Many of us are familiar with the anxieties that come with passing a major exam, particularly one that determines eligibility to attend an institution of higher education. In the United States, college entry exams like SAT and ACT play this role. In Congo, thousands of secondary school students take a similar exam called the Examen d’Etat (State Exam) every year.
Passing the exam provides students with a National Diploma and the opportunity to enroll at universities. Despite the challenging context and an educational system in need of dire reform, advancing in studies increases a students ability to achieve a sustainable livelihood.
Watch the above trailer for Examen d’Etat – National Diploma, by Dieudo Hamadi, who follows a group of teenagers in his hometown of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose struggles to pass the state exam that is the key to their future are further complicated by their country’s endemic culture of corruption.
Recognizing on the one hand the pressure faced by secondary school students, and on the other, the hopeful expectation for a university that challenges the status quo, UCBC’s Office of Public Relations (led by Public Relations Officer, Kizito Mayao) recently organized an event to encourage and inform students preparing for the state exams and university life.
On the Sunday before exam day, UCBC alumni, staff, and community members gathered on campus with over 900 exam candidates to offer words of encouragement, prayers, and hopes for this next generation of university students and leaders.
Time was dedicated to prayer and a message from current Secretary of the Chaplaincy and UCBC alum, Jean Marc Asobee, who spoke about the importance of attitude in determining one’s path. This was followed by UCBC alumni, students, staff and community members, who breathed encouragement into the ears of students and spoke of the unique experience UCBC provides.
Gloria Kalengero, a UCBC alum (right), shared her experience as a student and the role UCBC played in helping prepare her for her current job at Alertine Hotel, one of the most distinguished and reputable hotels in the area. Current UCBC students from each department also shared their experience, highlighting the importance of community life in the university context.
Managers from local telecommunication companies like Airtel provided words advised candidates to be bold and strive to attend a strong university that will further their educational formation and opportunities.
Given well-known confusion around the new LMD system in higher education in Congo, Academic Dean, Innocent Bora (left), explained the new system and how UCBC’s unique identity, values, and holistic training still functions within it.
The ceremony closed with Dr. David Kasali, Rector of UCBC, motivating the finalists to work hard, prepare well for their exam, and to consider the opportunities that lay ahead through a university like UCBC.