Enrolment in Sudan's primary schools has been increasing. In 2008, nearly 557,000 additional children (44 per cent of them girls) enrolled in Grade 1 during the year. With UNICEF support, more than 1,900 new and temporary classrooms were constructed or brought back into use.
UNICEF assisted with provision of classroom and learning materials benefiting some 1.85 million children across Sudan during 2008, in addition to providing school uniforms for more than 61,000 girls in the north of the country and working with the UN World Food Programme to support school feeding initiatives that benefited more than 710,000 school children in the northern states.
Teacher training programmes supported by UNICEF helped bring child-friendly teaching methodologies and classroom management skills to over 9,000 teachers in the whole of Sudan. Efforts also continued to increase the participation of local communities in the design and delivery of education - more than 10,000 members of local Parent Teacher Associations benefited from UNICEF-supported training initiatives.
Efforts to reach minority communities also continued, with 50,000 girls from nomadic and returnees communities benefiting from UNICEF-assisted life skills education activities.
Student participation in their own education, and as advocates for education in their communities, was also encouraged with UNICEF supporting training and other activities for more than 11,000 children through networks of school clubs.
UNICEF also continued its support to strengthening of education systems and policies in Sudan in 2008. A baseline study of primary education in the northern states was completed.
Work has also continued in the north of Sudan on developing specific strategies for girls' and nomadic children's education, as well as on a school health policy.