Battles Continue in Darfur…for Education

A proud teacher with his class in Central Darfur

It is difficult enough to imagine everyday survival for most children in Darfur, let alone their attempt to achieve an education.  Amid the stories of escalating violence, spreading disease and food shortages throughout the region, it is rather bittersweet to see so many stories involving this seemingly lofty pursuit.

In an interview with parents in Golo, Central Darfur, Radio Dabanga found that there are currently less than 20 elementary schools (mostly made of straw) in the region and only four secondary schools, each with a ratio of about 1000 students per school.  The ratio of teachers to students in the region was even more discouraging, being one teacher to every 225 students in the elementary schools and one to 714 in the the high schools.  Just to put this into perspective, the average ratio of teachers to students in the U.S. is one to 16, according to the NEA.

22,000 kids in Kalma refugee camp still waiting for a school

In the meantime, Kalma refugee camp in South Darfur (near Nyala) is still awaiting the two schools it was promised two years ago by the head of the Darfur Regional Authority, Dr. Tijani Sese.  The camp is the current residence of about 22,000 primary school aged children who have been displaced from their homes.  According to Abdullah Mohamed Suleiman, head of the education program at camp Kalma, qualified teachers are prepped and ready to begin work at the so far non-existent schools.    Read more of this post