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School dropouts in South Kordofan and Darfur

November 12 - 2017 SODARI / ZAMZAM
A classroom in a suburb of Khartoum (Getty Images)
A classroom in a suburb of Khartoum (Getty Images)

Children drop out of school in large numbers in Sodari in North Kordofan as a result of the high tuition fees the authorities impose. School pupils face similar issues in El Fasher, North Darfur.

Residents in Sodari locality have complained that there is a large number of children in the basic and higher secondary stages who drop out. A listener, active in the educational sector, told Radio Dabanga that the rate in these two stages amounted to 40 per cent of all school children this year.

He attributed the reasons to the high tuition fees the locality authorities impose on the students and the lack of a free education policy, which prompts them to leave school. “They go to work in gold mines.”

Exams

Member of Parliament Abdelbagi Girfa reported that 15,000 children in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states did not take the basic and secondary school exams this year because they did not receive the national number to register with.

Girfa, in a press statement to the Sudanese parliament on Tuesday, pointed to the lack of relatives of the first degree of many school pupils who were therefore unable to request the national number. “Many of these relatives live in areas controlled by the rebel SPLM North.”

The MP said he sent a complaint to Interior Minister Hamid Mannan, of whom he said he promised to solve the problem.

Last week teachers in South Kordofan complained about the poor schooling facilities in the area. There is a shortage of latrines, and many of the classrooms are built of straw and are often inaccessible during the rainy season because of leakages.

Zamzam camp

Displaced people in Zamzam camp, south of El Fasher, also complained about the high tuition fees and deteriorating living conditions that have led to pupils and students to drop out of school. According to a Sheikh in the camp more than 600 boys and girls have left school, the majority in the basic stage, seen the latest statistics.

He told Radio Dabanga that the failure of the agricultural season in a number of North Darfur localities, economical hardship for people, a decrease in the food rations provided by aid agencies such as World Food Programme (WFP) and the tuition fees have led to more school dropouts among displaced children.

“They are known to search for work instead, or beg in the streets for money.” The Sheikh called upon the government to reconsider to lower the monthly tuition fees to SDG30 ($4.50) per students – “a price that most families can afford.”


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