Articles and Analysies
English Language in Sudanese Universities. (1) By\ Makki Al-Maghrabi
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Aug 22, 2009 - 12:56:52 PM

English Language in Sudanese Universities. (1)




By\ Makki Al-Maghrabi


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The Sudanese constitution bans any kind of discrimination against English language. Some universities targeting and planning now to improve their level in this International language. But what the real situation?


At last, we can say without hesitation, there is a relative stability in the policies of high education in Sudan in all issues related to English language. No more compulsory Arabicization! Therefore, there is no excuse for universities if they did not do sufficient efforts to improve their level in English. Now it is not acceptable to teach your students their curriculums unless you prepare them to deal with English.   


The matter of language has been settled in Sudan. We can see that appearing very clearly in the Sudanese Interim Constitution 2005, article 8 – Language. It stated that Arabic is widely spoken, major language but not the only official.


(1) All indigenous languages of the Sudan are national languages and shall be respected, developed and promoted.


(2) Arabic is a widely spoken national language in the Sudan.


(3) Arabic, as a major language at the national level and English shall be the official working languages of the national government and the languages of instruction for higher education.


(4) In addition to Arabic and English, the legislature of any sub-national level of government may adopt any other national language as an additional official working language at its level.


(5) There shall be no discrimination against the use of either


Arabic or English at any level of government or stage of education.


Notice this decisive part of the article 8, part no. 5. Now there is no superiority for Arabic language.


SPlM, because of its stance in peace negotiations, has the lion share in this achievement. Before that some of teachers thought that they can not achieve good level in Arabicization unless they destroy English language. Now, as it said before, some universities doing their best but the other trying to do some thing just to avoid investigation committees from MHE Ministry of High Education.   Actually there are several universities tried to do a good job in improving English before and after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA but in some cases there no success . It differs from university to other related to many factors, but experts said that there must be a compulsory English dose before the beginning of the study in the university to cover the inherited gap from schools. They were largely affected after 20 years of instability.


Ahfad University for Women distinguished of its Pre-Sessional Course, Ahfad enhanced its students with three levels Intensive Course before the beginning of Freshman year. Moreover Dr. Amna M. Badri, the dean of Ahfad Institution for Languages pointed out a very significant fact. Amna said : “ according to MHE’s rules all Sudanese universities must teach their students in 2nd and 3d year English language, it should be appropriate to their profession, as example; Medical English for Medicine and Pharmacy students and Business English for Business Management and Economy students, and so on”. In reality we can see a striking gap in most of Sudanese universities.

Ahfad experience in Pre-Sessional Course worth studying and may be trying in other universities, but the question is still; what about the role of the Ministry of High Education.
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