Sudan: Development of Sudan’s New School Curricula Halted Amid Controversy

Khartoum — Yesterday, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok instructed the National Centre for Curriculum and Educational Research in Khartoum to stop developing new school curricula as their proposals caused controversy in the country.

In the press statement, he said that he discussed the matter with a wide range of academics, educators, religious leaders, and civil society activists.

The proposed new school books were widely criticised, in particular by Muslim clerics. The criticism even reached a point where Dr Omar El Garai, Director of the Centre, received death threats.

Sudanese Salafist comments on a new geography school book. The Salafist asks the Sudanese: “Tell me honestly, don’t you think this boy and girl should be covered in order to prevent chaos in the country?” – Cartoon by Omar Dafallah (RD)

El Garai’s National Centre for Curriculum and Educational Research was, among other things, tasked with the reform of Sudan’s education system.

PM Hamdok stressed that the development of school curricula is a national issue that concerns everyone, and therefore requires a broad social consensus. He has established a new committee that includes the experts concerned and represents “all sectors of the community” to prepare the new curriculum.

The head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Minni Minawi, tweeted that “the hate campaign against El Garai, led by a number of imams, is not driven by motives of preserving religion but is rather a political campaign aiming to obstruct change in the country”.