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c - encouraging and supporting federal institutions and those of the states which invest in education;

The decision making :

The Council of Ministers is the official authority that adopts the strategy and the action plan. The Ministry suggests the strategy and the action plan, which implement educational policies and goals. It submits them for approval to the National Council for General Education and then to the Council of Ministers for ratification. The National Council then gives the final approval for it to become effective.

There are several authorities that assume control and follow-up of what has been achieved by using different methods.

The National Council carries out the follow-up and control through the Education Committee in the Council. And the Federal Ministry carries out the control and the follow-up through several institutions among which, the Minister Council, the Undersecretary Council, the Follow-up and Evaluation Administration under the control of the Education Planning.

Essential needs of education:

The new curricula of the basic phase focus on 152 values, corresponding to a large extent to the set of values emanating from the doctrines and culture of the society. Curricula also focus on making pupils profit from 72 skills which enable the basic phase graduates, after training, to contribute effectively to society.

The basic phase pupil acquires knowledge and experience during eight years of study permitting him to further educate himself and to deal with life.

A group of concepts and contents has been determined for each of the three stages of basic education.

Reviewing the strategy:

Since strategy worries about the future, it was necessary that it involved flexibility as to allow adding new axes, and changing paths according to the latest developments. As a matter of fact, two axes were added to the strategy, they are: to make peace and to encourage foreign relations in the framework of the peace agreement.

The eighth axis:

To make peace, which focuses on the following:

1 - Showing cultural, linguistic, religious and environmental diversity in Sudan through education programmes in a way that shows the positive aspects in every society group in order to support the national unity.

2 - Adapting the pupil's history, culture and environment on the one hand, to the education programmes on the other hand, as to allow states to add a subject or more to the national programme in the fields of environment, health, culture, history and geography, whilst taking into consideration:

a - the accuracy of information from the scientific point of view;

b - meeting the pupil's capacities and being in line with the size of the national programme;

c - that the information does not disagree with national unity concepts.

The National Council for Curricula and Educational Research supervises the added subjects to the national program and authorizes them in the light of the mentioned measures. The Council adopts the initiatives of cultural and tribal groups to develop their languages. It teaches them in their local schools, takes care in teaching the Arabic language in regions with linguistic overlapping since pre-school education.

3 - Preparing special curricula for those who have left the rebellion movement, while considering their ages and the experiences they were subjected to in the rebellion camps.

4 - Intensifying efforts to spread education in regions affected by emigration.

The ninth axis :

To encourage foreign affairs:

This axis treats the following aspects:

- encouraging cooperation with regional and international organizations to gather technical and financial support for education projects (especially training and equipment for laboratories and workshops).

- Encouraging agreements and cultural protocols between Sudan and other friendly nations.

- Supporting the National Committee of UNESCO with scientific and qualified administrative staff and assistants, permitting it to fulfill it’s role in coordinating communication between regional and international organizations.

- Supporting the Project Unit for implementing the projects of the Islamic Bank and African Development Bank, in order to build schools and upgrade technical education schools.

Some projects and activities were added to the basic education axis, like qualifying the educational loss and taking care of special groups like the talented and handicapped. Besides that, the revision of structures in the framework of the federal regime was completed, as well as the revision of legislation and distribution of authority between the center and the states.

In the light of these revisions a special study about war affected regions was prepared.

1 – 3 : Decision making and administration :

Sudan participated in the Jomtien Conference with a high-ranking delegation, and committed itself to its decisions. The hope that the international organizations will fulfill their obligations in implementing the recommendation was immense. Therefore, plans were conceived to implement the conference recommendations through the proposal of a detailed plan to expand primary education to a national conference held in September 1990; the recommendations of that conference were compulsory with respect to the government.

The National Conference for Educational Policies held in September 1990 is considered as the first governmental consultative committee to make Education for All policies. The policies and decisions of that Conference were interpreted in the overall national strategy of the government in 1992 in form of specific projects showing the different phases of implementation.

The global national strategy is considered a compulsory document to all government institutions; and the Council of Ministers follows up on the implementation of the phases through periodic reports.

As for the Ministry of Education, planning was made to implement the strategy through the Coordination Council between the states. The Council includes all school directors in the states, and is headed by the First Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Teaching.

This Council contributed to the planning concerning expanding basic education, procuring financing, securing public participation in building schools, and supporting illiteracy elimination campaigns.

The Coordination Council role is complemented by a Command Council headed by the Federal Ministry, which includes all the administrative chiefs headed by the First Secretary (called the Secretary Council). This Command Council is considered as a high consultative body to the Minister of Education; it follows up on implementing policies, suggests plans, and assesses projects and their implementation level.

After issuing the constitutional orders, which were replaced by a permanent constitution for the country, the states' authorities in the educational field were expanded with concern to planning and implementation (followed by securing finance). The role of the Federal Ministry became of technical nature, limited to general national policies and international agreements, cooperation with donor organizations, elaboration of curricula, planning, foreign cooperation, projects, training and examinations.

Due to the fact that the policy of providing learning opportunities to all children at the age of 6 until reaching compulsory education is one of national concern, the federal government represented by the Federal Ministry of General Education and Teaching is concerned. In spite of the states independence in planning and implementing education, the party related to expanding basic education is followed and coordinated by the Federal Ministry.

The following of national policies is referred to two councils in the Federal Ministry headed by the Federal Minister of Education.

The first council is the National Council for General Education. It includes all the education ministers in the states plus the department heads in the Federal Ministry and several education experts. This Council is involved in drawing general policies and submitting them to the Council of Ministers to become part of the govern's policy. That is why it is considered as the highest consultative body in the field of general education, and throughout this Council the ministers of the states review the stand of implementing the project of expanding of basic education.

The second council is the Minister Council. It includes the administrative chiefs in the Federal Ministry. The Secretary Council mentioned above, succeeded to this Council. It is considered the highest consultative body concerning the Minister. Through its' deliberations, the ministry policy is determined, then submitted to the National Council for General Education, to the Council of Ministers, and the National Council.

But in the domain of the states, the direct authority controlling education and implementing the Education for All policy, is the local authority of the Council, which includes a Committee for Education Issues. This Committee supervises the mobilization of popular effort to build schools, secure official support, and to invent adequate means to encourage teachers to work in rural areas.

As for the highest authority in the state, the Education Committee emanating from the State’s Council (Parliament) represents it. This Council draws the general policies for the states in all fields, including education. The decisions of this Council are imperative to the state’s governing.

The population in each state directly elects both preceding councils. That is why delivered decisions are considered as representing the popular demand on the local or state level.

1 – 4 : Cooperation in Education for All :

1 - 4 - 1 : Education for All partners :

The decade of Education for All witnessed an achievement with no precedent in securing basic learning opportunities in its comprehensive meaning, especially on the formal level. This was achieved with the gratitude to the precedence guaranteed by the government and the commitment of the Ministry of Education and General Education to the decisions of the Education for All Conference (Jomtien – March 1990), the African Conference for Educating Girls (Oughadougo – March 1993) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1998. It was also achieved through the implementation of the National Conference for Educational Policies recommendations in September 1990 and the recommendations of the National Conference for Educating Adults, August 1990, implicated by the overall national strategy. The basic education development was constant with distinct care to educating girls in distant rural areas. The Ministry reformed the educational structure in an essential way by prolonging basic education to eight years, and re-elaborating curricula as to improve their quality and adapting them to students' needs and local structure.

In the field of non-formal education, the National Council for Eliminating Illiteracy and Educating Adults managed to lower illiteracy during this decade to 47.2% in 1990 for the group of 15+. It provided learning opportunities for the youth in school-age 8-14 years through new programmes permitting them to join formal education after basic education. The Council presents eliminating illiteracy programmes and educating adults through the net of its national administration in the states, and prepares for a second phase of the national campaign to eliminate illiteracy.

The Ministry of Culture and Information performs through the national corporations for radio and TV, and other communication systems, an appraised educational role in diffusing regular education programmes for pupils in the rural areas, and methodical pilot lessons supporting school decisions. In addition the Ministry diffuses children programmes and launches school competitions. It also presents guiding, instructive and scientific programmes to the different sectors of society in cooperation with the concerned ministries and institutions. The government loyal information systems direct education programmes with local imprint in coordination with the concerned institutions in the states. The importance of the educational role played by information systems is of a higher value through programmes presented to adults deprived of formal education.

In this context, some of the ministries implement specialized educational and instructive programmes. The Ministry of Health for example presents a program on health care, the Ministry of Agriculture presents a program on agricultural guidance, the Ministry of Labor one on the labor force world, and the Minister of Interior a program on the Refugees Commission and basic education for refugees in their camps with the cooperation of the High Commission for Refugees. These programmes are presented regularly to the concerned public on the federal and states level.

The national education performed a leading role due to historical circumstances in what concerns children benefiting from learning opportunities, especially on the primary level. It contributes now in developing girl’s education and non-formal education. The decade of Education for All, was characterized by a distinct expanding of private basic education at urban areas, acknowledging human capabilities and necessary scholastic equipment which helped to improve the quality of private education. In addition to the above, the demand for private education was raised in spite of its high costs; this sector became of promising investment.

The educational institutions for social education represented by the Koran teaching places and ecclesiastic schools remained one of the most important partners of achieving Education for All as they provide original education related to spiritual and religious values. This kind of education is wanted by society for teaching and educating the youth to provide them with those values for their lives. They are institutions that local society takes care of. They form an appreciated contribution in developing basic education, and provide the opportunity of joining later formal education.

1 – 4 – 2: Financing Basic Education:

It is obvious that basic education was affected to a large extent by successive evolutions during the decade of Education for All. The enforcement of the Federal Regime in 1994 charged the states with the administration and the financing of general education. The local councils had to come up with all basic education costs, including paying teachers’ wages from their own limited resources.

The educational sector suffered in general from the ramshackling of the economic structure, the financial reform and the obvious inflation, as it is the case of developing countries. To word off these negative effects, the federal government kept offering appreciated financial support to some lesser developed states from a special fund created especially for this purpose.

The State Support Fund:

The Ministry of Finance and National Economy is the responsible authority for the Fund. It provides financial support allotted to development in some states with the aim of helping public budget in those states to face their different obligations. The support is distributed according to development needs. In 1998, the largest share was given to South Cordovan State. Although most of it was directed to agriculture, education was of second priority, and got approximately 18% of what was allotted to support development in this state. In the State of Kasla, the biggest share was allotted to develop infrastructure; while priority was given to health in the Red Sea.

The state controls the distribution of funds allotted to development, and the authorities determine the share of every development sector according to different specifications varying from one state to another.

The development support reached in 1998 about 17.163 million Dinars distributed between water, energy, health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors. In general, infrastructure got the greatest share with 6.833 million Dinars, which represents 40% of the total. The agriculture sector, as the second greatest beneficiary sector, got about 3.103.4 million Dinars, which represents about 18% of the total support. It was followed by the third beneficiary s, which is the health sector. It got about 2.491.6 million Dinars, i.e. 15% of the total support The health sector was followed by both, the water and energy sectors, where the first got 1.726 million Dinars and the second 1.713 million Dinars, which is equal to 10% of the total support to each of them. As for education, it got 1.269 million Dinars, which represents 7% of the total sum allotted to support development in the states as stated in the following table:

Sectors' shares from the support allotted to development

Sector

Allotted Amount

(in millions)

Percentage %

Education

1.268,5

7

Energy

1.713,0

10

Water

1.726,0

10

Health

2.491,6

15

Agriculture

3.103,4

18

Infrastructure

6.833,0

40

TOTAL

17.135,5

100

Data sources: Ministry of Finance records 1999.

The authorities in the states determine the different sectors' shares of the developmental support and that according to their development priorities and to other financial resources, which could be provided for the concerned sector.

Giving education this relative late rank in the priority scale while distributing the limited resources on the different sectors may result from the reliance of the states' authorities on the appreciated contribution of the society. Since this distribution reflects the extent of care and priority given to education as one of several sectors which share the government's attention and limited resources.

It is noticeable, that the share of education from the support accorded to development is used to cover teachers' wages «Chapter One» in most of the states.

The voluntary appreciated popular support in according financial and material supports cover more than 50% of the basic education budget. This it is stated in the report on the Popular Support in Education Study carried out by the Educational Planning Administration in 1996. It is a unique phenomenon, which symbolizes the local society attention to education, and contributes to develop basic education, in particular, and provides opportunities to school age children to join education.

It is worth mentioning the prolongation of basic education period from 6 to 8 years during the decade of Education for All. Moreover, the addition of two classes for all basic education schools thanks to the voluntary popular support had a positive effect on implementing successfully the new scale providing better teaching and training for children.

The Parents and Teachers Councils contribute to gather support for education. This is done through collecting financial and in specie donations from the local society, charitable and commercial institutions, corporations and organizations. They play an outstanding role in general mobilization and organizing voluntary work to rehabilitate educational institutions and other necessary school services.

The foreign and national voluntary organizations present financial and technical support in sort of grants or training for teachers. They also offer support through the implementation of education programmes associated to projects with income on the basic level. This is done to motivate the local society to participate at eliminating illiteracy programmes and educating adults, especially in what concerns women and emigrants affected by natural disasters or war and who are located in the vicinity of big cities.

1 - 4 - 3 : Cooperation with United Nations’ Organizations :

In spite of foreign cooperation retraction, and the government pursuing a self-dependency policy, the education sector and especially the basic level benefited form a considerable cooperation with the United Nations Organizations through their regional programmes. Basic education sector benefited in a distinct form, from the cooperation of organizations, banks and regional funds with the Ministry of Education and General Education, which contributed to its development and stability. The features of this cooperation can be briefed in the following:

World Food Programme: (W.F.P)

The truth is that the National Project for School Nutrition implemented by the World Food Program with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education and General Education since 1969 for the profit of basic education is absolutely the biggest. It includes supplying beneficiary basic schools with foodstuffs and kitchen equipment while improving at the same time their environment. Hundreds of schools and teachers' apartments were also built; others were rehabilitated and maintained. And to assure the continuity of the project, many investment projects with income started to be implemented in order to achieve the expected goals.

The project contributes from 1997 to 2000 with an amount of 18.6 million dollars to ensure breakfast for 300.000 pupils in five northern states considered as the less developed, to rehabilitate 650 basic schools, to buy dining and kitchen equipment for 1840 schools benefiting from the project plus five generators. From 1989 to 1997 28.5 million dollars were allocated for the project.

The UNICEF Organization:

UNICEF kept highly supporting the basic education sector and contributing to the development of human resources in what concerns technical personnel on regional and national level, the training of teachers and the supplying of administrations with equipment. The organization takes, in cooperation with the concerned parties, leading educational initiatives in basic education, especially in the field of teaching nomads, adults and children in difficult situations. It contributed throughout the Education for All decade with millions of dollars to the above mentioned projects.

The United Nations Fund for Population: (UNFPA)

The Fund assists the Federal Ministry in the field of the Demographic Education Project. The assistance is offered concerning the insertion of the population education concepts in basic and general education, in preparing training courses, in developing curricula, in preparing instructors and in training education leaderships working in the fields of general education, eliminating illiteracy and educating adults. 300.000 dollars were allocated to this project from 1995 until the end of 1999.

The UNESCO Organization:

The organization helps in developing human resources, in supporting institutions, in implementing programmes connected to educational matters and in encouraging new and innovative initiatives.

1 - 5: Investing in education:

The Federal Regime distributed responsibilities between the center and the states. Thus, the states assume the charge of spending on the different levels and kinds of education, and the provinces assume responsibility for secondary education. As for basic education responsibility, it is assumed by the local authorities, and is allotted about 25% of the local budget.

Since the beginning of the nineties till now, spending on general education increased in general, and especially in basic education, in a clear and distinct way. Basic education represents about 43.3% of education current budget (budget 1998), while secondary education only represents about 13.2%. 74% of the government expenses on general education are allotted to teachers' wages.

The system of financing education in Sudan is divided into two parts:

1 - Governmental finance:

The central government budget and the budget of the states finance general education.

2 – Non-governmental finance and it includes:

2. a.: Private finance and it includes:

2. a. 1.: All kinds of support presented to public schools including scholastic fees.

2. a. 2.: Private education, where the private sector bears all the expenses.

2. b.: Foreign Finance:

It comes from different sources according to the kind of donor (bilateral or multilateral). It helps financing projects that the government cannot spend on, and which are a priority to the government and to the donors.

Sources of financing education:

The education strategy and the general education law of 1992 determined the following sources:

1 - The public source: it includes public budget, states budget and local authority’s budget.

2 - Investment in educational facilities like educational publications, factories producing scholastic needs, scholastic associations, and other investment fields.

3 - Education Support Fund:

Additionally to the public budget, there are many sources to support this Fund like donations and taxes.

4 - Popular support:

It performs a noticeable role in financing education. The different kinds of popular support to education vary from financial to in specie. Their value and ways of spending are difficult to determine. According to a study undertaken in 1996 to determine popular support to education, it came out that it reached about 53% of the total sum spent on education during the scholastic year 1994 - 1995.

In the late years educational policies increased public spending on education, strengthened the decentralization of education and encouraged society to support financing it.

This policy of supporting and strengthening decentralization is expected to continue. This shall be reached by increasing the authorities of the states and self-dependence and by encouraging different kinds of private financing to education through supporting and directing the contribution of the society.

Changes in the current way of spending on education occurred after implementing the «Flexible Framework for Teachers» (promotion to high ranks regardless of jobs). This system includes a number of bonuses given to the teacher according to experiences, abilities, and contribution in different educational and social activities. These bonuses are reviewed periodically in order to improve teachers’ situations.

5 - The Institution of the Ministry of Education for Printing and Publication:

Providing schoolbooks represents a change in the way of financing education, whereby the administration of the educational publications was transferred to an institution, which works on investment bases. This led to the transfer of responsibility as for the provision of schoolbooks from the central authority to the states, which are responsible now for financing their needs of books.

In the context of deploying efforts to provide schoolbooks in a decent way, the Institution of the Ministry of Education Printers was declared responsible for printing the schoolbook. This Institution started as a printing unit at the Ministry of Education and Teaching in 1956 with small capacities and a number of goals such as:

- Printing and producing the demand of the Ministry of Education and Teaching as what concerns books, booklets and other prints.

- Technical supervision of schoolbooks printing and verification of printing quality.

In 1993 a ministerial resolution was issued ordering the merging of the Administration of Pedagogical Publication with the printers of the Ministry of Education as to get the Institution of the Ministry of Education for Printing and Publication. In 1994 the Council of Ministers issued the resolution no845 charging the Ministry of Education with the responsibility of printing and distributing the schoolbooks. A change in the financial structure and responsibilities of the institution followed.

Many changes in this institution were necessary to provide the schoolbook. They were reflected in the following fields:

1 . Financial field

2 . Administrative field

3 . Production field:

a - Equipment.

b - Production

4 . Other fields like installations, posting and public contributions.

If we focus on the financial field and especially on revenues, we find that they leaped from 6.970.668 pounds in 1989/1990 to 8.182.215.353 pounds in 1997, which means that they doubled by 117% between 1989/1990 and 1997.

In the field of expenses they increased to 7.017.127.078 pounds in 1997 due to the introduction of many new machines with high technical specifications.

As for the first part of the institution’s budget, it doubled by138.3% between 1989/1990 and 1997, that reflects the encouraging policies adopted in order to attract and maintain qualified personnel.

As for the second part designated to the running costs (like administrative expenses, maintenance and electricity costs etc.) and the third part designated to development expenses (like those for facilities and machines) a clear progress was noticed. It was reflected in the amelioration of the institution’s efficiency and capacity to print and provide the schoolbook as it is shown in the following table:

Evolution of schoolbooks production 1989 - 1997

Year

Produced Quantity

1989/1990

266.225

1997

1.272.842

We notice in this table that the quantity of printed books sharply increased between 1989/1990 - 1997 and doubled by almost 478%.


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