Case Study: Santo Hal, a teacher in Dar el-Salaam

SANTO HAL, a 32-year-old teacher from ABYEI who works at Dar el-Salaam Alternative Learning Programme (ALP) centre

When I came here to Khartoum as an internally displaced person (IDP) from Abyei in 1985, people helped me with my education. I believe the time has come for me to perform the same role.

For me, this is one of the main motivations. But it is not the only one. I believe that better education can help build peace in Sudan. Not only that, it can help build peace across the whole of Africa.

Most fighters who go to war are not educated and don’t value education enough. Education can help people understand the world around them. It helps them understand their background or their religion.

Before UNICEF Sudan started funding the Alternative Learning Program (ALP) centre here in Dar el-Salaam school, we did not have proper textbooks or educational supplies. But after the scheme began, we began to attract more children. Even those who had abandoned their classes began to come back.

We are now building two new classrooms with the help of UNICEF Sudan and the Educate a Child (EAC) initiative. When they become a reality, it will change the whole environment. The new buildings will attract more children.

There are eight teachers at our school, and 45 more who work at other ALP centres in the Om Badda locality, on the western edge of Khartoum.

The teacher training we do for the scheme includes ALP curriculum contents, child centred teaching and basic instruction methods. But it also helps us deal with the psychological issues that children face.

We come face to face with children from different backgrounds who have many different problems. Sometimes it is better to help a child who is having difficulties, rather than blaming them.

Some students don’t want to be in the classroom with other children. Others do not like being alone, while others want to go home after one lesson.

We play sports activities every Thursday to help the children. Sometime we play volleyball, sometimes football. We also organise football competitions between the five different ALP centres in the area.

All of the sport activities use equipment distributed by UNICEF with the funding support from EAC.

There are things we would like to improve. Despite having eight teachers, we have to rotate because of our commitments to our families and because we don’t have any salary.

Hunger is also a big issue. Sometimes the students come to us after having had no breakfast.

But I want to thank UNICEF Sudan and the EAC initiative for their help. I want to appeal for them and other donors to continue providing textbooks and materials to our students. It is really making a difference.


Learn more about Educate a Child:

Teacher Santo Hal says education can be a driving force for peace