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DALAMI - 10 Feb 2013

Shortage of textbooks in Dalami primary schools, Nuba Mountains

Schools in the Dalami area of the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan face a severe shortage of textbooks amid ongoing conflict in the region.

There are 2700 pupils at nine primary schools in the areas of Dalami Locality under SPLM-N control, all using English-language curriculum. 

Nimeiri Hassan, education coordinator for Dalami Locality, said that there are not enough textbooks for pupils or instructional books for teachers. He also said the number of teachers in the locality dropped recently from about 60 to 30.

The official explained also that about 700 of the pupils are from the displaced population which came to the locality after the outbreak of the conflict. These students came from areas where English curriculum is not taught, and the local schools in Dalami have no Arabic materials for them to continue their education along the same lines.

Boutros Omar Korno, headmaster of Martyr Yunis Abu Suder Primary School in Dalami area, told Radio Tamazuj that his school lacked materials including textbooks, pens, chairs and notebooks. “The situation changed a lot since the previous era,” he said, referring to the pre-war period.

The primary school uses the Kenyan curriculum, has nine teachers and five assistants who are secondary students.  The students’ families are requested to pay incentive fees in order to attend the schools, said Boutros.

“The community pays money so that we can find traders to get us pens and chairs and other materials if they’re there in the market.  We’re working so that we don’t have to close the school, with the support of the community,” the headmaster said.

According to Hassan, when warplanes are heard overhead the students leave the school and get into trenches, then after the bombings they return to class. Or, if the airplanes continue to circle the area, the students are dismissed to join their families in more sheltered mountainous areas.

Photo: Martyr Yunis Abu Suder Primary School in Dalami area, February 2013 (Radio Tamazuj)