Sudan: South Kordofan Gov Calls Education System 'Tragic'

South Kordofan / Jebel Marra — The governor of South Kordofan, Hamid El Bashir, described the condition of education in his state as "tragic" and said that only 12 per cent of those who enter basic school complete the eighth grade.

The proportion of students who enrol in secondary school and universities is very low and South Kordofan secondary school students obtained the lowest scores in Sudan over a period of ten consecutive years.

During his address to the preparatory committee, which met yesterday to discuss future plans of the state, the governor reported a high death rate among children under the age of five due to malnutrition, along with an increase in the rate of anaemia among women and the proportion of widows and orphans.

A polio campaign which aims to vaccinate more than 150,000 children under the age of five will begin tomorrow. The governor lauded the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) for their efforts in responding to the outbreak of polio in Sudan.

Three of the 11 state localities are controlled by SPLM-N El Hilu in South Kordofan.

Central Darfur

Adeeb Abdelrahman Yusef, Governor of Central Darfur, said in a statement yesterday that there are parts of the state which have been "devoid of healthcare" for the past 20 years.

The mountainous Jebel Marra is the only place in Darfur where armed opposition, including the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), maintains prolonged control over territory and the only area in Darfur to which humanitarian organisations had no access between 2011 and 2015.

The residents of these areas were not included in the 2017 population census according to the governor, which has led to underestimations of the state's share of medicine.

He called to promote equal access to medicine in all parts of the state, including those localities under the control of the SLM-AW.

The mountainous Jebel Marra is the only place in Darfur where armed opposition maintains prolonged control over territory and the only area in Darfur to which humanitarian organisations had no access between 2011 and 2015.

United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners have provided life-assistance to at least 350,000 people in previously inaccessible parts of Jebel Marra, since of the fall of the former regime in Sudan.

Some communities were part of a needs assessment for the first time in 10 years at the end of June in the area, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan said in a Situation Report.

Last week, the governor welcomed the Juba Peace Agreement, and called on the SLM-AW to join the peace process.

Cost of hunger

In the last 5 years alone, it is estimated that 172,866 child deaths in Sudan were directly associated with undernutrition, 37.7 per cent of all child mortalities for this period, according to a Cost of Hunger in Africa study published last month.

The model estimated that 7.3 million people in Sudan are engaged in manual activities, of which 3.2 million were stunted as children. This represented an annual loss in potential income that surpasses SDG 655.9 million*, equivalent to 0.15 per cent of the GDP in potential income lost due to lower productivity.

* USD 1 = SDG 55.1375 at the time of publishing this article. As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the CBoS.

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