in DRC secondary schools.
The SHINE project allowed students, parents and the general public to get information on key parameters of the schools (water and library availability, class-size, toilet suitability, number of students in a class, qualification of teaching staff), the school budgets and spending. In this way, the project supported the government’s education reform program by making schools more accountable.
“DRC was one of the first countries to introduce Integrity Clubs in secondary schools in Africa,” said Heri Bitamala, the ACRC’s Founder and CEO. “Schools work best when students considered as main beneficiaries of education serivices participate in decision-making. So the ACRC helped students, parents and communities to analyze data on the school performance. That way schools are truly accountable to ordinary people.”
“With Integrity Clubs established in 55 secondary schools in Uvira and Bukavu and the online platform ‘DevelopmentCheck’, students, parents and the whole community have better ability to hold schools accountable for quality of education services provided. It is particularly important in the context of the Government of DRC’s education reform which introduced free primary and secondary education system” added Heri Bitamala.
“The DevelopmentCheck app provides key information on operation, budgets and performance of schools for students, parents, teachers and the whole community, which can be used in policy debates, budgeting and setting development priorities at the school level,” said Ngoya Bundu Harmonie, the ACRC Project Coordinator.
This was confirmed by Kahindo Ndjungu, ITIP Principal in Uvira, who said “Thanks to Joint-Working Group meetings organized in our high school, the whole process became more clear and transparent.”
Since the ACRC partnered with Integrity Action in 2017, over US$122,000 has been allocated to the Integrity Building programme in South-Kivu. Currently, Integrity Action portfolio includes 1 active project with total commitment of US$170,909.50.