Editorial: Free Primary Education .. Step on the Right Direction

In the news the Ministry of Education has announced that as of the next school year the primary education will be free and that the government will not impose any admission fees on the new intake in the primary schools.
Some time ago Sudan Vision interviewed the Chairman of the Sudanese Transparency Organization Dr. Al Tayeb Mukhtar who affirmed that imposing fees on the students of government schools violates the of the constitution which stipulates in its article 44-2 that the basic level education shall be compulsory and the state shall provide it free of change.
He called on the concerned bodies to halt the violation immediately and return what had been levied.
It is apparent that the ministry of general education lost control over the government schools, or at least gives a blind eye to the violations of its schools for unknown reasons to us!
What is going on now that there are government schools which impose high registering fees on the new intake, while the government affirms every now and then that imposing fees are prohibited in the government schools and that the basic level education is free as a right to every child.
But in reality the directives of the ministry have gone with the wind as most of the government schools are imposing registration and other fees on the pupils,
Those who fail to pay will be subject to expulsion unless they manage to settle the fees.
The government schools became just like the private schools in collecting huge amounts from the students for their education.
The question that poses itself is what is the serious role of the ministry in this regard?
The Arabic proverb says (Silence is a sign of approval), and the silence of the ministry of education towards the violation of the constitution affirmed that it is satisfied with what is going on.
We want a definitive response from the ministry along with serious moves from the concerned departments in order to allow poor kids to resume their schooling considering that among them are orphans and sons of martyrs.
We do not want more drop outs from schools because this will increase the percentage of illiteracy in the country.
The Ministry’s announcement in which it affirmed that the primary education will be free deserves appreciation

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