In the Sudan, millions of primary school-aged children do not have access to primary education. The number of out-of-school children in 2011 was more than 2.8 million.
The most excluded children include those released from or formerly associated with armed forces or groups, living and working on the streets, from nomadic communities, who are displaced and – especially – girls. For those who do attend primary school, the drop-out rate is high.
With neither the infrastructure nor the budget to provide education through traditional means, an accelerated learning curriculum is being piloted in remote villages of Northern Kordofan state using low-cost tablets.
“War, droughts, extreme poverty and other catastrophes have impacted my country. Illiteracy is widespread. We need to [think] out-of-the-box. How we can target a big number of [children] with a high quality of education while still having some flexibility to suit those who are nomadic or in rural or remote areas?” asks Aiman Badri, who directs the e-learning project for out-of-school children.
The project – a partnership that includes the Ministry of Education, Ahfad University for Women, War Child Holland and UNICEF – aims to reintegrate children into schools through an accelerated e-learning programme.
“Within six weeks of our first pilot,” says Badri, “the test results were amazing.” Initial results showed significant improvement in basic skills. “For me, as a dreamer, I dream about this project [reaching] 1 million children. In the next five years, we can do it.”