Institute of Human Development and Social Change

New York University

lab Project

About the Study

The Opportunities for Equitable Access to Quality Basic Education (OPEQ) in the Democratic Republic of Congo aims to improve the academic and social-emotional outcomes of children living with conflict through improving the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom.

With funding from USAID and an anonymous donor and in collaboration with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Ministry of Education, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has mounted a systematic effort to increase opportunities for equitable access to quality basic education for Congolese children and youth.

The five-year program will achieve this goal through three key interventions:

  1. An Integrated Curriculum (IC) that integrates the IRC’s social-emotional learning model (Healing Classrooms, a protocol of techniques to create safe, inclusive learning environments for all learners) with high-quality reading and math curricula;
  2. A school-based collaborative professional development system of continuous in-service Teacher Training and Coaching (TTC), and
  3. Strengthening community participation in education through school management committees and parent teacher associations.

Together these three interventions aim to improve teachers’ motivation and performance, children’s access to quality education in 350 communities, and social-emotional learning, literacy, and math abilities of hundreds of thousands of children.

In collaboration with DRC’s Ministry of Education and the IRC, Dr. Lawrence Aber’s team at New York University is conducting a rigorous cluster-randomized impact evaluation of OPEQ. The evaluation aims to estimate the impact of the integrated curriculum (IC) and in-service teacher training (TTC) system on teachers’ motivation and performance and student learning and social-emotional outcomes.

Under the leadership of Dr. Edward Seidman, NYU and IRC have also been working together to develop the Teacher Instructional Practices and Processes System (TIPPS), an observational tool that aims to assess what goes on in the classroom. For more information on TIPPS, please click here.

Top photo by: Peter Biro/IRC