10 August 2018

Sudan: West Kordofan Schools Close Over Damage, Teachers' Shortage

El Muglad — Rainfall in West Kordofan has damaged a school, which is now forced to shut its doors. In the same area another girls' school has closed because of a lack of teachers.

In West Kordofan, the torrential rains have led to the shutdown of a secondary school for girls in El Muglad, for an indefinite period. The decision came after the partial collapse of the classrooms and the walls of the school.

The school, educating more than 1,000 students, has been transformed into a pool of water. No action has been taken to resolve the problem thus far.

Last week people in En Nahud in West Kordofan said they fear the spread of watery diarrhoea (suspected to be cholera) and other epidemics. A listener said that hundreds of people are still living in the open, and appealed to the authorities "to provide relief, decent sanitation, and "pumps to remove the water from the many, many ponds in the town".

Lack of teachers

El Siteit secondary school for girls in El Muglad has been closed for the entire schoolyear, because of a lack of teachers. There has been no word from the locality education department to integrate the pupils into other schools.

The deterioration of educational services in El Muglad sparked harsh criticism of parents of schoolchildren in the area, also about tuition fees that are imposed on students of basic and secondary schools.

One of the parents of pupils of El Bitrol basic school told Radio Dabanga that the tuition fees for the first grade up to the fifth amount to SDG300 ($10.70*). Meanwhile fees imposed on students from the fifth to eighth grades amounts to SDG400 ($14.20).

"In addition, another monthly fee of SDG20 ($0.70) is imposed by the parents' council on all students starting a week ago." The parent said that he finds the fees "illegal and contrary to the right to education".

Last year Radio Dabanga reported that basic and secondary schools shut their doors in El Salam locality in West Kordofan, as teachers have been carrying out a general strike against the non-payment of their financial dues for months.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CboS)

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