Sudan: JRS trains 120 teachers in Darfur
01 December 2008

A classroom for adult women in Mellit, Darfur. (Kitendu/JRS)
JRS’ major focus of intervention in Darfur is in the area of adult literacy and numeracy.
Mellit, 1 December 2008 JRS concluded an in-service training for 120 adult literacy teachers of which 17 percent were women in Mellit, North Darfur.

The training was as a result of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between JRS and the State Ministry of Education (SMoE) that was signed on November 19, 2007 through the representative of the adult education department. The signing of the MoU had concluded a long consultation and negotiation process between the SMoE and the JRS team. In this tedious process JRS was trying to seek opportunities to work with the SMoE in order to build the capacities of adult literacy and basic education teachers working in Mellit internally displaced person’s (IDP) camp and other rural centres.

One of the objectives in the 2008 proposal was “to build the capacity of teachers through teacher in-service training, monitoring and professional teacher development without taking the role of the Teacher Training Institute in Mellit.” After signing the MoU, Mr. El Rayah, JRS Teacher Training Officer, collaborated with the adult education department of the SMoE in order to agree on a specific programme and other structural requirements. The two partners agreed that by the end of 2008, 120 adult education teachers would be trained and certified by the SMoE. A group of 30 teachers would be trained for two weeks. The training took place throughout the year. It consisted of 72 hours both theory and practice for each of the four groups. The main objective of the training was to provide fundamental skills that would guide the teachers in their performance as suggested by the SMoE.

Promoting adult literacy

JRS’ major focus of intervention in Darfur is in the area of adult literacy and numeracy. Although there are no exact statistics the scarcity of trained adult education teachers is obvious. In Darfur and especially in the Mellit locality, there is a dire shortage of qualified teachers and therefore a huge need for an in-service training programme such as the one given by JRS in partnership with the SMoE.

In November 2008, JRS Regional Director Fr. Frido Pflueger witnessed one of the in-service training sessions in progress. While addressing the trainees and their trainers, he emphasised the need for well trained teachers in every society. “JRS is ready to make further interventions when and if needs are availed to the team,” he said. He further called for cooperation between the parents, teachers, community leaders and the SMoE for the good of the society.

During the graduation day on December 31, 2008, Mr. El Rayah witnessed all the teachers being so jubilant that their eyes were wet with tears of joy. Kawther Adam who is one of the JRS volunteer teachers said: “We got a lot of valuable information, new teaching experiences and methods. We now trust JRS more than any other time before.” Also Sakeena Hussein Abdulrahaman from Mellit rural expressed her joy: “We appreciate what has been done by JRS, we are very thankful and hope for the continuation of a similar training.” Examples like this show how JRS, inspite of a tense security situation, keeps up its commitment to the IDPs and their host community in Mellit, North Darfur.

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