Basic education

Basic education


Basic education

© UNICEF Sudan

Sudan has recorded steady progress in education, from an increase in primary school attendance to gender parity in primary classrooms. However, Sudan’s simmering wars, a lack of awareness about the importance of education and chronic under-development all contribute to the poor schooling of boys and girls in Sudan. In addition, cultural pressures and the traditional views of the role of women mean fewer girls attend and remain in school. The inability to pay fees—even though school is free according to government policy—also prevents some poor families from sending children to school. Even if all the barriers to education are somehow hurdled, once in the classroom the quality of learning is below the required standards. Teachers are often untrained, under supervised and unequally distributed between rural and urban areas, instruction is rote learning, the school environment is unfriendly with inadequate separate sanitation facilities for boys, girls and teachers and materials tend to be inappropriate or non-existent.

A recent report reflects these conditions, concluding that Sudan has one of the largest number of out-of-school children in the Middle East and North Africa region. It’s estimated that three million children here, aged 5-13 years, are not in the classroom. Seventy-six percent of primary age children attend school; in secondary that figure dips to 28 percent. At 43 percent, Blue Nile is the worst performing state for children out of primary school. At the other end, only six percent of children in Northern State are out of primary school. On teaching, for example, according to the Ministry of Education, the total number of unqualified teachers in South and East Darfur is 3,692—this out of a total number of 7,315 employed teachers. In other words, half of the teachers in those two states are not ready for the classroom.

UNICEF Sudan Education programme





Facts and figures on education in Sudan

Download the UNICEF fact sheet on education in Sudan (PDF)

(PDF documents require Acrobat Reader to view.)

It is not every teacher who can pack up their school on the back of a camel

How UNICEF supports education for Sudan's nomadic children


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