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Out-of-school children registration campaigns encouraed the people of Um Gumaree village, North Kordofan State - Sudan, to register their daughters in the school

© Abdel Rahman E. El Dood/UNICEF Sudan/2013
Fatima Hussein Abdel Rahim, Director of Girls' Education Department - Ministry of Education in North Kordofan State

Fatima Hussein Abdel Rahim, Director of Girls' Education Department - Ministry of Education in North Kordofan State, explained how the national school enrolment campaign (Go To School Campaign 2012) had mobilized and encouraged the community in Um Gamaree village to enroll a number of out of school girls into Um Gamaree basic school in Um Somaima locality - North Kordofan State. This experiment was shared during the national workshop for the planning of the 2013 school enrolment campaign, which was held in Khartoum on 22-23 May 2013 and attended by all states and education partners.

The overall objective of the enrolment campaign is to raise awareness towards the importance of education and to encourage fathers and mothers to send their children to school or Alternative Learning Classes and support them to continue their education. In North Kordofan State in 2012, the campaign was carried out in two localities (Shiekan and Um Somaima) covered 14 villages that relatively have high number of children out-of-school, most of them are girls. The major activities of the campaign included awareness raising, community mobilization, distribution of education materials and registration of children to go to school.

“This is one of the success stories of the enrolment campaign of out-of-school children that contributed to an increase in the enrollment in basic education in North Kordofan State"

In June 2012, the Ministry of Education outreach team led by Fatima Hussein, visited Um Gamaree area where some nomadic communities settled. The area has one basic school enrolling only 42 children of them 25 pupils in grade 1 and 17 in grade 2. All pupils were boys except two girls, one in each grade. The school has two classes made of local materials and one volunteer teacher. It is observed during the visit that there were many children in the village not registered in school.

After intensive discussion with the parents and the children on education, the outreach team concluded that the community does not care much about education and does not encourage girls’ education instead it engages girls to participate in some housekeeping work and the boys to help in livestock grazing and water fetching. Also, the leaders of the community do not have a clear and effective role in pushing their society toward education.

The Ministry of Education North Kordofan State invited the leader of Um Gamaree area, Sheikh Elhadi, and the community to attend school enrolment campaign mobilization and registration in Altaqar village – Shiekan locality. In response, Sheikh Elhadi and many people from Um Gamaree attended the session where they listened to different messages on the importance of education and watched parents enroll their children in school and receives school supplies for the children provided by UNICEF.

© Abdel Rahman E. El Dood/UNICEF Sudan/2013
School girls

When the program ended, immediately Sheikh Elhadi invited the delegation of the Ministry of Education to visit his area again after 10 days to see the change that will occur in their school. When the delegation visited back after the specified period they noticed the change of the community’s attitude towards education: additional 39 girls and 18 boys were admitted to the school; an additional classroom and a fence for the school were constructed with local materials. Sheikh Elhadi addressed the attendants saying: "We are committed to sending our children to school and supporting them to continue their education – we are asking you to provide us with teachers and books." With the support of UNICEF and Women's Union, school supplies, bags and uniforms were provided and distributed to the pupils and educational tools to the teachers. Sheikh Elhadi led this change when he started by enrolling his four daughters in school and called upon all the people to send their sons and daughters to school as it is their duty and the right of these children, like their peers in cities and large villages.

“This is one of the success stories of the enrolment campaign of out-of-school children that contributed to an increase in the enrollment in basic education in North Kordofan State". The campaign was carried out with the support of UNICEF, donors, Women's Union and other partners. All our thanks and appreciation go to them”, Fatima Hussein.

The national enrolment campaign (go to school campaign) is one of the main strategies adopted and implemented by the Ministries of Education in all the states of Sudan to increase enrolment in basic education and Alternative Learning Classes, especially in the localities with low rates targeting rural communities, areas affected by conflicts, nomads and children with disabilities. The campaign focuses on community awareness raising, advocacy at all levels, school environment improvement to make schools attractive and child-friendly and provision of education supplies as well as teachers training and parents teacher associations empowerment.
 

By Abdel Rahman E. El Dood
Education Specialist -UNICEF Sudan
 

 

 
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