Al Ray Alam Daily Arabic newspaper had recently held a symposium at its premises in Khartoum to discuss the problems associated with the general education in the country and the Sudan School certificate (SSC).
Many experts in the field of education and others were present to discuss this vital issue. Sudan Vision was there and filed this report.
Dr. Mohamed Al-Hadi Ibrahim, chairperson of the educational forum, addressed the gathering to indicate that the pupils now had been studying 17 subjects, explaining that it was something that was quite unbearable; because not only the heavy weight of the books that is very difficult to carry, but the contents of these books which were also very difficult to understand.
He added that the current educational ladder was not free from some problems, especially when it comes to the stage of the university, the time that when the students had already finished their courses and were to go abroad for further studies. ‘To their surprise, they will realize the educational ladder they were forced to study, is incomplete which is  only 11 years, instead of 12- the standard one universally’.
Dr. Ali Humud of the University of Khartoum affirmed that education was not a service like the other services, but rather it was a present and future investment.
Moreover, he talked about the subject matter of funding, going on to cite  some countries like Malaysia which were irrevocably convinced of how significant the education was as a base for advancement and progress. ‘That is why these countries are found as earmarking a considerable portion of the national budget to be spent on it- which at times may reach 25%’.
Dr. Humud noted that students admitted to the faculties of education had been detected as scoring the lowest degrees in the exam of SSC which amounted to about 50%, adding that such a thing was mainly attributed to lack of interest on part of the other students who attained higher marks to join such a type of education. 
In his opinion, such a sorry impasse is not without a solution, pointing out that to make the pattern much attractive, many practical procedures should be adopted; ‘admission to faculties of education should not be lesser 70% or even 80%-something that should not be only associated with exemption from fees, but the students can also get permanently employed as teachers with fixed salaries while they are still learning’.
Dr. Humud went on to tackle another issue which was the media, just blaming it as not giving all due heed to educational matters.
A participant in the forum said that it was a bad common phenomenon to find SSC exams being supervised by the teachers of the same school, affirming that for attainment of transparency and honesty, such exams should be monitored by others who had nothing to do with the concerned school.
The deputy head of the Sudanese educational forum, Musa Gasm Al-Seed, revealed that arguments, such as that the schools of Khartoum were the best ones compared with the ones of the other states, were not true, noticing that such success should not be attributed to the schools, but rather to efforts exerted by the parents of the pupils, nothing more, nothing less. ‘Our schools are not in a position to give. That is why the majority of the teachers, especially the males, have just deserted them. So, the ones who have stayed behind, are the females and who in terms of percentage have amounted to 70%’, explaining that the situation was further exacerbated by the introduction of the so called model schools which sadly had discriminated between the pupils. ‘Those who are admitted in the model schools are classified as academically much qualified and the rest are just excluded as academically inferior’, he said.
Hassan Abdul Al-Ghafur, educationalist, disclosed that deterioration in the educational process was mainly attributed to the severe economic conditions that had presently plagued the country and whose adverse repercussions were manifested like this; ’ teachers are no longer restricting themselves to one school as the norms previously. But, now only the reverse occurs; they are seen as working in many places-four schools, to say the least’. 
Omar Babikir, dean general of the Sudanese educational forum, revealed that the defect in the educational process, had resided in the cancellation of the teaching training institutes which  were transformed into faculties of education, stressing that education should be given  a top priority.
He went on to touch on the matter of funding to the educational process, lamenting that even some of the poorest countries were noted as paying generously on the matter, at times amounting to 13%. 
Zeinab Ahmed Medani, a pensioner, who affiliates to the educational forum, cast light on some shortcomings in the educational process who enumerated them as follow; inadequacy of schools’ environmental surrounding, lack of establishing separate departments for teachers and when pupils needed the teachers during the school day for consultation, they would not find them- simply, because they were busy elsewhere.
And Limya Ahmed Fadl Al-Mulla, a researcher, disclosed that the pupils with the special needs (the handicapped) were sadly neglected and not given all the due consideration that they were in bad need of- a very strong factor to negatively reflect on SSC in particular.