Education System in Congo, Democratic Republic of the


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryEcole Maternelle ( Kindergarten)  352 
PrimaryEcole Primaire (Primary School)   6116Elementary school is divided into 3 levels of a six year program. A Certificat d'Ecole Primaire is awarded.
SecondaryEcole Secondaire (Secondary School)   12 6Program includes lower level (2 year program for 12 to 15 year olds) and upper level secondary education (program third year of secondary to sixth year for 14 to 17 year olds)
TertiaryFirst Cycle    3Diplôme de Gradué
TertiarySecond Cycle    2Licence(Licentiate)
TertiaryMaster's    2Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures/DES
TertiaryAdvanced Teacher Training      
TertiaryAdvanced technical training.      
TertiaryDoctorate    4 

Primary Education

Academic education in the DRC  takes 12 years to complete, of which the first 6 are free, and lead to a certificat d’etudes primaires. This is necessary to proceed on to secondary education. Unfortunately many students especially in rural areas fail to even get this far.

Secondary Education

Secondary education (which may be either general or technical) takes a further 5 to 6 years depending on the cycle. All those who complete a diplôme d’etat are entitled to proceed on to higher education.

Vocational Education

Students may go on from primary schools to vocational schools instead, according to preferences and academic outcomes. There they can follow programs that last up to 5 years in various trades and crafts, at the conclusion of which they receive a brevet certificate.

Tertiary Education

Democratic Republic of the Congo EducationThere are many privately and publicly funded polytechnics and specialized colleges in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but only 4 state universities. These include the Universities of Goma, Kinshasa, Kongo and Lubumbashi.


The latter (illustrated here) is by far the oldest, having been founded in 1991, after functioning as a branch of the University of Zaire for 26 years. Today it offers programs in anthropology, geology, history, information sciences, languages, linguistics, law, philosophy, sociology, engineering, and trade & public health.


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