Distance Education and the Well-Being of the Rural Poor: Case Study of the Kabongo Region in Democratic Republic of Congo

By Nsomwe-a-nfunkwa, Banza | Distance Learning, May 1, 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Distance Education and the Well-Being of the Rural Poor: Case Study of the Kabongo Region in Democratic Republic of Congo

Nsomwe-a-nfunkwa, Banza, Distance Learning

As a result of war and the economic situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the people of the country are suffering extreme poverty. The population of Kabongo depends on agricultural output and the generated income, primarily from the production of cassava. At present, cassava is suffering from diseases and the consequence is a decrease in production. The decreased production leads to less food, and therefore even higher rates of malnutrition. Also, there are fewer products to sell, resulting in less money, more children with no access to school, a higher rate of school dropout, a lack of clothing, a lack of access to medicines and a higher rate of street kids stealing or begging. As a result of the problems leading to decreased production of cassava, the rural people in the Kabongo region are seeking a solution to the problem. By solving the problem of the diseases affecting cassava there will be increased production of cassava and an increase in farmers' incomes.

To solve this problem, we suggest a functional education program for the rural people on cassava. The objective is to develop a teaching and learning curriculum designed specifically to meet the needs of rural people; this curriculum will be focused on adult learners who are illiterate, as well as not able to speak the official language, French, or even the four national languages. The people of Kabongo will frequently only speak the local dialect. These people are geographically scattered and isolated in the local area. To solve the problem of the scattered nature of the target audience, where there is an absence of electricity, telecommunication (and in short all new technologies are lacking), we have chosen to produce a distance education program using radio broadcast. To enable learners to provide feedback and reduce the need for direct contact between the rural adult learners, our plan is to use "radio broadcasting reception centers." These centers will be staffed by trained people, who are qualified teachers, and at the end of training they will be posted to the reception centers. These facilitators will assist adult learners, answer their questions, explain complex aspects of information broadcasted, organize workshops and practical activities, as well as provide "counseling" services.

In the case of this rural distance education by radio, linear design will be predominantly used; in some cases in which the learner or learning activities need another rhythm of learning, the linear design will be combined with other instructional designs to achieve the objective.

This curriculum will be the first in the domain of rural, illiterate, adult learners. Also, it will be the first time a curriculum has been designed to meet the specific needs of the rural people in the Kabongo region.


Kabongo is located in the province of Katanga in Democratic Republic of Congo. TWs region is characterized by various daily problems. Transportation in this region is a major issue, and reaching nearby major cities is problematic. The principal means of transportation to Kamina, a city only 200 kilometers away, are truck, train, and bicycles. During rainy season, this 200-kilometer trip can take up to two days by truck or slow train. This area also does not have electricity, running water, television, radio broadcasting, and Internet; essentially, there is a total absence of all new technologies.

In the Kabongo region, the vast majority of people are farmers, and they live off their agricultural produce. From the sale of their produce they gain money and participate in the standard economic cycle; therefore, they are able to buy clothes, medicines, send children to school, and try to fight against premature school dropout, along with being able to deal with the normal daily problems.

This corner of Congo is facing a very high level of poverty. The poverty was intensified by the consequences of 5 years of war, and recently diseases present in cassava plants.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Distance Education and the Well-Being of the Rural Poor: Case Study of the Kabongo Region in Democratic Republic of Congo


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?