The Wad Sherifey elementary school for Eritrean refugee children in East Sudan ended its 33rd academic school year on 14 March 2018 in the presence of a large gathering of parents, invited guests and residents of the refugee camp of Wad-Sherifey.
As usual, the closing ceremony was marked with various entertainments including folklore, drama, poetry and speeches in Arabic, Tigrigna and English, as has been the school tradition since its inception in 1984. This academic year, covered between July 2017 and March 2018, was started with 678 students enrolled and ended with 619 who could take the final exams.
Among the invited guests were representatives of Sudanese Government institutions and township dignitaries. Also present were Father Ghebrai Bedemariam, a long-time friend of the school, and many Eritrean veteran freedom fighters, among them Messrs. Idris Ismail, Mohammed Adem Artaa and Kidane Ghebreab.
The School Director, Teklehaimanot Elfu, presented his welcoming address and report in Tigrigna, and the Arabic translation was made by Mohammed Saeed Demanta, one of the teaching staff. In his speech, the school director thanked the continued cooperation of parents, friends of the school including the Swiss-based donor association, ASEE (Association Suisse Enfance-Érythrée).
The report pointed out that the school is one of the leading centers of education in the region. Out of the 678 students registered at the beginning of the school year, some 61 students dropped out due to several reasons. The included financial hardships in their families meaning they had to go to work in order to support the family; and moving either abroad or to other areas in the Sudan. Thus, the remaining 617 (91%) composed of 258 females and 359 males completed their studies. Generally, the performance of the students was good. Those who achieved good marks and passed to the next grade are 540 (87.5%) students. Out of these, 211 are females and 329 are males. The total number of those who did not pass is 77 (39 females and 38 males).
The colourful school closing ceremony was finalized with presentation of prizes to high achievers in each class and distribution of certificates by Father Ghebrai Bedemariam and Idris Ismail, the Acting School Supervisor, who replaced Martyr Osman Ahmed, a long time friend and director of the school.
The Wad-Sherifey Refugee School is administered by the ERCCS (the Eritrean Red Cross-Crescent Society) whose president, Dr. Habtemichael Tekle, coordinates and networks support activities for the school internationally.