The Importance of Education

8 October 2021

This month, HART is focusing on the work done by our partners to bring quality, accessible education to their communities.

Unfortunately, over the last year, more than 168 million children have been unable to attend school due to COVID-19 related lockdowns, according to data released by UNICEF. Furthermore, around 214 million children globally – or 1 in 7 – have missed more than three-quarters of their in-person learning. Whilst schools in the UK and across the West have returned at near full capacity, many nations not yet feeling the benefit of widespread vaccination continue to suffer school closures.

Baroness Cox meets school children in Nigeria

For as long as HART has worked in Blue Nile State, Sudan, education has been the top priority for our partner the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) and the communities it serves. HART partner and NSCC Executive Director Benjamin Barnaba, consistently tells us there is “nothing more important to us than education.”

However, due to the legacy of more than three decades of civil war, there are very few qualified teachers in the region and a significant shortage of scholastic material. That’s why last year, HART secured a £35,000 grant from the Aall Foundation to help NSCC provide scholastic materials such as blackboards, textbooks, stationary, exercise books and chalks. Furthermore, teacher training was provided for 43 teachers (one for each school) who were trained in general methodological pedagogy, professional conduct, school discipline, classroom management and organisation. The teaching lasted 14 days and all participants were eager and enthusiastic to learn new skills.

Help HART support teacher training and improved education in Sudan

Teacher training in Blue Nile State, Sudan

Since December 2020, Nigeria has witnessed 12 armed attacks on educational establishments in which over 1100 students have been abducted for ransom and at least seven have died. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that at least one million students could miss school this year due to the rise in mass school abductions and insecurity.

From 25-27th October 2021, Nigeria will be hosting the Fourth International Conference on the Safe Schools initiative in Abuja. This presents a unique and important opportunity to ensure real action.

Please sign our joint petition with CSW, CSJ-UK and the IA Foundation, which encourages the UK to urge the Nigerian Government to fully implement and widen the scope of the Safe Schools initiative –not just a commitment in word but in deed.

A child studies at Loi Htat Nursery in Fang

HART has supported education programmes in northern Thailand since 2006. Our support has provided women and children fleeing poverty and conflict in Burma with the opportunity to attend school and receive medical care.

In 2010, SWAN registered as an organisation in Thailand in order to better respond to the needs of displaced communities along the Thai-Burma border. SWAN’s main educational activities have included:

-Supporting schools in Fang and Piang Luang on the Thai side of the Thai/Burma border, providing teacher salaries and learning resources, and subsidising lunches and transport for students.

-Supporting a boarding house for children who require additional care, including those who have been orphaned or children whose parents cannot afford to take care of them. Students are provided with meals, transportation and hygiene kits.

-Providing teacher training on topics including best practice, child-centred learning, classroom management, special needs children and child development.

-Distributing Shan language textbooks to learning centres along the Thai-Burma border, as well as in Shan State and some Shan communities in Kachin State.

-Providing scholarships for vulnerable children to access secondary and tertiary education and facilitating evening classes to teach English.

Donate and support SWAN as they deliver high quality, accessible education to displaced people along the Thai-Burma Border:

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