Friday, March 14, 2008

Sudan: Japanese grant will provide hundreds of teachers

A Japanese grant of $8.7 million to the United Nations refugee agency will make it possible for hundreds of teachers to be formally trained in southern Sudan in the next three years, the partners announced recently.

The funding will support the construction of Teacher Training Institutes (TTIs) in Juba and Aweil, two key cities of southern Sudan, where a decades-long civil-war decimated the education system, Japan and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a joint press release.

Along with these TTIs, the project will also cover the building of five satellite primary schools where teachers in training will conduct classes as part of their hands-on experience.

“The programmes developed by the UN and Partners for the education sector are aligned to achieve the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s overall goal of ensuring equitable access to quality education services for sustainable development,” UNHCR Representative Chrysantus Ache said at a signing ceremony held on Friday in Juba, the capital of southern Sudan.

In addition to UNHCR, the project also involves the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the education sector lead, as well as the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which are expected to provide nutritional assistance and help with school gardens, respectively.

The South Sudan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology aims to have 10,000 fully qualified teachers by 2011.