The Effect of Conflict on South Sudan’s Education System

Melany Markham’s article describes the challenging background to South Sudan’s education system and to next month’s ‘Language-in-Education’ conference. We have a strong team of presenters from the African Union, British Council, UNICEF, UNESCO and SIL and are looking forward to the official opening at an evening reception on 4 March…

UNESCO, DFID and British Council Agree to Conference Dates

My discussions with officials from the Ministry of Education and senior academics in South Sudan took place against a background of uncertainty last week. However, I was very pleased to be able to secure permission to openly discuss the possibility of reviewing and restructuring the country’s language policy, the length of time mother-tongues and indigenous languages might be used as a medium of instruction at Primary schools and how the Ministry’s polices might be practically implemented over the next 10-15 years. I’m delighted that my clients (British Council, DFID and UNICEF) seem pleased and very happy that UNESCO want to be involved in next month’s international conference on language-in-education that I’m managing…

Working with the SQA on ESOL Qualifications

A very busy few days. I have agreed a framework with the SQA to examine new qualifications for ESOL and Modern Languages at Level 4 and 5 and have been expanding the range of potential presenters for the Juba ‘Language-in-Education’ conference. (Including Dr Adama Ouane [formerly of UNESCO], Professor Sozinho Francisco Matsinhe, the Executive Secretary of the African Academy of Languages [ACALAN] and Professor Ayo Bamgbose, Emeritus Professor at Ibadan University.) And on Sunday I have two weeks in Serbia as part of a review of the MOD’s English language teaching and training strategy…

Back from Juba

Back from a very interesting trip to Juba. I was able to talk to a wide range of people from ministries, schools, NGOs and charity organisations to try and unpick issues around the use of mother-tongue and English in the education system. When I went to see St Joseph’s Primary (a very happy place), I was reminded of the busy classrooms I had when I was teaching at Amentego Girls’ Higher Secondary School up in the North of Sudan almost thirty years ago…