Can't Wait to Learn Sudan

UNICEF Finalist
The Can't Wait to Learn Sudan project delivers out of school Sudan mathematics curriculum to out-of-school children through a self-paced, interactive, tablet-based program that children access in community spaces.
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Year launched: 
2013
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
UNICEF
War Child Holland
Ahfad University for Women in Khartoum
TNO
Ministry of Education - Sudan
Primary Topic: 
Education level (ISCED): 

Location Data

Geography type: 
Program Description: 

Problem the program addresses: The basic education system in Sudan continues to exclude vulnerable children, including former child soldiers, children in remote areas, displaced children, demobilized children, street children or nomads, and especially girls. As a result, more than 1.8 million primary school-aged children in Sudan have no access to primary education. The drop-out rate is high, and less than one in five children completes primary education. For basic education through traditional means to reach these children, the formal education system would need to overcome the following barriers: 110,000 teachers are currently undertrained and need further training, 15,000 classrooms would need to be constructed every year, and the present government education budget would need to increase at least five-fold. Currently, neither the infrastructure nor the budget is in place to realistically expect these developments to occur.

Description of the solution: An Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) has been developed to enable out-of-school children to catch up on basic competencies on an accelerated timeline, outside of the formal education system. The Can't Wait to Learn Sudan program will enable children in hard-to-reach areas to complete Book 1 of the primary ALP mathematics curriculum by accessing digitized content on tablets. Book 1 covers the first three years of the traditional mathematics curriculum. The program ultimately aims to cover all subjects in grades one to eight, offering children the opportunity to acquire the two certificates that lead towards the Certificate for Primary Education after completing three cycles of primary education. This Certificate is a requirement for access to secondary education or for formal employment.

In 2013, a pilot of this project took place including the development of draft digital content covering just the first unit of Book 1 of the ALP mathematics curriculum. This unit was tested and content and software is now being developed for the rest of Book 1 of the curriculum (units 1-8). Open source principles are being used to ensure replicability, scalability, and sustainability. The software used on the tablet for children to access the curriculum uses “applied game” frameworks that have been approved by the government and university partners. Testing of the “applied game” software will be undertaken at village level in the three target states; testing will also occur in the Sudan Innovation Lab in the coming weeks. Android tablets have already been procured for the testing phase, with more on the way. Upcoming activities include:

  • Software developed and quality tested for Units 1-8 in Book 1 of the ALP mathematics curriculum based on open source principles
  • Additional learning materials including videos developed in Sudan and embedded into the software
  • All materials tested and contributed to by Sudan Innovations Lab participants
  • All materials approved for use by the Ministry of Education

The tablets will be available in ALP centers in each participating village. Each center will have a central server, and the tablets will be powered/charged using solar power. Community members will be trained to support the program including training on basic hardware/software troubleshooting and data collection relating to the program. These trained community members will be able to assist learners during the pilot as they use the tablets to access learning activities and materials. Remote support will also be available through the web-enabled tablets. 

Partnerships:

  • Community: One of the primary objectives of the program is to increase community engagement in children's education. Communities will be directly involved in implementation through training of facilitators, observers, community leaders, and other stakeholders. In addition, teachers at local formal schools will be encouraged to interact with children and the program, to support the filtering of children into formal education where possible at the end of their engagement with the eLearning program.
  • Government: The program is being planned, tested, and implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Education and the National Council for Literacy and Adult Education (the MoE department responsible for Accelerated Learning Programs for out-of-school children). Government counterparts are engaged at national, state, and local levels in the three target states.
  • Schools: Due to the nature of the project targeting rural, hard-to-reach areas with high numbers of out-of-school children, implementation of the project will not occur within traditional public schools. Rather, children will be accessing the eLearning curriculum through ALP centers. Teachers in the nearest formal schools will be engaged with the project, particularly to support the transition of children out of the ALP centers and into formal education where possible, once they have competed the first cycle of the ALP.
Highlighting Innovation: 
The program makes use of technology for education purposes including web-based learning, tablets, solar power, wireless technology, and remote support to overcome the limitations of traditional schooling and inadequate resources.