Across Radio

Juba, Central Equatoria State, South Sudan   |   Non profit


Project Name
Teaching Children to Read Using Low-Cost Digital Audio Players (DAP) as Supplemental Instructional Tools for Both Children and Teachers

Location Implemented
South Sudan

Organization Website
http://www.across-ssd.org/

Organization Type
Non profit



Challenge
According to UNESCO’s 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring Report on South Sudan, “South Sudan has some of the world’s worst indicators for education. Around 1 million children—half of the primary school age population—are out of school. The primary net enrollment rate is second to the bottom in world rankings, with a net enrollment rate for girls at just 37 percent. In a country with a population the size of Sweden, fewer than 400 girls make it to the last grade of secondary school. There are desperate shortages of classrooms and books—and just one qualified teacher for every 117 students.


Solution
Using solar-powered digital audio players (DAPs), Across Radio has supported primary grade teachers in Central Equatoria, Jonglei, and Lakes states, South Sudan, by providing teaching resources and content in mother tongue languages, Dinka and Bari. In an area where teachers have received limited or no training on literacy instruction, the DAPs serve as professional development tools for teachers and instructional tools for literacy classes. In conjunction with a set of mobile books, recordings can function as a literacy tutor for children in school, or for out-of-school children who listen to the recordings in community group meetings. The digital audio players are solar powered; the rechargeable battery in them can last at least two years.


Project Reach
Following the outbreak of the conflict in South Sudan in December 2013, Across Radio clsoed its Bor office for a short period, but continued to operate in Yei. Due to smaller than expected average school enrollments, the number of children that will be impacted by the project is approximately 26,000-27,000. Note on conflict: Since fighting erupted in the capital of Juba in December 2013, thousands of South Sudanese have been killed or traumatized and more than 1.5 million have been displaced. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently told the U.N. Security Council that by the end of 2014, half of South Sudan’s population of 12 million will be in flight, facing starvation or dead. (July 9, 2014 USAID Impact Blog: http://blog.usaid.gov/2014/07/responding-to-dire-needs-in-south-sudan-three-years-after-independence/). During the height of the conflict, nearly all of the 60 government primary schools in Bor county ceased for at least five months, and many have yet to re-open after seven months. Although most of the 16 nomadic cattle camps (with 3 learning groups in each) were displaced during the conflict, those camps that Across have been able to locate have continued the course of study, with a few reaching the end of the primary level 2 course within 9 months.


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