Monday, 13 April 2009

Training Teachers to Train Other Teachers in the Nuba Mountains

This week I read a report from the TfS office in Khartoum about teaching teachers to become trainers of other teachers in the Nuba Mountains of Southern Kordofan. That ought to be simple because Nuba people are clamouring for education of all sorts. But life in the Nuba Mountains is difficult for many reasons and this time we came up against the weather when delay in a funding transfer took us into the July to October rainy season.

When it rains in the Nuba Mountains everyone and everything bogs down; even tractors are often unable to get through the mud. So training had to be rescheduled for November/December 2008 when 25 kindergarten teachers, all women, were finally taught training techniques, administrative skills, preparation and use of teaching aids, how to identify possibly useful materials, etc. This may sound simple to those who have enjoyed the benefits of well equipped schools and university trained teachers. And so it is: simple, effective and efficient. So efficient, as the report revealed, that two months after the training some of the participants had already set themselves up as teacher trainers and were teaching other teachers how to become teacher trainers.

Things don’t usually happen this quickly in Sudan and the reports writer in our Khartoum office allowed himself a bit of rather unrestrained rejoicing. The impact of the training was, he said, “good news”, in fact it was “a triumph for the people of the Nuba Mountains”, as well as “a milestone to our endeavor to upgrade education in the region” and “a beginning which makes us hopeful that more work will follow”. Well, that sums up fairly well how I feel, too.

Lillian Craig-Harris

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