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Chinese textbooks help with education in S. Sudan

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-03 07:10

As the new school semester approaches, more than 1.3 million copies of textbooks and teacher's guidebooks written by Chinese experts have arrived in South Sudan.

With South Sudan's national flag being printed on the upper left of the book covers and the China Aid label on the lower right, these teaching materials are part of the Technical Cooperation Project of Education in South Sudan. The project is organized by China's Ministry of Commerce and contracted to China South Publishing & Media Group Co Ltd, a major book publisher in China.

The publisher put together a Chinese team that developed a curriculum framework as well as compiled and printed Grade 1 student textbooks and teacher's books for English, science and mathematics with experts from South Sudan.

A delivery ceremony was held last week in Beijing in the days prior to the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, marking the completion of the project's first phase.

Michael Lopuke Lotyam, undersecretary of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction of South Sudan, said it is "a successful pilot project which shows a very good example for cooperation in education between China and South Sudan" in the ministry's feedback letter.

"This project has met the needs of education and substantially improved the basic education environment of South Sudan," he wrote.

Before compiling the textbooks, the Chinese team visited schools and other educational institutions in South Sudan and found that after five years of civil war the new country attached great importance to the development of education but their hands were tied by a lack of funding.

The shortage of textbooks is serious in the country. Often six or seven students share one textbook in class. Experts from both countries are working closely to make sure their work was suitable to the South Sudanese.

Lotyam said that the teaching materials "are of high quality with both well-arranged content and detailed guiding manuals".

Meanwhile, 200 South Sudanese educators were invited to China to receive training from the textbook-developing team.

Elizabeth Martin, a science teacher with 11 years' experience, said after her training in China that the biggest advantage of the new textbooks was that they are "student-centered".

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