SUDAN: Teacher Training Helps Educators Learn New Skills for Teaching High-Risk Students
(MissionNewswire) In the Sudan, educators are forced to tackle more than teaching basic coursework. The Sudan remains one of the poorest countries in the world and according to UNICEF, has close to 46 percent of its population living in poverty. Low-incomes and food deficiencies remain the norm and ongoing violence and civil unrest exacerbate already harsh conditions in the country. Ongoing teacher training is critical in helping educators address issues they are confronted with in their classrooms while advancing their professional skills.
In early July, Salesian International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS) volunteers conducted a training workshop on psycho-pedagogical techniques for teachers in primary schools and some junior secondary schools that collaborate with the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in El Obeid.
The training was created based on the expressed needs of teachers at the schools who had provided input based on their everyday work experience and specific issues that had arisen with their students. Out of the teachers’ self-assessments, four main themes were identified and highlighted during the training. The workshops focused on aspects of trauma counseling that foster skills in listening to students in high-risk situations, classroom management and teaching methods, communication and stress management.
Fifty teachers attended the week-long training consisting of five lessons of four hours each. Led by Nasreen Hassan, a psychologist and trainer with the Sudanese Ministry of Health and Jafar Mahmud, a psychologist and trainer with Jasmar, a local nongovernmental organization, the teachers participated in lectures, discussions, group work and role play centered on their individual experiences.
“Salesian educators have a very important job to do and play a very important role in their student’s lives,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Our students often have complicated backgrounds and complex needs. They come from very poor conditions and some have experienced violence and hardship children should never have to face.”
“Training like this helps prepare our teachers to be better educators and to better serve their students,” adds Fr. Hyde.
Salesian VIS volunteers have been working in the Sudan since 2006 and established themselves in El Obeid in early 2013 to improve the education and training offered by the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center and its network of partners.
VIS volunteers work in other areas of the Sudan as well, including Khartoum, Wau, Tonj and Nyala. They offer job-oriented, vocational training to youth from refugee camps in Khartoum and Darfur, improve access to schooling for returnee communities in Southern Sudan and empower women through livelihood skills training. The VIS volunteers, together with their primary partner, the Salesians of Don Bosco, are bringing hope for a brighter future to thousands of Sudanese people.
UNICEF – Sudan Statistics