- Maria Costa
Sudan: 3.1 million children are out of school
On the 13/09/2015, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released the Sudan: Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 37, http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/OCHA_Sudan_Weekly_Humanitarian_Bulletin_Issue_37_%287_-_13_September_2015%29.pdf
Over 3.1 million of Sudan’s 7.9 million school-aged children (between 5 and 13 years) in Sudan are out of school, which is the highest rate in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a report. Sudan’s first Out-of-School Children Report, released 10 September by the Ministry of Education, with the support of the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) and the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), outlined that the majority of the out-of-school children are from nomadic communities as well as rural and conflict affected areas.
In Sudan, ongoing violence, a lack of awareness regarding the importance of education, and economic under-development are seriously affecting the education of boys and girls, according to the report findings. The highest percentages of these out-of-school children are in Blue Nile (46.8 per cent), Kassala (45.1 per cent) and West Darfur (45.7 per cent) states. Northern State has the lowest rate of out-of-school children with 7.9 per cent.
The study found that gender, traditional beliefs regarding the role of women and a mother’s level of education affect children’s school attendance. Girls are more likely to drop out of school than boys and children with absent or uneducated mothers are more likely to be out of school than those with educated mothers. In addition, the payment of school fees may deter some poor families from sending their children to school.
Child Safe Horizons supports UNICEF in its call for an end to conflict to ensure access to quality basic education for every girl and boy, increased public sector spending in the education sector and for sustained support from donors.
UNICEF is supporting the government’s back-to-school campaigns at the state, community and household levels to ensure the most vulnerable children are reached thanks to backing from donors such as the European Union (EU) and the Educate a Child (EAC) global program. UNICEF will also assist in school rehabilitation and construction, the provision of teaching, learning and recreation materials, and teacher training with a focus on individuals from rural communities. According to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) funding for education programmes in the 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan is only 31 per cent covered.
In addition to this Child Safe Horizons encourages partners to see this not just through the lens of education but also child protection and increase child protection initiatives in line with the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and to ensure strengthened systems of case work for early detection and action on the most vulnerable cases.
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