Education, training and skill development policies in Sudan: Macro-micro overview

Samia S. O. M. Nour

#2011-032

This paper discusses the education, training and skill development policies in Sudan using a combination of new secondary and primary data. A novel element in our paper is that we use new primary macro and micro (firm) surveys data to discuss and compare the macro and micro perspectives concerning policies implemented to improve skill upgrading through enhancing the educational system, provision of training and transfer of knowledge. Different from the Sudanese literature, an interesting element in our analysis is that we discuss both the supply and demand sides of educational policies and we provide a more comprehensive analysis by explaining the low commitment to the standardised international adequacy, equity and efficiency criterion related to the supply and demand sides of education and training policies in Sudan. We provide a new contribution and fill important gap in the Sudanese literature by explaining that the regional disparity in the demand for education (share in enrolment in education) is most probably due to economic reasons (per capita income and poverty rate), demographic reasons (share in total population) and other reasons (degree of urbanization) in Sudan. We find that the increase in the incidence of high poverty rate and low per capita income seem to be the most important factor limiting the demand for education, notably, the demand for primary education, especially for females in Sudan. The major policy implication from our findings is that poverty eradication is key for the achievement of universal access to primary education and gender equality and therefore, fulfillment of the second and third United Nations Millennium Development Goals in Sudan by 2015. We recommend further efforts to be made to improve quality, increase firm commitment to the standardised international adequacy, equity and efficiency criterion in the provision of education and training, increase incentives at tertiary and technical education, enhance consistency of education, training and skill development policies and encourage collaboration between public and private sectors.

Keywords: Education, training, supply, demand, adequacy, efficiency, equity, skill development, Sudan

JEL classification: H52,I20, I21, I24, I28, M53, O15