Around 7 million primary age children are still out of school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, even though primary education officially became free in 2010, the IRIN news service reports, citing a study conducted by the DRC government with the UK Department for International Development and UNICEF. The wars between 1996 and 2003 have left the country struggling to cope with ongoing violence, corruption and poor governance.
The 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report, The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education, highlighted the fact that violent conflict is one of the greatest obstacles to achieving Education for All. It means lower school enrolment, higher dropout rates, less literacy and greater inequalities in access to education, even years after conflict ends. The DRC still spends more than twice as much on its army as it does on education.