School and Education in Sudan

In Sudan, the education follows an 8-3 system, where the primary school lasts for 8 years and the secondary school for 3 years. According to UNESCO, 28% of the population over 15 years were illiterate in 2011.

Land area 1,861,484 km²
Total population 45,561,556
Residents per km² 24.5
Capital Khartoum
Official language Arabic, English
Income per capita 4,300 USD
Currency Sudanese pound
ISO 3166 code SD
Internet TLD .sd
License plate SOUTH
Telephone code +249
Time zone UTC +2
Geographic coordinates 15 00 N, 30 00 O

Basic education

The official school age is 6 years. The primary school is in principle free and compulsory. In almost half of the schools, boys and girls have separated teaching.

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In 1953, Sudan gained autonomy, in 1955 a parliament was elected, and on 1 January 1956 the country’s independence was declared. However, this development did not solve the problems of the displaced people in the south and without real participation in the new state’s politics. Already 5 months before independence, a ruthless civil war broke out, which continued uninterrupted for the following 16 years.

In 1969, General Gaafar al-Nimeiry took power in a coup d’etat, closed the parliament, proclaimed the formation of the Democratic Republic of Sudan and introduced a one-party regime based on the Socialist Union of Sudan. At the same time, the areas in the south were given some form of administrative autonomy.

Sudan Country Flag

Sudan flag source: Countryaah.com

Nimeiry later changed his stance, broke with Sudan’s Socialist Union, launched a violent persecution of his former allies, approached the Arab conservative states and abandoned the promises of autonomy he had given to the provinces of the south. In 1972, however, he was forced to enter into an agreement with the guerrillas – following international pressure and growing discontent in Sudan itself. The provinces of the south were now granted extensive autonomy while partisans laid down their weapons and were admitted into the country’s regular army.

In 1976, Sudan and Egypt signed a joint defense agreement, and Nimeiry basically supported the Camp David agreement signed by Sadat, Carter and Begin. But when it became clear that this position was isolating the country within the Arab world, Khartoum began to distance himself from Cairo and approach Saudi Arabia. Nimeiry subsequently estimated a line that emphasized the Islamic nature of the regime. This development, in turn, angered his sympathizers in the South who were not Muslims.

In May 1977, Nimeiry was re-elected president for a new term of 6 years. Shortly thereafter, Khartoum launched a “national reconciliation process” that allowed a number of political leaders in exile to return home and allowed a number of opposition parties to function. This included Ansar (the Umma Party), the People’s Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the Communist Party and the National Front under the leadership of former Finance Minister Sherif al-Hindi remained banned.

The fragility of the Nimeiry regime became clear when in 1981 it was barely able to knock down a coup – the 22nd since Nimeiry had come to power. In October of that year, the President dissolved the National Assembly and the Regional Assembly in the South with the promise of holding new elections. The purpose was to neutralize internal opponents and obtain a new mandate. But at the same time, the people of the South increasingly questioned his government. Not only because of its lack of economic priority for the South, but also because it brought the region’s scarce resources to the north.