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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid