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Students storm DR Congo parliament to demand resumption of classes

Students storm DR Congo parliament to demand resumption of classes
More than 2 weeks since start of school year, there are no lessons, say students

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Hundreds of students in the Democratic Republic of Congo stormed parliament in the capital Kinshasa on Thursday to demand the resumption of classes more than two weeks after the start of the school year.

Schools opened on Oct. 4, but teachers are on strike over salaries and other issues with no lessons at many public schools in Kinshasa and other areas, according to the students.

“We want to study,” the students in school uniform chanted as they stormed parliament, according to video footage shared on social media.

The First Vice-President of the National Assembly, Jean-Marc Kabund, spoke to the students, assuring them that a solution will be found soon to end the teachers' strike.

Tony Mwaba, Minister of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education, meanwhile said dialogue with the teachers’ unions had resumed.

Ahead of the opening of the new school term, teachers' unions in several provinces announced their intention to go on strike to express their displeasure over meager pay.

A threat by Mwaba to remove striking teachers from the payroll has not broken their spirit.

The standoff comes following the introduction of free public primary education, a flagship project of President Felix Tshisekedi launched in September 2019.

The cost of free education is estimated at $2.64 billion per year, which seems high compared to the national budget of nearly $7 billion in 2021.

source: News Feed
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