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Cablegate: Darfur Universities Develop Programs Around Usg Book

VZCZCXRO0353
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0897 1681348
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161348Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1069
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000897

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, AF/PD, S/CRS, SE WILLIAMSON, AND ECA/A/L
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
CAIRO FOR RELO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL SOCI SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR UNIVERSITIES DEVELOP PROGRAMS AROUND USG BOOK
DONATIONS

1. (U) SUMMARY. On May 29, FieldOffs delivered the final installment
of USG-provided English language teaching materials to the Languages
Department at Nyala University. Department head Dr. Mahmoud Adam
Daoud thanked FieldOffs for the donation, noting that Nyala
University had set a goal to train all staff basic English writing
and presentation skills by the end of 2008, and that the
USG-provided materials would help to meet that goal. Similar
donations were made to English faculties at El Fasher University and
Zalingei University in April, as well as to English language centers
in El Fasher. End Summary.

------------------
Nyala University
------------------

2. (U) In a May 29 meeting at Nyala University, FieldOffs presented
the Languages Department with English teaching materials, including
instructor books, CDs and magazines. Department head Dr. Mahmoud
Adam Daoud gratefully accepted the donation, noting that the
materials were both useful and timely. He explained that the
university had instituted a program to teach all members of the
faculty how to write a paper or make a presentation in English;
however, the project had suffered from shortages of teaching manuals
and materials. As such, the Dean of the Faculty had tasked senior
language instructors to develop a manual for the course, in addition
to their regular teaching schedules. Although Daoud estimated that
40% of the staff has met their goal, the slow development of
teaching materials had threatened to prevent the staff from reaching
100% competency.

3. (U) A week after the donation of the teaching materials, Daoud
told FieldFSN that department heads had discussed the project in
their most recent meeting. He was excited that the donation, which
included Shaping the Way We Teach English instructor's manuals and
CDs, would save senior staff time and energy, and ensure that the
most current and effective teaching methods were being used. The
department heads had agreed to divide the instructor manual into
chapters, assigning one to each faculty head. Each person would
study a chapter, develop a teaching module for that chapter, and
then present it to the rest of the team. This would allow for staff
to develop and share best practices, help institutionalize
training-of-the-trainers exercises, and ultimately provide the basis
for better education of the students, he noted.

----------
El Fasher
----------

4. (U) Dr. Suleiman Nurein, Dean of the Faculty of Education in El
Fasher University, found the Shaping the Way We Teach English
manuals useful, and wondered if there were versions available for
intermediate and advanced level learners. He liked the structure of
the lessons, and thought it would be tremendously beneficial for the
students to continue with the program past the beginner level.
Nurein noted that the English Teaching Forum magazines were also
helpful, and offered to have his staff and students participate in
writing articles about their experiences in exchange for a
subscription or regular delivery of the magazine.

5. (U) Aslan English Training Center and SULET, another local ElQasher language school, received copies of the magazines, and said
that they were already looking forward to the next issue. The ASLAN
training Center manager said that 77 students enrolled in the next
English language course will receive the magazines, which will be
part of the reading curriculum. (Note: Donations of instruction
manuals, CDs and magazines were also made to Zalingei University;
however, mobile network outages have made it difficult to follow up
with contacts in West Darfur. End Note.)

--------
Comment
--------

6. (U) Even low-cost programs, such as book and magazine donations,
have high impact in resource-starved Darfur. Darfuris are
surprisingly well-educated, interested in American culture, and
desperate for any form of constructive entertainment in a way that
transcends the typical handout mentality. The dedicated staff at
the universities, as well as the Cultural Center in El Fasher
(septel), would make ideal partners for USG-sponsored educational
and cultural programming - from book donations to support for local
theater and arts. Darfur's remote location makes cultural
engagements difficult, but that much more important. The Field
Office will continue to reach out to these marginalized groups, and
welcomes opportunities, suggestions, and additional resources to do
so.

FERNANDEZ

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