Japan Assists Sudan with School Construction

Amid the pervasive violence within and just across Sudan’s borders and the devastation already caused to its infrastructure thanks to a decade long conflict in Darfur, Japan has offered $441,133 to help build elementary schools in the White Nile and Dassala states in Sudan. The project will fund nine schools, seven in the Al-Gitaina area in the White Nile state, and two in the al-Katmiya region of Kassala. Combined, the project will serve more than 1,400 students, and includes plans to construct eight classrooms and four office buildings. “Japan’s Embassy places great importance on supporting primary education in Sudan and the official launch of two projects today is clear indication of this approach,” said Japanese ambassador to Sudan Ryoichi Horie.

School children

New schools are needed to address Sudan’s drastically underequipped educational infrastructure. Among the world’s poorest and least literate countries, there are nearly six million school dropouts in Sudan. Still, projects like these are having some impact. UNICEF announced earlier this month a project to train 2000 teachers and 4,500 school headmasters, expanding education to more than 100,000 students in Darfur. This announcement by Japan coincides with another project announced by Plan Sudan to train an additional 80 teachers in Kassala.

“This is not our first cooperation with the Japanese Embassy in a project to promote basic education the rural areas and communities and [we] would like to highly commend Japan’s support in this,” said Nidaa Civil Society Organization Director Medani Abbas Medani. “So that we can move from under-development to sustainable development… we stress that this will need the promotion of education and basic education in particular,” added Medani. Japan is helping Sudan take small steps toward more open, sustainable education, but as conflicts in Darfur and South Sudan continue to put a strain on the country’s resources, people, and infrastructure, even bigger steps are needed.

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Written by Alex Leedom
Alex LeedomJapan Assists Sudan with School Construction