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Food shortage causes dropouts from schools at Yusuf Batil camp

Primary school teachers in Yusuf Batil camp for Blue Nile refugees in Upper Nile’s Maban County are reporting low turnout of pupils to schools.

The school were officially announced open on 24 March after tensions calmed between the refugees and the host community in the county.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, several teachers at the various schools expressed concern about the issue, saying that the enrolment rate of pupils this year has dramatically dropped.

Tom Al Dou, a teacher from Gumuk Primary School, said the start of the academic year was announced several times, but the pupils did not come to schools.

“We have been wandering around the camp with a car announcing the opening of all schools using a microphone but until now none of the pupils came to school,” he explained.

He noted they had a meeting with the parents and the traditional leaders and afterward came to know that the problem has something to do with lack of food.

“The pupils spend the whole day looking for leaves and trees to feed themselves and their families,” he said.

The World Food Programme has been unable to distribute full rations in the camp because their supply lines were cut by conflict. The agency since resorted to emergency airdrops. 

File photo: Children in Doro Camp, Maban County