Teacher Training in the Time of Covid- South Sudan

Education

The Situation

South Sudan desperately needs 26,000 well trained teachers. The literacy rate is 28% (14% for women). Solidarity with South Sudan is focusing on the training of primary school teachers in a two-year program which up until now has been based in Yambio where students resided on campus and were supported with room, board and tuition. This situation is beneficial for the country that is torn apart by ethnic hostility and way. Besides training of needed teachers, students from different ethnic groups and religious live and studied together and often comment when asked, “What is the most important thing you have learned?” “I have learned to respect and appreciate people from different cultures and ethnic groups.”

Solidarity Teacher Training College has been closed by the government due to the pandemic.  Living on campus is no longer possible given the pandemic as the government has closed all schools. Still the need to train teachers exists.

Sisters’ Response

The five sisters who run this training program are convinced that the training can continue online to continue to address this crucial need during the pandemic.  Internet networks are few, but most people have cell phones which are supported in most areas of the country.  The sisters are developing online programs using smart phones to continue teaching and learning during this pandemic.  The school faces being closed until January 2021. This project would keep the Solidarity Teacher Training College linked to students who otherwise would have no access to training at this time.

Funds are Needed

A plan is being put into place to train students using smart phones which are reasonably priced ($200) and readily available in the country. $25,000 would enable the college to purchase cell phones and time cards (minutes for use of the local network) to lend to students until such time as they can return to the college. Students may need to work in groups as initially there will not be funding for all to have a cell phone. An example: eleven students live with their families in a UN Protection of Civilians camp. They are sharing three phones for connecting with staff at the college. This initiative may also open a way for future students to learn via smart phones or the internet and not have to leave their families for up to two years to study in Yambio. Certainly, this is a courageous attempt by staff to stay connected to their students during this pandemic and to continue preparation of teachers for communities around the country.

Immediate Charitable Response

$25,000 to purchase cell phones ($200 each) and time cards to enable students to continue their preparation to be teachers.

Systemic Goal

Sufficient qualified primary teachers to provide primary education throughout South Sudan.

Updates

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