Spike in applications for South Darfur camp school

There is a significant increase in the number of students applying fo schools in camps near Nyala, amid a shortage of schools. Displacement from Jebel Marra seems the main driver.

There is a significant increase in the number of students applying for secondary schools in camps north of Nyala in South Darfur, amid a shortage of schools. New displacement from Jebel Marra seems the main driver.

The camp coordinator of Otash camp told Radio Dabanga on Sunday that Otash has only one secondary school for all children in the camp against at least 15 primary schools. He estimated that more than 90,000 people live in Otash.

“The number of students who have been admitted to secondary school this year is far greater than the school's ability to accommodate them. This forces the students to go to school elsewhere in Nyala.”

The daily expenditure per student amounts to about SDG15 ($2.45), which the coordinator said “is not affordable” for the children and their families.

He added that all kindergartens in Otash have been closed owing to the halted support by aid organisations, including Unicef, to the education sector in the camp.

The main cause for the increase in school applications is the fighting that erupted between government and rebel forces in Jebel Marra earlier this year. People have arrived in great numbers in South Darfur camps for the displaced after they fled from southern Jebel Marra.

Displacement numbers

During the first six months of 2016, close to 76,000 people were newly displaced across Darfur according to the UN and partners. Up to an additional 174,000 people were also reportedly displaced, of whom 50,000 have reportedly returned, but the UN and partners are unable to verify these figures because a lack of access to the relevant locations. The UN's humanitarian office (OCHA) reported this month that 20,095 displaced from Jebel Marra in South Darfur have been registered by humanitarian agencies.