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Parents and pupils face raised fees in Sudan's Kassala

August 18 - 2017 AROMA / KASSALA
Farmers in Kassala receive products from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Farmers in Kassala receive products from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

State authorities imposed a monthly fee of SDG24 ($3.60) for school children in Kassala. Villagers objected to house searches by an anti-smuggling force.

Ahmed Hassan Dirar told Radio Dabanga that the new fees weigh heavily on the residents of Aroma and other northern localities in Kassala. “A large number of students have refrained from going to school because their parents cannot afford the fees,” Dirar claimed.

The fees are raised for the planned competition between schools in the state. But harsh economic and living conditions hinder parents from paying the monthly fees for their school-going children, Dirar said.

The state government also deducted money from the salaries of workers in Kassala for the schools’ competition. Dirar: “Aroma has imposed an additional pound on passengers' tickets to Kassala, in favor of the schools competition, which raises the value of a ticket to 16 Sudanese pounds ($2.40).”

The current school year began in July. Prices of school supplies reportedly sky-rocketed days before the start of the new school year, including prices for school fees, uniforms, bags, pamphlets and textbooks.

Anti-smugglers

Villages in rural Kassala have witnessed frequent clashes between residents and anti-smuggling forces as a result of a house raid, which the anti-smuggling force carried out under the pretext of searching for smuggled goods.

Ali Akat, member of the Legislative Council of Kassala, told Radio Dabanga that an anti-smuggling force raided the house of a resident in Baria, south of Kassala, last week. “They shattered his entire household furniture.”

This provoked residents to clash with the anti-smugglers, he said. The council in Kassala therefore has discussed the raids in houses. “We agreed to hold a workshop to set measures for the prevention of anti-smuggling forces raiding houses and residential districts.”

Kassala shares the border with Eritrea. In March this year, 11 Eritreans were released from the hands of a human trafficking gang.


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