Leap of faith: Remote learning for STTC

Leap of faith: Remote learning for STTC
May 5, 2020 Susan Oxley

“The God of all grace…will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you after you have suffered a little.” 1 Peter 5:10.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“This pic of Moses, Brother Chris and Phelix was taken after a morning workshop on Google Classroom… We were going to start a pilot program with Level 1 English, but the word spread rapidly among our students, and there is great enthusiasm for the project. Given the technological difficulties, everything will be held together by elastic bands to start with, but we’ll move on through string to first class joinery. If the lockdown is to last, we intend to make the best possible use of the time.” Allan Drummond, volunteer tutor at STTC

The staff of the Solidarity Teacher Training College, one of the institutions closed by order of the government during the COVID-19 pandemic, is being creative and bold in connecting with students in all parts of the country and Nuba Mountains in Sudan. With the hope that they can teach online, the staff have initiated a plan to provide instruction via smart phones. Initially, the staff proposed a pilot with 17 first-year students who had access to smart phones. When the rest of the students heard of the plan, they asked to be included. If the pilot is successful, online teaching will continue until such time as the students are able to return to the college, which may not be until the end of the year. The greatest cost will be for “airtime” and for smart phones, which can be purchased in South Sudan for a reasonable sum. Internet access in South Sudan is unreliable, but cell phones seem to work in most places. There is no land line in the entire country. Friends in Solidarity hopes to raise $5,000 to cover expenses for the pilot and an additional $21,000 to support the roll-out of the initiative.

I highly commend the STTC staff and the students for developing what may be the first remote learning program in South Sudan. Your donation today can help make this happen!

“Our students are scattered far and wide throughout the country, but we have endeavored to keep in touch with them for pastoral reasons above all others. This has led to good communication with 75 percent of our students, and we intend to build on that for their continuing education.” –Sister Margaret Scott, RNDM, STTC principal

CHTI graduate educating community elders and chiefs on coronavirus. Photo: Loreto Schools Rumbek

South Sudan has an increasing number of persons infected with COVID-19. As of May 15, more than 200 people have been confirmed positive. The World Health Organization has pre-positioned testing materials, PPEs and other essential supplies in several areas of the country and has upgraded the infectious diseases hospital in Juba, which now has 80 beds. There are only four ventilators in the country. Friends in Solidarity has shared educational materials with Solidarity, who in turn have shared them with students to assist them in educating their communities to the threat of this disease. Friends is also seeking funding to support a local women’s initiative making masks for those who need them.

We are all ONE in this pandemic and need to support each other for the duration.

Sister Joan Mumaw, IHM

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