SUDAN: New solar energy project builds students’ skills
St. Joseph Vocational Training Center offers students opportunity to have hands-on learning in renewable energy
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with St. Joseph Vocational Training Center in Khartoum, Sudan, are offering a new solar energy project for the students taking the electricity course. The new training is engaging students in hands-on exploration in the field of renewable energy. This project was made possible thanks to Bosco Global and financial support from Magone Foundation and the Provincial Council of Huesca, all in Spain.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, first- and second-year electricity students installed several solar panels in three different buildings on the school grounds. Students had the opportunity to learn the installation process, operation and proper use of the solar panels.
A Salesian missionary explained the project’s importance. “Power outages of 10 hours a day can occur in Sudan, so solar energy is a key alternative to this problem, as well as making a very positive contribution to the environment. Currently, renewable energy is booming in the country.”
Focused on the educational benefit, the Salesian missionary added, “We were able to adapt the students’ education to the realities and challenges of our society, and to offer quality education that serves to improve the employability of our young people, and to achieve a dignified life for them and their families. In addition, thanks to the use of this natural source, we also saved on resources, bringing a higher quality of life to all those who attend the educational complex.”
The students appreciated the use of solar panels and were encouraged to continue focusing on using renewable energy. St. Joseph Vocational Training Center also offers courses in welding, mechanics, air conditioning, carpentry, automotive mechanics, masonry and computer science.
With more than 36 percent of its population living in poverty, the Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UNICEF. Low incomes and food deficiencies are common and ongoing violence and civil unrest exacerbate already harsh conditions. Despite these challenges, more youth are in school today than ever before. There remain, however, some 3.2 million children between the ages of 6-16 out of school with the highest rates among nomadic populations, those living in rural areas and in the poorest households.
School enrollment and retention is affected by weak curriculum in Sudanese schools and inadequate educational materials and teacher training. According to UNICEF, more than 40 percent of teachers are untrained. Ongoing conflict and the high cost of education, particularly in rural areas where parents have to pay school fees, also affect enrollment rates.
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Salesian Missions – Sudan
UNICEF – Sudan
Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.