Nuba children face a bright future as learning improves

By Jacob Idris, Sudan Mirror Correspondent
Volume 1, Issue 1 | 6th October-18th October, 2003

The virtual lack of educational opportunities in Nuba Mountains is being addressed and the children have a brighter future. The change started in 2001 when the Nuba Relief Rehabilitation and Development Organization (NRRDO) employed teachers from East Africa to teach in primary schools in Nuba Mountains.

In an interview with NRRDO Executive Director Mr. Neroun Philip in August 2003, he said the idea of bringing teachers from outside the region was to help solve the problem of lack of qualified teachers in Nuba Mountains. For two years now, the education standards have considerably improved compared to the past.

The NORDA Director said the status of education in Nuba Mountains was still not good enough because the plan was to upgrade the 94 bush schools into model schools and in collaboration with Churches and other organizations. He added, “We managed to upgrade only 24 of them. He however appealed to the international community and NGO partners to assist in upgrading the remaining 70 bush Schools.

Unqualified local teachers were taken for two to four years English and teacher training course at Yusif Kuwa Teachers’ Training Institute in the Nuba Mountains. The institute was established in 2001 by Koinonia Community, headed by Father Kizito of Comboni Missionaries. Currently there is another ongoing teachers training course funded by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in 2003 in Kauda town.

The newly employed teachers mostly from Kenya and Uganda have injected English language instructions in schools. teachers from East Africa were posted most in schools in Nuba Mountains. School materials are pouring in as NGOs move into the field during the 18 months of cease-fire agreement. NGOs implementing education programme in the region include NRRDO, Norwegian People’s Aid (NCA), UNICEF, Diocese of el-Obeid and Koinonia Community.

Parents brought their Children from government controlled areas in Nuba Mountains to learn English in SPLM/A controlled areas. The English system in Nuba Mountains has encouraged many people to return and settle for the sake of their children to learn English.

The Nuba Mountains Regional Secretary for Education Mr. Simon is grateful to the many NGOs operating in Nuba Mountain for delivering humanitarian services to the people such as health, education and others. Before the cease-fire agreement there had been very few NGOs operating in Nuba Mountains other than NRRDO and Church organizations like Koinonia and Diocese of el-Obeid and Samaritan Purse.

He discouraged some customs and traditional believes that prevent children from getting education, especially the girls such as early marriage for girls. This is also applied to boys who are forced to get married while still young.