Sudan to Significantly Raise Education Budget

Khartoum — The Sudanese Minister of Education has announced a gradual change of the educational system and a comprehensive review of the curricula. The budget for education will be substantially increased.

Minister Mohamed El Amin El Tom told reporters in Khartoum on Saturday that education in Sudan has collapsed. "It requires tremendous efforts to reach an inclusive and equitable quality education," he said.

He reported the completion of the Ministry's re-structuring. The education budget will be raised to 20 percent of the state budget. Next year, enrolment into class one will be gratis.

The curriculum will be entirely revised. The school system will be changed to the so-called 6-3-3 educational ladder: Six years basic school, followed by three years in junior secondary education, and three years in high secondary education.

As for vocational education, the minister pointed to plans to gradually increase the number of schools. The aim is to reach 50 per cent vocational training and 50 per cent academic education, the minister stated.

He further stressed the importance of involving citizens in the decision-making process.

During the regime of President Omar Al Bashir, the educational system was changed to eight years in basic education (for children between 6-14 years) and four years in secondary schooling. Few schools in the country offer vocational training, constituting three per cent of the educational system.

The curriculum was 'Islamised' and extended. Exams concentrate on knowledge learned by heart.

As for the budget, during the rule of ousted President Omar Al Bashir, Sudan's annual budget allocated a high percentage of revenues to the army, security service, and paramilitary forces. Some economists said it amounted to more than 70 per cent of the national budget. About three per cent of the budget was allocated to education.

Last week, the Sudanese Finance Minister reported that the 2020 National Budget will be financed by the Friends of Sudan. Minister Ibrahim El Badawi said upon his return from the USA that the budget will be based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, "with a focus on education, health, and social services".

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