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Dubai Cares, UNICEF Sudan & Government of Sudan Partner For Better Primary Education

© UNICEF Sudan/2013
Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, interacting with the children during the evaluation visit


Dubai Cares, a UAE-based philanthropic organization, (launched in September 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai), working to improve children's access to quality primary education in developing countries, partnered with Government of Sudan and UNICEF Sudan to improve basic education standards in four states.

158 classrooms and 24 teacher offices were constructed in 88 schools in 29 localities in West Darfur, Kassala and Gedarif states benefiting 7,900 children. Moreover, through the Dubai Cares contribution, 17 food stores were constructed in 25 nomadic schools in Kassala and West Darfur.

In Kassala, Gedarif, Red Sea and West Darfur, Dubai Cares has partnered with UNICEF and the local authorities to improve education opportunities and promote quality of learning for nomadic children by constructing classrooms/learning spaces, training teachers, providing educational materials as well as enhancing community awareness and capacity in school co-management. The program, which received approx. AED 8,300,000 (USD 2,250,000) funding from Dubai Cares, and implemented by UNICEF Sudan, has had a substantial impact:

  • 158 classrooms and 24 teacher offices were constructed in 88 schools in 29 localities in West Darfur, Kassala and Gedarif states benefiting 7,900 children. Moreover, through the Dubai Cares contribution, 17 food stores were constructed in 25 nomadic schools in Kassala and West Darfur - enhancing implementation of school feeding programs that have mainly been provided by World Food Program (WFP), benefitting approximately 4,250 children
  • 430 pupil kits, 60 school in a box kits, 360 teacher kits and 180 recreation kits, have been procured and distributed to about 26,300 nomadic children in Kassala, Gedarif and Red Sea
  • 615 teachers and head teachers have been trained on learner-centered methodologies in Mathematics, Sciences and Life Skills.

During the period 9 – 15 February 2013, representatives from Dubai Cares, UNICEF and Save the Children conducted a series of field visits to follow up on the progress in schools in North Kordofan and Gedarif states.  The trip’s main objective was to assess the impact of approx. AED 25,000,000 (USD 6,750,000) of investment in quality primary education. Dubai Cares programs in Sudan are impacting 316 schools, reaching 65,000 beneficiaries and training 1,710 teachers and members of parent teacher associations (PTAs).

In relation to this, the mission aimed to evaluate and monitor the progress of various educational, sanitary and behavioral change programs, which were funded by Dubai Cares and carried out in partnership with international aid and development agencies and local authorities, namely UNICEF Sudan, Save the Children and national ministries of education.

© UNICEF Sudan/2013
Students using the new classrooms/learning spaces

During the visit to Gedarif, partners indicated that, in Gedarif state a total of 73,000 children were registered in 2008 compared to 15,000 in 2007. This increased the enrolment rate for Gedarif from 49% in 2007 to 63% in 2008. Dubai Cares funds were used for the provision of permanent safe learning spaces through construction of 40 classrooms; and 8 teacher offices in 30 basic schools -benefiting approximately 1,800 children every year; it further contributed in increased enrolment of nomadic education in the last three years in eastern states; it resulted in 40 classrooms constructed; it enabled the government to establish an additional 20 schools for nomadic children and encouraged enrolment. It also enhanced the learning environment and made it child friendly. It also helped in mobilization of resources from the government for the education of nomadic children. The number of newly constructed classrooms expanded from 36 up to 76 classes. Finally, it contributed in community awareness mainly towards education of girls and community participation.

"We are proud to say that this is a direct indication of the success of our holistic development and partnership approach."

During the trip, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: “I am delighted to witness first-hand the positive impact that our programs have had in Sudan. Our primary education interventions have granted children access to formal and non-formal education with average enrollment increasing by 12% in targeted schools. We met with education officials during our trip, who demonstrated a high level of interest in particularly replicating the SHIELD a (Safe, Healthy, Inclusive, Effective Teaching and Learning in Development) school model in their respective areas. We are proud to say that this is a direct indication of the success of our holistic development and partnership approach.”

Geert Cappelare, UNICEF Sudan Representative, expressed his appreciation for the Dubai Cares contribution and for the visit to the education programs: "With the help of Dubai Cares, UNICEF was able to build more classes in remote areas in Gedarif. The number of boys and girls enrolled in those schools increased and the children in the local nomadic communities were given unprecedented access to education. UNICEF is hoping for further partnership with Dubai Cares in the near future  to support access to education for the most vulnerable, especially girls and nomadic children in Sudan.

During their visit to E. Sudan Dubai Cares and UNICEF Sudan teams were welcomed and met by the Minister of Education in Gedarif state, Wali of Gedarif, local officials, school administrators and students in an official ceremony. In their welcoming speeches officials thanked Dubai Cares and UNICEF for their contribution and expressed appreciation for the program’s impact on the local communities where the program was implemented.

In spite of the substantial support by Dubai Cares to improve primary education there are still many challenges that need to be addressed.

Both UNICEF and Dubai Cares are committed worldwide to achieve, by 2015, United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDG) 2 and 3 - namely, to guarantee universal primary education and to promote gender equality, respectively.

 

 
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