Challenges in Higher Education Distance Learning in the Democratic Republic of Congo

By Nsomwe-a-nfunkwa, Banza | Distance Learning, May 1, 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Challenges in Higher Education Distance Learning in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Nsomwe-a-nfunkwa, Banza, Distance Learning


Open and distance learning has created opportunities for all sorts of people in all walks of life to access education (Badza & Chakuchichi 2009). However, distance learning in the Democratic Republic of Congo is still a field demanding a lot of research and practice to ensure successful implementation.

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in distance learning in the higher education sector is facing a lot of problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This article addresses only some of the main obstacles; the complete list is very long.

The first problem is the limited technologies. The Democratic Republic of Congo depends on its ICT through imported goods; all hardware and software are made outside of Democratic Republic of Congo.

The second problem is the exorbitant costs for such technologies; because all the equipment is imported, it is subject to taxes, shipment fees, and so on.

The third problem is that many higher education institutions are located in rural areas that stable electricity - or lack electricity entirely, creating a major obstacle to the effective use of ICT for distance learning.

The fourth problem is that in some corners of my country, old technologies such as tape recorders and video are still a novelty; how can we even think to talk about new technologies in those areas?

The fifth is a lack of trained instructors. Technologies can be readily available at any place, but it will be very complicated to use it effectively because of the lack of trained people.


The Democratic Republic of Congo, with 49 years of independence from Belgium, has never entered such a huge problem of reconstruction and development as today. The program of reconstruction of the country is divided into five sectors: education, electricity, water, health, and infrastructure. In light of this huge program, the country is in great need of skilled people to contribute to and participate in the Congolese work market.

Because the country has a high rate of illiteracy, a new condensed and functional version of the content of learning is needed so the population can learn in their spare time. Many workers are highly interested and motivated to learn in their spare time, because they can be working and learning at convenient times, improving their skills to match the evolution of their jobs. People are working under stress created by new jobs, social need, and economic situation; self-training is needed for many people to update their skills and knowledge.


It is easy to talk about distance learning and its needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo but is very hard to talk about the challenges because they are so numerous.

The first challenge is connected to the quality of materials. Here the big question is how much the people trying to develop these materials are qualified for this job, abiding by national requirement and policy.

The second challenge is related to a lack of financial resources. In the last few years of war, the financial area is facing many problems.

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

Challenges in Higher Education Distance Learning in the 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?