Muawad Mustafa Rashid
According to UNICEF’s comprehensive overview on Sudan’s education activities and results in 2020, approximately three million school-age children do not go to school. There are huge disparities between the eighteen states in Sudan. The most vulnerable groups are girls, children affected by conflict, refugees, internally displaced persons, children in rural areas, and children from poor households. In addition, there are high drop-out rates, especially for girls and children living in rural areas.
On the other hand, the Acting Minister of Education revealed the existence of 3 million school-age children who are not registered in schools, adding that there are 4 million aged between 15 – 45 are illiterate, besides a recorded dropout rate that reached 77% this year in some states.
The above shocking figures represent an alarm bell and a wake-up call for the transitional government to mobilize all possible efforts to provide support to the National Council for Literacy and Adult Education (NCLAE) to enable it to conduct its mission in promoting literacy and adult education including providing funding for literacy programs’ implementation, promoting methods that connect learning and adult education to sustainable development – to improve health, environment, employability, security, and culture of peace, highlighting the importance of adult education by providing relevant training and knowledge sharing and adopting right educational policies, and linking adult education to income generation and life skills improvement.
There are indeed many difficulties and challenges, but also a unique momentum now to get things on track, just if there is a strong will and setting the appropriate plans with the help of the concerned international organizations.