Sudan Basic Education Program: (2002–2007)

The Center for International Education (CIE), as a member of the consortium headed by CARE, was part of a $23 million USAID-funded project to increase access to quality education in southern Sudan. The main theme of the Sudan Basic Education Program (SBEP)  was local capacity building. The project focused on professional capacity development, institutional strengthening, and participatory process for community ownership. The SBEP spanned the course of five years, from 2002-2007, in four regions of the southern Sudan: Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and Upper Nile.

 

 

The this project was implemented by a consortium of non-governmental organizations, coordinated and led by CARE. Other consortium members included American Institutes for Research (AIR), and the New Sudan Council of Churches. The three major project components were to improve teacher development programs, increase the capacity of primary and secondary schools to deliver quality education, especially for girls, and to improve non-formal education for out-of-school youth and adult learners. Within the overall aims of the project, CIE had primary responsibility for professional capacity development through the institutional linkages component and for increasing life-long learning opportunities, through the non-formal education component.

 

Sudanese institutions that participated in the linkages component included the Institute for Development, Environment and Agricultural Sciences (IDEAS), four regional teacher-training institutes (RTTIs), and the Curriculum Steering Committee. These institutes partnered with institutes from the East Africa region, such as Makerere and Kyambogo Universities in Uganda and the Kenya Institute of Education, in their efforts to build a more unified and comprehensive teacher education curriculum, and common process for teacher certification. These linkages also built administrative, management, and financial capacity for the Sudanese institutions, established partnerships between specific RTTIs and comparable Primary Teachers' Colleges (PTCs) in northern Uganda, utilized an interim, external teacher examination and certification system while concurrently developing a competency-based system to be implemented in Sudan, and developed IDEAS into a recognized tertiary institution.

 

The non-formal education component of SBEP project focused on increasing life-long learning opportunities, with a focus on out-of-school youth and girls. As one aspect of this component, CIE strengthened existing programs in accelerated learning that enabled learners to gain the equivalency of several years of formal education in one year. CIE also enhanced the development of village-based schools for girls and offered literacy courses to community members. It was anticipated that as a result of such interventions greater numbers of women would enter the teaching profession.

 

UMass’ involvement in SBEP enabled the Center to enhance and integrate community-based, non-formal education activities with the emerging education support network at the macro-level, and enhanced the Center’s stature as a leader in the fields of accelerated learning and post-conflict educational reconstruction.

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