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Making Textbooks Inclusive For Learners In South Sudan

A three-day capacity building workshop on textbook development and evaluation concluded on 21 June 2017 in Juba, South Sudan. Opening the event, the Director General of the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards Mr. Omot Okony Olok expressed his gratitude for UNESCO’support to the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) and called on the participants to make good use of the input and discussions at the training.

The training focused on making textbooks inclusive in terms of the content they provide to learners.  In today’s diverse world, textbooks and other learning materials have a major influence in making children tolerant and welcoming of others.  Religious, gender-based and cultural differences could be sources of tension and violence if they are not addressed in a constructive manner. The exercises and discussions in the workshop highlight this very important aspect of textbook content and the need to make it inclusive. 

The workshop comes at the right time as South Sudan, having developed its first ever curriculum, is now engaged in producing textbooks that support the curriculum.  The experts of the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards are expected to use the information and knowledge acquired from the workshop for a positive learning outcome by South Sudanese children. “The issue of inclusivity is a burning issue for such a young country as South Sudan,” said Mr. Odur Nelson, Director General of Alternative Education Systems in the Ministry of Education, who participated in the workshop.  “Education is a major vehicle through which this can be achieved; textbooks are an integral part of this.”

The workshop was organized in partnership with the Section for Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship at UNESCO Headquarters, the Quality Assurance and Standards Directorate in the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, Republic of South Sudan, and the UNESCO Juba Office. Twenty-one high level technical staff who work in the area of curriculum and textbook development participated in the workshop. Three of the 21 participants are from the Teacher Training College in Maridi, former Western Equatoria State. “Teacher training has to take account of textbook development and evaluation in order to make teachers aware about their contents,” said Mr. Kenyi Jafar, one of the three participants from the teachers’ college.  The Section for Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship provided a set of useful materials to share knowledge on textbook selection and production with the participants who took part in the training.

Learn more about Textbook Development at UNESCO.

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