Teacher Training in Nuba Mountains
During the 2020 Conference of Greater Nuba Action Coalition (GNAC), ACROSS provided a training workshop for teachers drawn from 45 primary schools in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan. This was the first time in recent years ACROSS has been able to deliver a program in Sudan. The training included basic teacher training as well as orienting teachers on use of MegaVoice digital audio players (DAPs) in accessing teacher training materials. 50 DAPs were loaded with messages designed to improve teacher effectiveness in the classroom.
Situation of Education in greater Nuba Mountains
After South Sudan succeeded from Sudan, the greater Nuba region has been confronted with many challenges—particularly large population displacements, chronic hyperinflation, civil unrest and food insecurity. In this volatile environment, the already fragile education system has deteriorated at both the system and service delivery levels and is characterized by poor educational outcomes and high numbers of out-of-school children.
According to Mr. Idris Kuku, the Director General for Primary Education, there are currently 272 primary schools with a total of 2004 teachers (1,546 males and 445 Females). Few children attend schools and for those who can afford to, school are often staffed in congested, makeshift classrooms with proper facilities.
There’s a huge need for literacy development and scholastic materials to be supplied to informal schools created and managed by parents. During the three day GNAC conference, parents expressed interest to give priority to mother tongue literacy in early grade reading so as to prepare their children to transition to the new English-based curriculum.
Participants learned to operate the MegaVoice audio player and navigate the content folders which included teacher training material, school sanitation programs, HIV/Aids information, Gospel music and testimonials as well as the Bible and other content. The device is about the size of a mobile telephone, and has a solar panel on the back and a simple keyboard on the front. The memory chip has capacity for up to 100 hours of training programs. The sound volume is suitable for about 20-30 people in a quiet place. When charged for a day in sunlight it runs for 2-3 hours. The MegaVoice players were originally designed to carry Scripture to remote areas and our team realized they could also be used for education or programs such as peace building and social education.
GNAC also distributed alongside the audio players, colored Alphabet charts. Instructions were given to trainees on how to use them for lower primary pupils.
A one day training session was organised by the Directorate of Education in collaboration with GNAC and held at Yusu Kuwa Teacher Training Institute on 12 February, 2020. ACROSS trained a total of 45 teachers (40 Males and 05 Females) on classroom management, schemes of work, lesson preparation and types of school records.