The implementation of authority is a problem in the DR Congo. One feels this strongly in the education sector. Teachers often work with classes of up to 60 students in a room where there are no benches. Students who do not receive proper education in the family circle are difficult to manage. Harsh corporal punishment is still fairly common, simply because teachers do not know of any other ways to correct children and young people. And they themselves were often brought up in this way. Moreover, for almost thirty years teachers have been so badly paid and treated, that they no longer really count in society.
Thus, they feel neither recognized nor respected and have the impression of being at the bottom of the social ladder. This has a major impact on their teaching style. They use their authority mainly in an authoritarian way to “show who they are”. Principals treat their staff in the same way. In rural areas, it is often even worse than in cities.
PRH wants to help these teachers discover their hidden abilities and talents, and strengthen their self-esteem.
What is the content of this project?
The project includes three workshops for 15 teachers as well as individual counselling. Participants follow the ‘Listening in order to improve communication’ module, and the ‘Who am I’ and ‘Living with more harmony within me’ workshops.
During the course “Who am I?” participants learn to recognize and develop their abilities. They learn to understand their feelings and receive tools for more harmonious functioning. They learn to get in touch with their inner strength so that they can experience their teaching profession in a more positive way.
During the course “Living with more harmony within me” participants become aware of how they exercise their authority as a teacher, as well as how they can act constructively in order to acquire natural authority, all this while respecting the students. We suggest ways to take steps in this direction.
The more they are aware of who they are and their potential, the better they will be able to invest in the benefit of the youth who are the future of the country.