News / Africa

S. Sudan Switches from Arabic Textbooks to English

South Sudan has introduced new textbooks for school children, shown here sitting an exam in a school on March 20, 2013,. (VOA/Hou Akot Hou)South Sudan has introduced new textbooks for school children, shown here sitting an exam in a school on March 20, 2013,. (VOA/Hou Akot Hou)
x
South Sudan has introduced new textbooks for school children, shown here sitting an exam in a school on March 20, 2013,. (VOA/Hou Akot Hou)
South Sudan has introduced new textbooks for school children, shown here sitting an exam in a school on March 20, 2013,. (VOA/Hou Akot Hou)
Gift Friday
Primary school pupils in the South Sudanese state of Western Equatoria no longer have to use textbooks from Sudan in Arabic, which many of them did not understand, after some 400,000 textbooks were delivered in the state Thursday.

The books are the first to be written and published under South Sudan’s new national curriculum, and cover the core subjects of English, science, mathematics, history and religious studies.

Tandu Emmanuel, a teacher at Yambio Primary School, said that up until the new books arrived, he followed the Sudanese curriculum and used Sudanese textbooks in Arabic, along with an assortment of workbooks and textbooks from other East African countries. There were never enough of the latter for all of his students, he said. And there were other problems with the books in Arabic.

"We could not understand Arabic. Writing from right to left was a problem. Now that English is on, we shall use the books properly with the same writing. We know that our children will understand very well," he said.

The new books follow a national curriculum that was rolled out last year. They were printed under a partnership with the British Department for International Development (DFID) and the South Sudanese government.  

The first textbooks were distributed elsewhere in South Sudan last year but Elizabeth Carriere, the head of the DFID office in South Sudan, said the books destined for Western Equatoria were delayed because of printing problems.

So far, only half of the books for Western Equatoria have arrived, but Carriere said the remainder should be coming within the next few weeks.

She hailed the fact that, finally, South Sudanese schools will not have a book shortage.

"This is the first time in history that this state and indeed the country of South Sudan will have enough textbooks in its schoosl, for both learners and teachers," Carriere said.

"We are proud through our support to be able to contribute to your vision of building an educated and informed nation by 2040."

The DFID has estimated that 15 percent of students who drop out of school in South Sudan do so because they don't have textbooks.

The DFID is also launching a pilot programin Western Equatoria state to keep girls in school in South Sudan, Carriere said. 

Many girls leave school to get married, often against their will. Human Rights Watch called in a report released in March for the South Sudanese government to set the minimum age for marriage at 18 and provide training to public officials to protect girls from forced marriage.

It also called for a stepped-up effort to educate South Sudanese on the impact of child marriage on girls and the country as a whole, and for legislation on marriage, separation and divorce.

According to the most recent government statistics, only nine percent of girls in South Sudan who start primary school complete it.

The DFID-backed program to push for girls to stay in school is due to be launched in two months. It will engage students and teachers in discussions about why girls drop out and identify possible solutions.

Western Equatoria Education Minister Pia Philip Michael noted that the Girls Education Act, which is before the state assembly, would set the minimum marriage age at 18 in order to encourage more girls to finish school.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid