A New Scholastic Year
Dean Cornwell – Congo
The new scholastic year is well underway at the Protestant University of Congo. This year we have enrolled almost six thousand students, an increase of almost six hundred. Today, I went to visit the new school of medicine, a fourth faculty for our university. They are meeting in one large room—two hundred future medical doctors—in the old library building. This will be the temporary location until new buildings are built for the medical school.
More than eight hundred students took the entrance exam with the best 250 being given the opportunity for oral interviews for the final 200 students. A glance at the group makes me think that about one-fourth is women. These students represent the effort of the protestant church in Congo for a better future. In this country of 60 million inhabitants there are only five thousand practicing medical doctors.
This first year of study is to be preparatory for medical study taking seven years. Most young people graduating from secondary schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo have had no laboratory courses in science. As well, they will need enhanced preparation in computer study and in English. Both the computer and English language are essential today in the preparation of medical doctors.
I serve as a volunteer to the university as Public Relations director. Global Ministries has committed to pay me a monthly stipend, medical insurance and my travel to and from Kinshasa. This represents the largest contribution made by any of the five original protestant denominations involved in the launching of the school in 1959. I am now half way through the two year commitment I made in coming back to Congo.
Dean serves as a long-term volunteer with the Protestant University of Congo. He serves as Communications Director for the University.