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Sudan: 50%+ children in Kassala state don’t go to school

December 21 - 2016 KASSALA
Students at a rural primary school in Kassala State (File photo: Hamid Ibrahim / The Niles)
Students at a rural primary school in Kassala State (File photo: Hamid Ibrahim / The Niles)

More than half of all children in Sudan’s Kassala state now fall outside the educational process, according to statistics released by the administration of public educational planning in the state.

Osman Mohamed Nur, the Commissioner of Kassala rural area locality, says the basic school drop-out rate has increased by 84 per cent.

He says that while classes in the first year can number between 40 and 50 students, these have dwindled to only four students by the eighth class. He attributes the rise in dropout rate to economic reasons.

People of Kassala have complained to Radio Dabanga about the increasing drop-out rate from schools, as well as child labour. They says that the children who drop out of school often end up on the streets selling plastic bags, shining shoes, or cleaning vehicles for a living.

They have attribute child labour and school drop-outs to the rise in poverty, monthly tuition fees, and limitation of the income of students’ families.

Project failure

In Red Sea state, the state food-for-education projects which were initiated by the state a few years ago have been declared a failure.

Educator Osman Hashim told Radio Dabanga that the irregularity of delivery of food to the students in schools in rural localities has led to the students’ dropping out from their studies, in addition to the deterioration of the school environment and lack of teachers and rehabilitation.

Hashim recommends of return to the boarding- houses system in the nine Red Sea localities except for Port Sudan.

Last week, the federal Minister of General Education, Suad Abdelrazeg, acknowledged “an increase in school drop-outs in some areas because of poverty and destitution”.

In November the Sudanese government implemented a series of austerity measures that according to President Al Bashir were needed “to avoid the collapse of the country”. As a result, the prices of fuel and imported commodities began to soar in an unprecedented way. The prices of medicines doubled, and in some cases even tripled.

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