- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The 2005 Interim Constitution (Art. 13 (1)(b)) states that “every person or group of persons” shall have the right to establish and maintain private schools and other educational institutions at all levels in accordance with the conditions and standards provided by law. The State also shall “mobilize public, private and popular resources and capabilities for education and development of scientific research, especially Research and Development.” (Art. 13(2)).
According to the 2001 Law on Public Education Planning and its Organization (Art. 16), the Ministry of Education encourages “society to contribute to the establishment of non-governmental schools” to extend public education and expand its base.
Finally, in accordance with the 2009 Law on Organizing Public Education in the State of Khartoum, a private school is defined as “a school or educational institution that is established by an individual, institution, company, or any private legal entity, whereby the state does not bear any financial obligation toward it.”
Most schools in primary education, known as basic education, (9 years beginning at age 5) and secondary schools (3 years beginning at age 13) are government schools. Government schools have an Islamic value orientation. In 2008, 39% of students were enrolled in public schools. No recent information was found on the number of public schools.
Non-state managed, state schools
No information was found.
Non-state funded, state schools
The government periodically receives grants and aid from the World Bank, UNICEF, and other international organizations to support the public education sector. In this regard, 261 government Internally displaced people (IDPs) schools can be found in the Darfur states. These schools are financially supported by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs).
Primary education is free and compulsory, but fees are often imposed by parent-teacher associations.
Independent, non-state schools
Non-state fee-charging schools include international schools (foreign embassy-run schools), Non-governmental Organizations (NGO)/INGO managed schools, and not-for-profit institutions (including religious schools) comprise the three main types of independent non-state schools. Non-state provision is varied across the country: “the proportion of students attending non-state schools is higher in some states, including Khartoum (13% of total basic-school enrolment), Red Sea (10%), Kassala (8%) and Southern Darfur (10%), where NGO-run schools within IDP camps are prevalent. In 2008, 21% of students were enrolled private schools and 29% in Teachers’ Union programmes. Sudan also has non-governmental evening schools and classes and remedial classes.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
No information was found.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
No regulation on homeschooling was found.
In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Sudan received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education (MoE) with its COVID-19 response. Funds have been used to: Record TV and radio lessons for review of Grades 8 and 11 subjects in preparation for the final exams; Develop an educational platform and links with social media accounts for wider coverage and easy access; Provide special support to students in rural areas and those who have no access to the internet, TV or smartphones by distributing paper-based reviews booklets for Grades 8 and 11 students in 18 states.”
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
Religious schools known as khalwas are typically unregistered, Islamic boarding schools provide supplemental education and schooling to young children. There are approximately 30,000 such schools in the country, and they typically receive funding from private donors as well as the government.
Alternative learning programmes
UNICEF supported “integrated education and child protection activities” in one of the alternative learning programme (ALP) centres in Kassala. These programmes are managed by a community-based enterprise that is predominantly run by UNICEF Sudan with funding from the German government. These programmes have helped to increase the enrollment of out-of-school children.
Schools in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) / Refugee Camps
Sudan hosts approximately 20 refugee and IDP camps. Many of the camp schools are comprised of makeshift classrooms, run by volunteer refugee/IDP teachers. Facilities can be supported by UN agencies such as UNICEF, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and other aid groups to varying degrees. Many of these schools charge fees. In this regard, the project on the Integration and Mainstreaming of Refugee Children into the Sudanese Education System (IRCSES) in South Darfur and South Kordofan, run by UNICEF in partnership with the European Union (EU), aims “to support the integration of refugee children into Sudan’s national education system”.
Education governance is decentralised. The responsibility of education management is shared between the federal, state and locality levels of government. Sudan has a separate Ministry of Education for the state of Khartoum and one for the whole country. In this regard, the 2012 Private Education Bylaw only applies to the state of Khartoum.
The Ministry of Education does not have a specific department on non-state provision. The General Administration of Religious Education under the Ministry of Education aims at drawing educational policies, plans and standards for religious education and institutions. It supports and develops religious education curricula. There is also a Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments.
Vision: The 2018/19 to 2022/23 General Education Sector Strategic Plan notes that “all policy priorities identified have adequate room to accommodate all public, private and community players for the common good of the children and youth.” The Plan also states that it will “support the development of a Public-Private Partnership framework to guide investments in education”. One of its policy priorities is to support the “development of a framework for incentivizing private investment at pre-school” levels and also to provide “incentives for private sector investment in secondary education”.
Children, 4 years and older can enrol in pre-schools for two years. Pre-school education is offered by kindergartens or traditional Islamic schools (Khalwas). This level is neither free nor compulsory. The pre-primary programmes are provided by the government and private institutions with significant effort also coming from the community. In 2008, non-government pre-schools enrolled 38% of children.
Registration and approval: In Khartoum, those who wish to establish a kindergarten must apply to the Pre-School Department of the State of Khartoum’s MoE for the service of kindergarten licensing. They must meet certain criteria, including 1) having Sudanese nationality, 2) not being convicted of a dishonourable misdemeanour or crime, 3) committing to the goals of preschool education, and 4) committing to any specifications and regulations. The individual applicant must submit an identity document and their academic certificates. The typical time that it takes for this service to be completed is between May and June. The application process for this service is manual. No information was found regarding the registration and approval process of the Federal Ministry of Education.
Licence: No information was found.
Profit-making: Non-state early childhood schools or educational institutions charge tuition fees. According to one study, early childhood education is mostly limited to the urban wealthy community.
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.
Curriculum and education standards: The 2018/19 to 2022/23 General Education Sector Strategic Plan notes that standards for the delivery of pre-primary education are developed by the Federal MoE with localities and private organizations executing the delivery process. It aims to develop and review the pre-school curriculum and enhance resourcing in schools.
Teaching profession: There is “limited information on the quality of learning and the level of qualification of teachers and whether they are adequately prepared to deliver learning.” (General Education Sector Strategic Plan). In the State of Khartoum, preschool teachers may apply to get their training certificates attested by the MoE’s Preschool Department. To apply for this service, they must have attended and passed a training course, in addition to having received local accreditation. Moreover, they must submit copies of their high school diplomas, university degrees, a photograph, course attendance statement, and proof of passing the course supplied by the training institution in question. No regulation was found regarding the working conditions.
Fee-setting: No information was found.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Policies for vulnerable groups: The National Law for Persons with Disability (2017) “stipulates the right for persons with disabilities to access quality education and in ways suitable to their type of disability and in ways that facilitate fulfilling the objective of integration.” However, this law does not refer to non-state schools and education, instead of delineating in Article 4(d) that students with disabilities should be integrated with those without them across “public, higher education, scientific research, vocational training institutes and centres, adult education and life through education, by adopting the allocated programs thereat.”
Reporting requirements: No information was found.
Inspection: No information was found.
Child assessment: No information was found.
Sanctions: No information was found.
Registration and approval: The 2012 Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum) stipulates who to submit an application to and what to include. This includes the location of the school, approval from the respective authority, information on the founder, proof of financial feasibility, and details about the school (including the number of classes, pupils, teachers, fees, revenue, expenditure, and funding sources). The law specifies additional information to be provided to the Ministry, which includes the applicant assembling a Board of Trustees based on the regulations of the Ministry, obtaining a contract for the land with details on the size, ensuring that it conforms to the specified regulations, additional approval from administrative, engineering, health and security authorities; and payment of the initial certification fee.
It also provides the timeline of the process which specifies that the founder must complete the initial certification procedures within three months of the date of receiving the form and the duration of the initial ratification (one year) (Art. 12 and 13). The law also stipulates that approval is based on the documents submitted, and specifies the regulations around naming the institution (Art. 11). Furthermore, the educational preparations for the schools that must be ready include the buildings and furniture that are suitable for educational purposes (Art. (2a)). Finally, the private school must comply with the requirements established regarding the buildings, furniture, and security mechanisms determined by the Ministry (Art. 70).
Licence: The 2012 Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum) outlines the conditions under which a licence can be issued and its validity. The licence is only valid for an institution based on the documents submitted during the approval process and any changes must be approved. Furthermore, the bylaw details the regulations on the ownership of licence, which cannot be leased out to another party.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): No regulations have been found. WASH facilities in both state and non-state schools (that have need) are typically supported by donor aid. Recent projects by UNICEF and Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has supported COVID-19 measures through financing “the provision of water storage tanks for schools lacking facilities to promote handwashing and hygiene practices. Other projects supporting WASH in schools have been funded by aid partners in recent years.
Profit-making: Restrictions on profit-making are stipulated in the 2012 Private Education Bylaw (Art. 51) (Khartoum), as tuition fee hikes can only take place after three years have passed. Adequate justification must be provided to the Ministry of Education and the administration must accept the increase.
Taxes and subsidies: A private school is allocated “government land after at least one academic year has passed at the beginning of the admission and study, based on the recommendation of the administration, taking into account the number of students and private school performance.” However, a private school must also pay the Ministry a fee based on the property value of the school (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012).
Curriculum and education standards: A private school must commit to teaching the national education curriculum that is decided by the National Center for Curriculum and Educational Research and any educational programs decided by the Ministry (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 18). Private schools that want to teach a curriculum that is not the national Sudanese curriculum should obtain written approval from the Administration Department (of the Ministry) (Art. 20). Finally, a private school that teaches a non-Sudanese curriculum has an obligation “to propagate education, Religion, Arabic language, history, and geography of Sudan, according to the decision approved by the Ministry” (Art. 23 and 24). The private school is also obligated to establish and participate in activities decided by the Ministry.
Textbooks and learning materials: The private school “shall provide all textbooks for its students.” (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 19).
Teaching profession: The 2014 Council of Education and Education Professions Act (Art. 19) states that “teachers must be registered and cannot practice professionally until after receiving the registration certificate; educational institution owners cannot appoint any teacher until registration occurs under the provisions of this law.” The law also specifies the procedures and requirements for obtaining a teacher’s registration certificate, its limitations, and steps to take when errors in public records occur. Article 20 outlines when a teacher should be removed from public records as a registered teacher, which also includes violations. Article 26 describes the appeal process for teachers who have been removed from the database of registered teachers. Finally, in private education schools, open-ended contract teachers’ salaries are subject to the Private Education Law of 2015 and the Labour Force Law. The employer is “entitled to increase the salary, taking into account the quality of the teacher and the school’s needs” .
Corporal punishment: Corporal punishment is unlawful in schools: “At the federal level, the Child Act prohibits “cruel penalties” in schools (art. 29(1)). The Child Act (Art. 29(2)) calls for the Ministry of Instruction and General Education to specify the sanctions for contravening article 29(1). In November 2020, pursuant to Article 29(2) of the Child Act, the MoE signed a “regulation on behaviour control in educational institutions” (unofficial translation). The Regulation prohibits physical and psychological punishment in all educational institutions (chapter 4) (preschool, basic, secondary schools, Quranic schools as well as interim institutions such as industrial education centres, agricultural schools, adult education and disabled education) (unofficial translation). The Regulation includes a list of positive discipline methods (Chapter 5) and discusses sanctions (Chapter 6). Corporal punishment is also explicitly prohibited in basic schools (for ages 6-13) in Khartoum State under Decree No. 10 (2010).”
Other safety measures and COVID-19: See above regarding WASH support by non-state actors.
Fee-setting: It is not permissible to increase the specified school fees “except after the lapse of three years and after a statement regarding justifications and management’s approval of the fee increase.” (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 51). Also, school fees should be set in consultation with the Parents' Council. The private school should consider cases of exemption from school fees.
Admission selection and processes: The private school must commit to the following regulations, among others: the student must meet the acceptance criteria that are used in state schools for the basic education level (Grades 1 to 8). He or she should have received the basic education certificate of completion if the student in question wishes to pursue secondary education. If any students are to be transferred between state and non-state schools, this must take place in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry and he or she must have met any criteria established by the Examinations Department of the Federal MoE (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 41).
Policies for vulnerable groups: Please see the same section in ECCE.
School board: In each private school, “a board of trustees will be created, consisting of a president, a vice president, and a rapporteur; and seven members, in addition to two representatives for the school administration.” (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 44). The bylaw also specifies the duties of the board, which include financial supervision, school fees, appointing the school principal, working with a parents’ council, and supervising the education plan. The details of the parent council are also specified, as well as the frequency of meetings, when they can be cancelled or rescheduled and voting regulations within the board. The bylaw specifies that decisions of the board must be shared with the Ministry and notes its authority in appointing a board at a school when it deems necessary. No regulation was found about the composition of the boards of directors and councils.
Reporting requirements: The founder and principal of a private school must keep accounts and financial records “in an organised manner according to the principles and financial controls, and inventory of its fixed and movable assets.” (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 48). A certified legal auditor must review a private school’s final [financial] accounts on an annual basis, including teachers’ assets, at the end of each fiscal year (Art. 49). Finally, “the administration of the private school provides the administration with a copy of the audited financial report within a period maximum of three months from the end of the fiscal year.” (Art. 50).
School inspection: All schools are “subject to administrative and financial inspection and technical guidance by the Ministry” (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 82). The administration of the private school must also provide any information requested by the Ministry and facilitate a task to whom the administration assigns any work to the private school. Regarding “issuing controls and reconciling positions”, the Ministry may issue the controls and systems necessary to implement the provisions of these regulations, provided they do not conflict with its provisions. The private school must adjust its conditions according to these regulations within a maximum period of one year from the issuance of this regulation.” (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 85 and 86).
Student assessment: International schools are allowed to assess their students according to their curricula criteria, i.e. Advanced Placement (AP) test, International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, such as the Khartoum International Community School and Khartoum American School. Other private schools follow the government secondary school certificate exam.
Diplomas and degrees: No information was found.
Sanctions: Any private school that violates the provisions of this regulation or the directives issued “shall be punished.” (Private Education Bylaw (Khartoum), 2012, Art. 50). The law further specifies the regulations and procedures of a warning, suspension and revocation of the licence, that a financial penalty may be given, and the conditions under which this may occur.
The MoHESR is in charge of policy development and service delivery for this education level. Five types of institutions at the education level include state universities, state technical colleges, non-state universities, philanthropic universities and non-state colleges. Tertiary education is offered by a total of 128 Higher Education institutions (HEIs) from which 36 are state and 20 are non-state universities, 53 non-state colleges and 19 technical university colleges.
Registration and approval: The MoHESR regulates institutions of HE and oversees the production of scientific research. However, the National Council for Higher Education and Scientific Research (NCHESR) “is the responsible body for formulating policies, plans, objectives, funding, scientific research priorities and all matters regarding Higher Education within the framework of national policy. It grants licences for the establishment of HEIs besides determining the educational and research plans. The Council also helps universities in planning and supervision, defining institutional relations, setting educational plans, defining curricula, and policies implementation.” Moreover, it has established ten scientific advisory committees that “advise the council to conduct studies and research, hold seminars, conferences and workshops, study curricula and programs, establish colleges in governmental and non-state universities, and submit recommendations to the Council to authorize them” (p. 123-24). No further information was found regarding the main documents that are requested to register a non-state HEI.
Licensing is a four-step process. Firstly, the application is examined by the New Projects Committee to ensure compliance with regulations and criteria. Secondly, this is then recommended to the Committee for Non-Governmental and Foreign Higher Education, which examines the recommendation and grants primary approval. Thirdly, final approval is given after collecting key data on financial, physical and human resources and examining the recommendation of a special technical committee established to review such conditions. Finally, the green light is given to start enrolling students and start courses, once the staff contracts are submitted and the qualifications of the faculty members and administrative staff are verified.
Licence: The NCHESR is the responsible body for formulating policies, plans, objectives, funding, scientific research priorities and all matters regarding HE within the framework of national policy. It grants licences for the establishment of HEIs besides determining the educational and research plans. Sudan, only grants licences for the establishment of institutes and faculties, which can later be promoted to the status of universities, according to specific terms, regulations, and standards.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.
Curriculum and education standards: The Evaluation and Accreditation Commission (established in 2003) under the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) is responsible for examining “the culture of quality management within universities and colleges, and to check out that they are accountable and effective in delivering programs and services” (p. 5). However, “many public and private universities in Sudan [have since] started to create their own quality assurance models and to formulate their strategic plans to ensure quality in all activities which include: teaching staff services, administration of academic programs, scientific research and its related issues, students’ services, equipment and laboratories, and community services, among others.” According to one study, no HEIs have received “institutional or program accreditation” due to the dearth of rigorous quality assurance mechanisms and the non-enforceability of quality and accreditation policies (p. 7).
Teaching profession: No regulation was found on qualifications, working conditions and salaries.
Fee-setting: Tuition fees are set by individual institutions, such as in the case of Sudan International University.
Admission selection and processes: The MoE has developed an electronic system that enables students to apply “to compete for admission to HEIs in Sudan, in line with the state's trends towards e-government and aim to simplify procedures; the speed of access to services; all admission information is available to all.” The Sudan School Certificate examination results or its equivalent enable students to be admitted into non-state universities and colleges. In addition, the administration has the right to cancel the student’s admission at any time if the student’s admission is “wrong and does not conform to public and private conditions and the basis and controls of admission” or if the student submits any incorrect or incomplete information or documents.
Board: No regulation was found on the structure of university councils and boards.
Reporting requirements: Quality control mechanisms and performance monitoring include audits, institutional and programme evaluation and verification of equipment by specialized technical committees formed by the Committee for Non-Governmental and Foreign Higher Education. The numbers and qualifications of faculty members are regularly reviewed and the “external examiners system is regularly implemented to assess the performance of graduating students.”
Inspection: The High Commission for Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education aims at “setting standards to ensure the quality of HEIs; supporting the self-evaluation capacity of institutions; comprehensive assessment of institutions and programs according to standard parameters and granting a certificate of accreditation; disseminating and promoting awareness of the culture quality; supporting and strengthening the role of institutions in building, developing, and producing knowledge and deepening the concept of scientific research skills development; [and establishing] standards for evaluation and institutional accreditation of HEIs.” The Standards for the Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions (2016) document contains the standard criteria for evaluating and accrediting HEIs, which include (1) governance and management, (2) infrastructure and teaching aids, (3) teaching and learning sources, (4) undergraduate bachelor’s programs, (5) scientific research and postgraduate studies, (6) students and graduates, and (7) social responsibility.
Student assessment: Non-state HEIs can set guidelines for students’ assessments. Grades can be word descriptors, letter grades, percentages, and varies by faculty.
Diplomas and degrees: Non-state colleges and universities are allowed to confer diplomas and degrees, but all diplomas and degrees issued by national higher education establishments in Sudan are “required to be authenticated at the MoHE and information thereafter to be included in Ministry's database”. The State has also established requirements for accepting foreign certificates equivalent to the Sudanese high school certificate.
Sanctions: No regulation was found on sanctions.
Private tutorial classes are provided by “Teacher Union classes that cater for students who need or wish to repeat the last year of the cycle to improve their results in the Secondary School Certificate exam. In some of the secondary schools visited, these private classes were even held within public schools to respond to this demand” (p. 10).
No information was found.
No information was found.
No information was found.
This profile has been drafted by the Al Qasimi Foundation to support the PEER evidence base for the 2021/2 GEM Report on non-state actors in education.