• Port Sudan

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 9:24 AM
    Last Update : Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 9:24 AM

UNICEF Warns Of "Dire Consequences" For Millions of Children Who Stopped Studying Due to War in Sudan

(AWP) - Displaced Sudanese woman Taghreed Awad fears for her children’s future after they stopped their schooling at the beginning of the civil war in mid-April. Her concern has heightened further now that they have fled to the Red Sea State, where schools remain closed despite the government’s decision to resume studies across all safe states.

Logistic and financial difficulties, as well as the use of school buildings as shelter centres, have stood in the way of studies resuming in most of these states.

Taghreed says sadly that some of her children have reached the age of primary school, and she does not know what their educational fate will be.

“They were supposed to have finished kindergarten. Now they do not know how to read or write. I hope that the war will stop, and that they will return to school before years pass by as they grow older and forget everything they studied before."

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned of the repercussions of what it called the ‘worst educational disaster in the world’ due to the continued interruption of education in Sudan, which forced about 19 million children to halt their schooling, including about 6.5 million children who lost access to school due to the increased violence and insecurity in their areas.

"There is a major and clear education crisis in Sudan, dating even from before the war. An entire generation is losing their chance at education. Before the war, there were seven million students who were not receiving educational services,” said Mary Louise Eagleton, UNICEF Deputy Representative for Sudan.

“Now there are 12.5 million students who were in school before the war, but cannot return school at this time. We are trying to help the Ministry of Education restart these children’s education by reopening schools despite the difficulties,” she added.

The Ministry of Education in Red Sea State refrained from making any statements regarding a specific date for resumption of studies in the state, as some schools are still hosting thousands of displaced people fleeing the fighting in Khartoum. Education is still suspended in other safe states in Sudan, except for the Nile River State, which has partially begun the school year.

Through its child-friendly spaces project, UNICEF seeks to include educational curricula on electronic tables to help some children continue their education after a long interruption that has lasted since the outbreak of armed fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in April.