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Unicef: ‘Displaced Jebel Marra students in Darfur battle the odds’

March 9 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Basic school students in Kabkabiya (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
Basic school students in Kabkabiya (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

The escalation of violence in Jebel Marra since mid-January caused the displacement of more than 90,000 people. 68 percent of them are children. 

“This is a scale unprecedented in a decade,” Unicef says in a press statement today.

On Saturday, grade 8 students across Sudan began their basic school examinations, which are a key prerequisite to receiving the Basic Education Certificate.

Education sector partners estimate that there are now more than 6,626 emergency-effected eighth graders (58 percent girls) whose chances of taking the Grade 8 final exams are at risk for reasons entirely beyond their control. Without urgent support, ensuring adequate preparation and access to examination centres, these children will not be able to complete their basic education.

Unicef and partners are supporting the Ministries of Education in Central, South, and North Darfur, through the provision of essential school supplies (notebooks, stationary, tarpaulins and plastic mats), sanitary supplies and meals. Temporary latrines and sanitation facilities have also been set-up in the five examination centres in Nierteti, Rokoro; Kabkabiya, Kass, and Mershing. These centres will enable 6,437 recently displaced grade 8 children to take the exams.

Education sector partners estimate that there are now more than 6,626 emergency-effected eighth graders (58 percent girls) whose chances of taking the Grade 8 final exams are at risk for reasons entirely beyond their control. 

In a joint effort of co-ordination and advocacy between the Central Darfur Ministry of Education and Unicef, newly displaced children from Jebel Marra who fled to Central Darfur are able to sit their exams in Kabkabiya town in North Darfur, for which logistical support is provided.

Unicef is further supporting 2,338 grade 8 children in Zamzam camp for the displaced and the town of Korma to sit their exams in centres in North Darfur’s capital of El Fasher.

Education can be a normalising force in children’s lives and is a right that should be sustained for all children, both girls and boys, even under the most difficult of circumstances.

Without support, Grade 8 students would not be able to graduate from basic education, which would deny them the opportunity to pursue secondary education, putting them in double jeopardy, Unicef states.


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