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School dropout rates rise in Darfur camps as economy bites

July 31 - 2018 DARFUR
A secondary school Um Maraheik, North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid).
A secondary school Um Maraheik, North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid).

The current economic collapse and runaway inflation witnessed by Sudan has led to children, especially secondary school students, dropping out of school in the displacement camps in Darfur.

On Monday, a number of camp sheikhs told Radio Dabanga that 90 per cent of the camp students only take one meal a day, which increases the dropout rates.

One of the sheikhs of Zamzam camp cited that only 315 secondary school students out of 703 students in the camp has registered this year.

He said about 40 students have frozen their registration this year and are searching for work, most of them in the field of mining.

He called on the World Food Programme to restore the school breakfast programme it stopped since 2017.

Teachers have called on the government to restore the system of boarding schools and school meals in addition to the dismantling of the security apparatus’ siege on social initiatives and volunteer work to contribute to the rescue of hungry pupils in schools.

Hunger

As reported by Radio Dabanga yesterday, thousands of pupils and students in Sudan currently do not enjoy breakfast as their parents can no longer afford the costs.

Parents, teachers, and janitors told Radio Dabanga that the majority of the children remain hungry throughout the school day because of their families’ inability to provide them with a decent meal in the morning.

“Most of the students are skipping lessons because of hunger,” a teacher in eastern Sudan said.

Prices soar

A butcher in the markets in El Gezira state said that the price of a kilo of lamb meat has risen to SDG 210 (*$7.46), beef SDG 180 ($6.40), a kilo of chicken SDG 100 ($3.55),a dozen eggs SDG 85 ($3), a tin of tomato paste SDG 37 ($1.30), and a pack of flour is SDG 240 ($8.88).

Residents of Khartoum have complained of the rise of the price of a meal of fava beans for one person has risen to SDG 30 ($1.06), while it cost SDG 10 ($0.35) in the beginning of the year.

They pointed out that most families and school students rely on fava beans for breakfast.

A housewife in Khartoum told Radio Dabanga that the price of half a litre of milk has risen to SDG 12 ($0.42) from SDG 8 ($0.28) and half a litre of cooking oil has risen to SDG 35 ($1.24).

The minimum wage in Sudan lies around SDG 625 (*$22.20).

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)


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