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No school for three million Sudanese children

December 3 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Displaced Nuba children in Khartoum (BarnabasFund)
Displaced Nuba children in Khartoum (BarnabasFund)

About three million Sudanese children currently do not go to school, according to the Education Commission of the Sudanese Parliament.

The Commission members called the education situation in the country a “scandal”. They noted that “university graduates exist who are not able to write three correct sentences”.

The majority of masters and PhD students “copy-paste” from the Internet for their theses.

The MPs warned for further deterioration in educational levels in the country, stating that “education has become a privilege for the wealthy only, while millions of poor Sudanese children do not know to read and write”.

Officially basic education is free in Sudan. However, as the Sudanese government reportedly spends about one percent of its annual budget on education and health (and more than 60 percent on the army and the security apparatus), public schools are forced to impose registration and tuition fees to raise the teachers’ salaries and cover the expenses of maintenance and other requirements. Many parents are not able to pay the fees.

Unicef campaign

The UN Children Agency (Unicef) reported in May this year that three million children between the ages of 5 and 13, from pre-basic school level to lower secondary school level, are deprived of their right to education. A further 15 percent of the basic school pupils are at risk of dropping out before their final grade.

“At particular risk of being excluded from school are girls, children affected by war, those displaced, nomads, children in rural areas, poor children, and some ethnic and religious groups,” Unicef stated.

In cooperation with the Ministries of Education in 18 Sudanese states, and with the support of the EU and Educate A Child (EAC), Unicef started a promotion campaign in June for the enrolment of more than 300,000 out-of-school children in the country.

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