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Sudan: Education

Volume 699: debated on Thursday 28 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assistance they plan to give to higher and further education in southern Sudan in the light of the latest recommendations by the Associate Parliamentary Group on Sudan; and what success they have had in persuading skilled Sudanese refugees in the United Kingdom to return to southern Sudan to take up posts as civil servants, teachers and lecturers. [HL1874]

The UK Government agree with the conclusions of the Associate Parliamentary Group (APG) report on the importance of investment in education in southern Sudan, including higher and further education. DfID has made a substantial contribution to the education sector as a whole. We are a major donor to the Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) which has a £23.3 million programme in the education sector. Under this programme 1,200 teachers have been trained and 10 new schools will be built this year. Under the DfID-supported Basic Services Fund 2,000 children have returned to school and 570 additional teachers will be trained in 2008. We share the APG's conclusion on the positive impact of the UNICEF “Go to School” programme and will provide £2 million in support of this in 2008. DfID's £1.5 million British Council programme delivers a variety of vocational education and teacher training schemes.

In support of encouraging skilled Sudanese to return and take up posts in the public sector, we are providing £2 million for training in leadership and management for highly qualified Diaspora returning to take up senior civil service posts. A pre-requisite for encouraging Diaspora to return is a functioning public sector. In recognition of this we also have a £2 million training programme for civil servants in central and local government. DfID also has a strong training component in its justice and police programme, which has delivered management and administrative training to around 600 civil servants.