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Part II Analytic Section

The Development of Basic Education in Sudan from 1990-1999


This chapter treats the analytic side of progress obtained in the field of Education for All through the measuring of 18 indicators, as it was determined in UNESCO document (Education for All – The Year 2000 Assessment - Technical Guidelines) and they are distributed on the following axes:

- Pre-school education (two indicators).

- Basic education (four indicators).

- Basic education budget (two indicators).

- Teachers in basic level (three indicators).

- Measuring internal efficiency of the education system in basic level (four indicators).

- Literacy rate among adults (three indicators).

Since some of these indicators necessitated data and information not available in the annual statistics collected and distributed by the Administration of Planning and Statistics in the states and the center through annual application forms, we had recourse to the sample method for many reasons (technical, financial, temporal and human). Annex no3 shows the chosen method, which is the intentional (deliberate) sample. We tried our best to make the sample fully representative for the educational society (Sudan) in all its types (schools for boys, girls, mixed) and geographical and administrative sections (rural, urban, states, local authorities). On this basis, the sample was chosen by a group of experts in this field (method of sample study) and by those working in the educational field, and they are:

- A representative of the Central Board for National Statistics.

- Representatives of the Education Planning Administration at the Federal Ministry.

- Representatives of the Education Assessment Department.

- The Administration of Education Planning and Statistics in the states.

- School directors of basic level in the states.

- School directors in the states.

This group has worked in a complementary way to reach the results described in annex no3.

While measuring progress through the 18 indicators previously mentioned, time was divided into periods:

1) from 1990 - 1995.

2) from 1995 - 1999.

During this time, the indicators were compared whenever possible. This was done also for the annual development rates, which were calculated for the period 1990-1995, 1995-1999, and 1990-1999, as to show us the intensity and continuity of efforts deployed in the field of Education for All.

A - Pre-school education (early childhood care and development):

Care to pre-school education was increased during the period between 1990-1998 as shown by the issuance of the special resolution in 1992 stipulating that pre-school education is part of the education system.

Due to this care, a big progress was achieved in this field - table no1. If we look into this table we find that the number of children who joined pre-school education (kindergartens, Koran teaching Koran teaching places) increased in an annual development rate of 3.9% for both sexes; 9.5% for girls. These rates compared to those of annual population increase (1.8 for girls, 1.6 for both sexes) - though without any expectation - show that the annual development rate for girls who join pre-school education is five times more than the rate of annual increase for girls. For both sexes it exceeds a little the double. One of the goals besides increasing intake rate for pre-school education is to approach and even reach gender parity concerning opportunities; for the rate of girls was in 1990-1991 33.3% and became 53.6% in 1998-1999. The intake rates are still low even if annual development rates are considered almost acceptable; as for girls it exceeds four times the rates of annual development of the population.

B - Basic education level from 1990-1999:

Considering the scholastic year 1990/1991 - a reference year - the number of entrants in the first grade witnessed a continuous increase along the period from 1990-1999 - form no1. Looking at the table no(ii) the annual growth rate from 1990-1999 reached 4% for both sexes, 3.3% for boys and 4.8% for girls, which shows an acceleration in enrolling girls.

By analyzing annual growth rates from 1990-1996, 1995-1999 and 1990-1999 according to the numbers of new entrants and intake rates we find out the following:

- In the period between 1990-1996 annual growth rates for both sexes reached 4.2%: 3.4% for boys and 5.2% for girls. These rates are compared to the annual growth rates of the population.

- The rate of 3.1% according the 1983 Census and 2.8% according to 1993 Census are considered adequate but under expectation. That is because the declared educational policy in that period - specifically after changing the education scale to become (2,8,3) in 1991- provides the opportunity to any child who asks to be admitted in school. For that reason the rates are under expectation. But there is a bright side, which is the relative great push to accept girls, with an annual increase rate of 5.2%. It had a positive effect on the apparent intake rate for girls: the annual growth rate reached 2.7% for girls. In 1990/1991 the intake rate was 53.3%; it reached 60.8% in 1995/1996 and 68.3% in 1998. The annual growth rate for boys for the same year 1990/1991 reached 0.8%, the intake rate 69.1% and it became 71.9% in 1995/1996. Efforts on popular and official level continued to increase the intake rate. That led to a slight improvement of the annual growth rate, for it raised from 4.2% between 1990-1996 to 4.9% in the period of 1995-1999. That exceeds the double of the 2.8% annual growth rate of the population. At the same time, the caring for girl’s intake continued, for the annual growth rate reached 5.7% while it was only 4.3% for boys. This increased the annual growth rate for girl’s intake rate to 4% and to 1.1% for boys. This had an impact on narrowing gender disparity concerning intake rates, for the difference was 15.8% in 1990/1991 (69.1% for boys, 53.3% for girls), 11.1% in 1995/1996 (71.9% for boys, 60.8% for girls) and 5.9% in 1998/1999 (74.2% for boys, 68.3% for girls).

- Considering annual growth rates and current intake rates, we can conclude that providing universal basic education is possible according to the annual growth rate of population which is less than the annual increase of pupils enrolled. But if the current situation is to continue in this manner, achieving the aim of expanding basic education will take a long time exceeding even ten years. If we aim at achieving this goal in lesser time, more efforts should be deployed to increase the percentages of intake rates.

We notice the following in the table no(iii) which illustrates rates and numbers of intakes in the years 1990, 1995, 1999:

- During the period 1990-1999 the annual growth rate reaches 4.1% for both sexes: 3.4% for boys, 4.9% for girls, which means that there is a steady increase in number of basic level intakes even if this period includes the former primary level and the current basic level.

- During the period 1990-1996 the education system was changed in 1991. The primary level became 8 years instead of 6 and was called basic level. While we notice that the annual growth rate for both sexes is 6.6%, we find that the enrollment rates decrease annually by 1.5%. This is due to the difference in the age-category for basic and primary levels, for it is now 6-13 years and 7-12 successively. Adding one year to the age category before 7 and one year after 12 had to show this negative rate in the

eginning. But soon after, the annual growth rate for intake rates becomes positive and reaches 1% in the period of 1990-1999 for both sexes.

- We can notice that the disparity rate between the enrollment rates of boys and girls decreases continually. This is a sign for achieving equality in opportunities for both sexes in basic education; while we have a difference of 14.4% in 19/1991, it becomes 7.2% in 1995/1996, and finally reaches 5.8% in 1998/1999.

- That is what concerned quantity and comprehension. As for quality, the pupil-teacher ratio decreased from 35-students/ teacher in 1990/1991, to 31-students/ teacher in 1995-1996, until it became 29-students/ teacher in 1-1999; but on the other hand, we find that the rate of trained teachers oscillates considerably. While it was 90% in 1990-1991, (the former primary education where the majority of teachers were graduates form teachers’ faculties and pedagogical qualification institutes), it decreased to 56% in 1995/1996, then rose again to 59.7% in 1998/1999. The cause may be in the rapid expansion in basic education, which was faster than the time needed to qualify the teachers. The attempt undertaken to handle that raised the rate from 56% to 59.7%. But the gap between 1990/1991 and 1998/1999 is still relatively big.

Table no(VI): Pupil per teacher ratio and the rate of trained teachers


Pupil – teacher ratio

Rate of trained teachers


1990 / 1991



1995 / 1996



1998 / 1999



Reference: Ministry of Education and General Education.

- As for the indicators of internal efficiency of the education system - for the basic level - it could be followed through tables no(8-A, 8-B, 8-C). Just notice that the two tables (8-A, 8-B) do not include the repetition rates, because the lists were not provided; so we will just compare the rates of drop-outs and those of survival and the coefficient of internal efficiency for each year.

- While the internal coefficient of efficiency for both sexes lies at 2.3% in 1990-1991 it raises to 2.43% in 1995-1996, until it becomes 2.38% in 1998-1999 for both sexes. As what concerns boys it is successively 2.8%, 2.53%, 2.53%; and for girls it is successively 2.28%, 2.31%, 2.21%, which shows that the situation of girls is better than that of the boys. It also shows that the situation as a whole is relatively characterized by high waste. While comparing the medium rates of drop-outs during grades 1 and 5, we find that the rate of drop-outs decreases during the years 1990/1991, 1995/1996, 1998/1999 from 9.2% to 8.3%, than to 6.6% successively. But in return, the promotion average swings from 90.8% in 1990/1991, to 91.7% in 1995, to 82% in 1998/1999. This means that the education system suffers a waste problem due to survival with repetition or to drop-outs and that is valid for both sexes. But if we compare between the two sexes, we find that the situation of boys is always the worst. In 1990/1991, the average of drop-outs from grade 1 to 5 is 9.9% for boys while it is only 8.2% for girls, in 1995/1996 it is 9.7% for boys and 6.4% for girls, and in 1998/1999 it is 6.8% for boys and 6.3% for girls. The situation is the same for survival rates until grade 5: in 1995/1996 it is 63.7% for boys and 63.8% for girls, in 1995/1996 72.9% for boys and 80.9% for girls and in 1998/1999 it is 74.6% for boys and 77.9% for girls. This shows that the capacity of the education system to retain girls is higher than its capacity to retain boys, which requires considering drop-outs and the problem of high repetition among boys. The problem looks more clear compared with the rate of survival until the grade 7 in 1998/1999 for it is 63.3% for girls. Although this rate is of concern to us, yet the rate of boys requires the quick and immediate facing of the problem for it is 56% only. That means that approximately half of those who enter grade 1 fall away, either because of drop-out or repetition before reaching grade 8. The increase in drop-out rates in due to several reasons as shown by the studies "Education Girls" of 1993, and "Drop-outs in Basic Education Level" of 1996. The most important reasons are: the decline of the school environment, the incapability of some families of providing educational requirements to their children, and the need of the families - especially in rural areas and cities’ borders - for the young to help earning their living and to help at house work.

C – Development of literacy rate from 1990-1998:

Illiteracy is considered among the most important impediments to development, and the reason for nation’s underdevelopment, because of its bad effects on behavior, and on the individual mental abilities. That is what made the government pay special attention on putting an end to illiteracy in Sudan by organizing special programmes for eliminating illiteracy and by teaching adults and adolescents and by keeping them from dropping out from education.

Considering table no5 for the years 1990, 1995, 1998, we can conclude the following:

- There is an improvement in the indicator of literacy rate among adults in the age-category 15+. It rises from 51.6% in 1990 to 53.5% in 1995, and keeps on rising to 57.2% in 1998. One must notice that results are not proportional to efforts spent and to population growth rates. It is noticed too, that the literacy rate does not change among males where it is 64.3% in 1990 and 67.1% in 1995; then the rate increases by less than 0.1% to reach 67.3% in 1998. In comparison to the females, we find that there is a distinct development for the literacy rate jumps from 38.9% in 1990 to 47.1% in 1998 although the gap is still great between males and females in the field of eliminating illiteracy.

1 – Pre-school education (early childhood):

The educational policy in Sudan aims at classifying pre-school education as one of the general education levels, and common to all children in age-group 4-5 years. It also aims at formulating directives, which enable the states to meet environmental and cultural diversity needs, and to choose what suit them.

The pre-school education level is considered as new. It became part of the formal education by the Council of Minister’s resolution no1799 dated 4th of November 1990. It suffers from insufficient professional qualifications of those who supervise it, which shows the weakness of the central administration, as pre-school education institutions are considered as social institutions with regard to the establishment, the administration and the financing. The Ministry endeavors to overcome these negative aspects as to allow pre-school education to achieve its mission.

We notice in table no1 that apparent intake rate stops at 19.2% for all Sudan. It reaches 17.6% for males and 20.8% for females. The gender parity index is in the favor of females for it reaches 1.2%.

We also notice that the apparent enrollment rate is a little bit different in the northern states for it reaches 25.8% for both sexes: 23.5% for males and 27.9% for females. The states vary considerably in the extent to which the age group 4-5 years benefit from early childhood institution’s services (kindergartens and Koran teaching places). This benefit reaches the maximum, in the State of Al-Shamaliyah (the Northern State (Ash-Shamaliyah)) where apparent enrollment rate is 50.7% for both sexes: 44.7% for males and 56.9% for females. The State of Al-Wusta (the Central State) follows it with 37.6% for both sexes: 34% for males and 41.2% for females. Then the State of Khartoum follows, where apparent enrollment rate for both sexes is 24.3% only; 25% for females.

As what concerns the southern states, there is a clear shortfall in apparent enrollment rates in this phase, for it reaches 2.1%. This is due to the unstableness of population in these states, due to civil wars and population emigration towards the northern states.

The urban areas are considered luckier in the diffusion of early childhood institutions (kindergartens and Koran teaching places) because kindergartens - most of them are non-governmental institutions- are based there. The apparent enrollment rate reached overall the country 22% and among males and females 20.2% and 23.9% successively.

As for the rural areas, apparent enrollment rates reach 11.6% for both sexes: 10.1% for males, 13.1% for females, for the Koran teaching places are spread all over.

1 – 1: New entrants to the first basic grade who participated in early childhood development programmes:

In examining table no2 we conclude the following:

- The rate of new entrants to the first basic grade who participated in early childhood development programmes is 47.4% for public and private education. It reaches 50% for public education while it lies only at 39.9% for the private education.

- The concentraof early childhood institutions in the northern states lead to the increase of this rate.

We can also notice in the table the clear difference between the rates of the different states. It reached the minimum in the State of Kurdufan with 36.1%, 65.2% in Khartoum, and 66.2% in the Central State (Al-Wusta).

The increase in the first grade intake rate who participated in early childhood development programmes in some states, is attributed to the diffusion of Koran teaching places in rural areas. Their rate reaches 30.3%: 33% public education and 8.4% private education.

As what concerns urban areas, kindergarten institutions, which excel in teaching a special curriculum, spread out. And the rate of those who benefited from these programmes increased to 35.5%. These rates were different in public education where they reached 38.4% while decreasing in private education (non-governmental education) to 15.5%.

2 – Basic education level:

Basic education level is considered a fundamental pillar to build up society, for it grants the basic education needs and plays an outstanding role in Sudan’s development. It is a phase of eight years for the age group 6-13 years, which starts at the age of six, the official age of admittance for both sexes.

2 – 1: Intake in grade 1:

In examining table no3, the apparent intake rate in basic education level in Sudan reaches 60.5% as what concerns the northern and southern states, while it increases among males to 64.6% and decreases among females to 56.3%.

This rate increases in the Northern State (Ash-Shamaliyah) to 66% for both sexes: 70.2% for males and 61.9% for females.

This decrease in rate in the southern states, with 33.8% for both sexes (38.6% for males, 28.8% for females) is due to wars that strike these states, and to the population emigration to the northern states.

Through this table, we can notice the clear difference in the apparent intake rates in basic education first grade, for it reaches the maximum, in Great Northern State (Ash-Shamaliyah), which includes the northern Nile River State with 98% for both sexes: males 97%, females 99%. It is followed by the Central State (Al-Wusta) which includes the White Nile, Ghezira, Snar and the Blue Nile with 82.5% for both sexes: 86.1% for males, 78.9% for females. Then comes the State of Khartoum with 77.6% for both sexes: 79.7% for males, 75.5% for females. This rate is considered low, as this is the State where the capital of the country is. This decrease is due to the big number of emigrants and immigrants coming to the State from the other states due to natural (dryness, desertification) and security causes (war). This led to an increase in population more than education services can contain. On the other hand, the major concern of emigrants is to earn their living, which affects negatively, their will to send their children to education institutions.

It is noticeable too, that in the states of Kurdufan (north- south- and west Kurdufan), of Darfur (south- north- and west Darfur) and the eastern states (the Red Sea, Ksala, Qadarif) the average intake rate is 58.3%, 48.9%, 48.3% successively for both sexes which means that in border states intake rates decreases below medium.

The apparent intake rate in urban area is 64.8% for both sexes. It increases to 67% for males and decreases to 62.6% for females. While the apparent intake rate in rural areas reaches only 51.8% for both sexes: 60.1% for males and 43.4% for females.

A noticeable approach in net and apparent intake rates between males and females occurred. It is slightly in favor of males, for the gender parity index is 0.9% in both cases.

We conclude from these numbers that the difference is clearer at geographical level than at gender level, the fact that demands directing policies towards spending efforts in border states and rural areas. It should be signaled here that the decrease in apparent intake rates in what concerns this result is due to many reasons:

- Measuring the rate in this way differs from the former recognized one, where censuses were based on estimations.

- This result reflects the real numbers of first grade new entrants and exclude the first grade repeaters who led to a decrease in rate.

- There are categories of pupils not included in this rate as emigrants and youths. Efforts are undertaken to include them.

In considering again the same table, the net intake rate in first basic grade for the whole Sudan is 43.5% for both sexes. It increases to 46.2% for males, and decreases to 40.8% for females, which means that there are 56.5% of children at the age of 6 out of school. This is due to the new implemented system of education, and to the fact the age of 7 is a still given priority in enrollment in all the regions.

We notice that there is a clear difference in the net intake rate between the states. It reaches its maximum rate in the Northern State (Ash-Shamaliyah) with 86.7% for both sexes: 86% for males, 87.5% for females. It is followed by the State of Khartoum with 74.9% for both sexes, 78.7% for males and 71.1% for females; then by the middle State: 56.2% for both sexes: 63.6% for males and 66.8% for females. Rates below the medium are found in Kurdufan, Darfur, and the Eastern State (Ash-Sharqiyah) for the rate for both sexes reaches successively 34.9%, 25% and 37%. In the southern states the net intake rate stopped at only 15.1% for both sexes: 17.5% for males and 12.5% for females. These states suffer from civil wars and from emigration of the population to the northern states.

The net intake rate in urban areas where education services are located reaches 65.5% for both sexes (67.9% for males, 63.2% for females), whereas the net intake rate in rural areas only reaches 10.5% for both sexes (11% for males and 10% for females). In general, the decrease in female rates is due to the increase of survivals with repetition rate among females. This is especially true in rural areas for it reaches 16.2% and is due to the fact that the sons help their fathers in agriculture works, or the girls help their mothers in domestic works (Educating Girls Study in Sudan). That shows the necessity of taking care of the population in rural areas and ensuring a kind of education, which suits their local environments. It also urges to attempt accepting children at the age of six.

The decrease in the net intake rate has two reasons:

1. Giving priority to those above the age of six.

  1. The increase of first grade repetition rate with 11% and 15.7% for rural areas.

2 – 2: Enrollment in basic education:

In examining table no4, we observe that the apparent enrollment rate in basic education in Sudan is 45.5% for both sexes: 48.1% for males, 42.8% for females. Here one should not forget that basic level in Sudan lasts for a continuous period of 8 years, from the age of 6 until the age of 13. This rate increased in the northern states to 52.2% for both sexes: 55% for boys while only 49.2% for females.

We notice here, that the more fortunate states in apparent enrollment rates in basic education are the same states, which obtained high apparent intake rates. Apparent intake rate reached its maximum in the northern states, followed by the State of Khartoum, then the State of the Center 87%, 73.6% and 76% successively.

In the southern states, we find that the apparent enrollment in basic education rate decreased clearly, for it reached 12.5% for both sexes: 14.4% for males, 10.5% for females. This is due to the civil war and population’s emigration to the northern states.

In urban areas the apparent enrollment rate reaches 51% for both sexes: 54.5% for males, 47.5% for females. This rate decreases in rural areas to only 34.4% for both sexes. It increases to 37.2% for males, then decreases to 31.5% for females due to the same reasons affecting the apparent intake rate, as well as due to the increase of drop-out rates, especially for females in rural areas.

In the same table no4 we can find that the net enrollment in basic education rate for all Sudan is 39.9% for both sexes. It increases to 42.8% for males and 36.9% for females.

We also notice in the table a clear disparity in net enrollment rate between the states, for all northern states have a rate of 45.7% for both sexes: 48.8% for males and 42.4% for females.

These rates vary according to the states. The maximum is reached in the Northern State, the State of Khartoum and the Center State with successively 84.1%, 65.1%, 58.7% for both sexes. The net enrollment rate for males reached in the same states successively 85.7%, 67.6%, 62.6%; for females successively 48.1%, 62.5%, 54.8%. The decrease in apparent and net enrollment rates is due to the afore-mentioned problematic situations surrounding Sudan.

In addition to that, the high drop-out rate had a clear effect on this rate. In 1998 224.543 pupils took part in the northern states at the examination of basic education. They represent those who survived until the 8th grade out of 450.521 males and females enrolled in 1991 in the first basic grade.

One must also mention the existence of some refugee pupils at school or those returning from or present at rebellion regions that are difficult to count.

In the States of Kordufan, Darfur and the Eastern State (Ash-Sharqiyah), net enrollment rate in basic education reached successively 37.7%, 25.5% and 31.6%.

The southern states are less fortunate as for apparent net enrollment rate, which reached 11.4% for both sexes: 13.3% for males and 9.4% for females.

In reading carefully the two tables 3, 4, we notice the clear decrease in intake and enrollment rates in the southern states. This is due, as mentioned before to the population instability in these regions, which obliged most of them to emigrate to the north.

The states with high intake rates are the same states characterized by high apparent net enrollment rates. This is due to their stability in providing educational services. Others perceive these regions as receptors to emigrants who emigrated because of civil wars, dryness or desertification.

And while comparing net enrollment rate in basic education in urban and rural areas we notice that this rate increased in urban areas and reached 49% for both sexes: 52% for males, 46% for females.

In what concerns rural areas this rate decreased and reached 9.5% for both sexes: 11.7% for males and 7.2% for females.

We also notice an approach between apparent and net enrollment rates between males and females. This approach is in the favor of males, for the gender parity index is 0.9% in both cases of apparent and net enrollment, which shows that the gap between enrollment of males and females has considerably diminished.

But we notice that the gender parity index differs according to the states, where it increases with 0.7% in both apparent and net enrollment cases too much in favor of males in the southern states. In Darfur, the gender parity indexes for apparent and net enrollment rates differ successively with 0.7 and 0.8 in favor of males. This disparity also exists in rural areas for it reaches 0.8 and 0.6 in apparent and net enrollment rates successively.

There is a clear difference between net and apparent enrollment rates in Form no(4-A). For the range between apparent and net enrollment rates for males reaches 18.4%, 15.5% for females and 17% for both sexes. This big difference is basically due to children who enter school at a more advanced age than the official age of 6 years. The rate of children at a more advanced age than the official age for basic level 6-13 years is 67.9% - Form no(4-C). Some reason that this high rate is due to the survival with repetition factor more than to children entering school at an advanced age; but what confirms the first theory is the decrease in the difference between apparent and net enrollment rates during this level which is 5.6% for both sexes: 5.9% for females and 5.3% for males - Form no(4-B). Moreover, the rate of children at an age less than the official one during the level is 1.7% for both sexes: 1.3% for males, 2.2% for females- Form no(4-C).

In what concerns out-of-school children at school age, their number is 3.927.764; 51% of them are females (i.e. 2.020.012 females) and the rest are males - Form no(4-D).

2 – 3: Spending on education:

The table no5 measures two of the indicators related to expenditure on education.

Calculating these indicators is based on data from successive years. It has been focused on 1990/1992 and 1991/1992. The following years were neglected due to lack of reliable formation. First, because the education scale changed in 1991/1992; second, because the government opted for the federal regime in 1993, and what followed like the transfer of authorities to the states, including the responsibility of spending on basic education. As a result, getting special information related to spending on education from different states became impossible, not to forget the traditional difficulties concerning the availability and credibility of information related to financing. Nevertheless, data related to 1998 were obtained by means of the special field research pertaining to this study. They were used to calculate these indicators.

Table no5 includes two of the indicators related to financing education, which are:

- Indicator no7 which concerns the following:

a - The current public expenditure on basic education as a percentage of the Gross National Product (GNP). In 1990/1991, this percentage was equal to 0.05% and decreased in the following year to 0.03%. In 1998 it reached 1.8%. Although the increase is slow as a consequence of Sudan’s critical economic situation affected by the war and natural disasters, but it reflects a growing interest from the government in basic education.

b - The average of the pupil’s cost in basic education to the percentage of Gross National Product per capita in the same year is equal to 0.6% in 1990/199. Alike the last indicator, it decreased during the following year to 0.4%, then increased in 1998 to 17.7% which shows the growing interest in basic education, and the sums allotted to it.

Table no5 also shows indicator no8 related to measuring the public current expenditure on basic education as a percentage of the total public expenditure on education.

And we find that public expenditure on basic education (primary level) in 1990/1991 represented 13.7% of the total public expenditure on education. It decreased in the following year 1991/1992 to 10.6%. But in 1998, we find that the percentage of expenditure on basic education, compared with education as a whole constitutes approximately 43.3%, which means agreat jump in what is allotted to education in form of a budget. This also reflects the importance given to basic education in the last years to fulfill Sudan's commitment to Education for All.

The percentage of public expenditure on basic education notifies the real care, and the priority given to other educational levels especially higher education. For if we compare between what is spent on basic education and what is spent on other education levels, we find that spending on basic education is equal to 33.278 million Dinars, i.e. 43.3% of the total spending on education. Approximately 10.117 million Dinars are spent on secondary education, which benefits of 13.2% of the total spending as it is shown in table no(IV):

Table no(IV) shows the percentage of public expenditureon different educational levels

Education levels

Public expenditure

(in million Dinars)

Percentage %

1 ) Basic



2 ) Secondary



3 ) High



Source: Ministry of Education and General Education. Educational Planning.

The largest share of expenditure goes to higher education with 33.432 million Dinars, which represents approximately 43.5% of the total public expenditure on education. If we consider the percentage of beneficiaries from higher education and connect it to development needs and to the clear declared commitment of Sudan to Jomtien decisions on expanding basic education, we find that it is necessary to reconsider the way of distributing resources.

And as for general education in 1998, we find that 77% of the total expenditure is allocated to basic education. This reflects the degree of attention paid to basic education level compared to secondary education level. But we find that approximately 74% of this total expenditure cover the requirements of the first semester. As for the secondary level, the first semester represents approximately 84% of the total public expenditure on secondary education, which means, that running costs do not get a sufficient percentage of expenditure, which may affect school environment, and other teaching and learning aids necessary for the educational process.

Note: The appropriate funds in table no5 for 1990/1991 and 1991/1992 are in Sudanese Pounds while they are for 1998 in Dinars which was lately declared the official currency.

2 – 4: Teachers:

Basic education level:

One of the most important problems facing basic education in Sudan, is how to qualify teachers. Although the global national strategy 1992-2002 has considered university education as a minimum to qualify them, and consequently, to allow them to teach at basic education schools, the goal is so far not completely achieved. That is why Sudanese certificate is considered, as the minimum required academic qualification of the basic level teacher. The graduates of the former education institutes and the university graduates of the present education faculties are considered as academically and technically qualified teachers to work as basic level teachers.

This can be followed in table no6, for the percentage of teachers with at least the minimum of academic qualifications (secondary phase) reached 61.1% for both sexes. 27.4% among them are teachers without the Sudanese certificate, but the rest could include holders of training certificate from teachers' institutes. The completing percentage to 60.8% (sic) is 59.7%, which is the percentage of teachers certified to teach. It appears that the number of teachers working actually in the basic phase, do not have sufficient technical qualifications that allow them to teach with the required competence. This resulted from the increase in pupils numbers, which went along with changing and expanding the education system and which pushed the educational authorities to appoint teachers with only secondary education certificate. This obliged the Ministry of Education and Teaching - under the supervision of the Administration for Pedagogical Further Qualification - to organize short intensified in-service courses between two and three weeks, as rescue measures. These courses comprehend education psychology, teaching methods and others, which allow instructors and new and old teachers to teach the new curricula of basic phase.

This is clearly shown in urban areas, where the percentage of teachers certified to teach and who hold training certificate from teachers' institutes, is 60.4%. Their percentage reaches 64.8 in rural areas. In all Sudan it is 59.7% for both sexes: 71.6% for males, 54.9% for females. The decrease in the rate of female teachers certified to teach may result from the growth in female enrollment rate, which led to the opening of a great number of schools for girls especially in rural areas. This demanded the appointment of great numbers of teachers (males and females) holding the Sudanese certificate. Considering that the profession is actually not attractive, especially for males, the percentage of female teachers who postulate for it is higher, for the number of female teachers represent 70% of the total teachers in basic education. Add to that, that schools in rural areas are more in need for male and female teachers who work in the same environment. That is why we find that the rate of qualified female teachers certified to teach reaches 61.6% in the country side; while this rate decreased in urban areas to 56.1%.

The rate of teachers holding the Sudanese certificate differs from one State to another. For example: in the southern states the rate of teachers holding the Sudanese certificate is 73.1%; it is followed by the Darfur State with 75.6%, then the Eastern State (Ash-Sharqiyah) with 65.2%. This shows that these states include great numbers of male and female teachers who need basic in-service training in order to prepare them for their work as teachers.

2 – 5: Pupil – teachers ratio:

In examining table no7, the general average of pupil per teacher ratio is 29. This is not a high rate compared to class's density, for it reaches an average of 50 pupils per class. And the more the density of the class increases, the more it is negatively reflected on the pupils per teacher ratio. There is a difference between public and private schools for it is successively 29 and 39 pupils per teacher.

The difference in pupils per teacher ratios between the different states reaches its maximum in the southern states. There it reaches 66 due to the lack of teachers as a consequence of war, which oblige them to revert to volunteer teachers.

In the northern states, the pupils per teacher ratios are 25, which is considered as comfortable for the teacher. It helps him to pay more attention to each pupil and to improve his or her educational performance.

These rates differ between rural and urban areas for we see that it reaches 30 pupils per teacher in urban areas, while it is 25 in rural areas. That does not mean that educational services in rural areas are better than in urban areas, especially if we consider the teacher’s quality. Add to that, that the main reason for the decrease of this rate, is the generally small amount of children in high grades and the increase of drop-out rate. The drop-out rate reaches 15.2% in the sixth grade, 15.2% in the seventh, while it is successively 7.1% and 4% in the urban areas. This is reflected on survival rates until the seventh grade with 77.1% for urban areas while it is only 48% for rural areas.

2 – 6: Indicators of the efficiency of education:

In examining table no8, we can measure the efficiency of the education system in Sudan. We notice the increase of survival with repetition rate through the classes of basic education level, where the average of repetition rates from the first until the fifth grade is 11.4% for both sexes. The average repetition rate for males is 10.9% while it is 12% for females. This indicates the existence of problems as what concerns the efficiency of basic education.

These rates differ from one state to another. The survival with repetition rate from the first until the fifth grade reached in some states, like the North Kordufan State 16.9% for both sexes: 18.1% for femaleand 15.8% for males. It is followed by the State of North Darfur with a general average of 14.2%: 15.3% for males and 12.9% for females, which indicates the existence of many problems resulting from this situation. Although the education system in Sudan does not allow repeating class for more than two years and stipulates up-grading pupils automatically until the fourth grade, reality looks different as shown by the results of the study. The State of Khartoum brought forward good results of repetition, with an average of 2.6%. This is a reassuring result and calls for studying the situation in the different regions to locate the weak points in the education system.

It is noticeable while examining table no8 that repetitions increase in higher grades of the level and especially the fifth grade and above.

The situation is completely different with respect to urban areas, for the average rate of survival with repetition as what concerns the first and fifth grade reaches 12.7%. The rate is close between males and females with 12.5% and 12.9% successively. The situation does not differ very much in rural regions even if the rate of survival with repetition increases slightly to reach an average of 13.4%. The rates for males and females are with 13.4%, 13.5% successively almost equal.

It is noticeable, that the gender parity index does not clearly reflect the difference between the two sexes in what concerns repetition rates.

2 – 7: Survival rate to grade five:

In examining table no9 we notice that the survival rate to grade five reaches for both sexes 76.1%. This decrease is due to the increase of repetition rates and drop-out rates, for they reach successively 12%, 9.7%. As for males, the survival rate reaches 74.6%. The drop-out rate is high for it reaches 10.4% and the repetition rate reaches 12.1%. As for the female survival rate it is better off with 77.9%, while both repetition and drop-out rates reach 11.9% and 9% successively.

The survival rates oscillate among the states between 89.2% (State of Khartoum) and 4.06% (the State of West Bahr El-Ghazal) for both sexes. This shows an extreme disparity of 48.6%, which is due to the suffering of the last named State of civil wars and population instability. But if we exclude the State of West Bahr El-Ghazal, the situation will become better, as the disparity decreases to 17.5% and the rate of survival in the State of North Kordufan reaches 71.7%.

We also notice while examining the table, that the increase in survival rate in urban areas reaches 94.3% for both sexes: 94.6% for males and 94.1% for females. This is due to the improvement of the education environment in these regions due to the availability of trained teachers and education system in-puts.

As for rural areas, the decrease of the general survival rate for both sexes with 66.7% shows an increase in drop-out and repetition rates due to the fact that children usually help their parents in agricultural and daily work. This is reflected in the survival rate of females, for it reaches 60.8% only and increases slightly to 75.5% for males.

As what concerns the efficiency coefficient to grade five, it reaches 68.4% for both sexes: 67.5% for males, 69.5% for females according to table no9.

The coefficient of efficiency to grade five in basic education varies according to the state. It reaches a maximum of 91.5% in the State of Khartoum and a minimum of 35.6% in West Bahr El-Ghazal State. But if we exclude the State of Bahr El-Ghazal for the same reasons mentioned before, the disparity decreases to 29% and oscillates between El-Jezira with a minimum of 62.5% and Khartoum with a maximum of 91.5% for both sexes. As for males, the disparity decreases to 29.9% between Khartoum with a maximum of 90.6% and El-Jezira with a minimum of 60.7%. As for females, the disparity is 28.1% between Khartoum with a maximum of 92.3% and the High Nile with a minimum of 63.2%. Here it is clear that there is no difference between males and females as for the coefficient of efficiency values to grade five in basic education.

When examining the coefficient of efficiency in basic education, as it is shown in table no9, we find that this disparity decreases to 41.8% for both sexes; 39.4% for males. As for females, the situation is better, for the rate increases to 44.7%, which means that drop-out and repetition rates are high in the higher grades, i.e. the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, for both sexes and especially for boys. This means that the education system suffers from fundamental problems like shortage in teachers, lack of their qualifications, or lack in schoolbooks. The reason could also be the unsuitability of the school environment, which pushed pupils to drop-out from school. Add to that that the poor economical situation of most of families, especially in rural areas, pushes pupils to look for work or to help their parents in agricultural or handicraft works. Analyzing the results of basic education certificate examinations for the year 1998 proved our theory.

This effect is clearly shown by comparing between the rural and urban areas. While the coefficient of efficiency to grade five in urban areas lies at 75% for both sexes (73.8% for males, 76.5% for females), it lies successively at 60.2%, 54.3%, 69% in rural areas. The coefficient of efficiency for basic education in urban areas reaches 48.1% for both sexes, while it reaches in rural areas 53.6% for both sexes (29% for boys and 45.1% for females). This is of concern to us, for the decrease of the coefficient of efficiency value in basic education in such a disturbing way as what concerns boys in rural areas, threatens to open a gap to illiteracy. This calls for carrying out a quick study to know the real reasons that stand behind the increase of drop-out and repetition rates, in order to eliminate them or to decrease their intensity.

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