A Historical Study on National Secondary Schools (Wadi Sayydna – Hantoub – Khur Taggat)Mon, 25 Sep 2017
Dawood Sagha Mohammed Abd Allah
The schools are: Wadi Sayydna, Hantoub and Khur Tagat. The study came in an introduction to secondary education in the condominium period and the attempt to reform education in mid 1930s by appointing De La Warr Commission to write a report on that matter, under the recommendation of the committee that visited the country in 1938 and where three secondary schools have been built. The study investigated the establishment of three schools: Wadi Sayydn, Hantoob and Khur Tagat, preferring that these schools should be built with their non-class activities, and the most renowned teachers who run the school including a description for the school’s buildings and geographical sites some of the schools’ prominent graduates, also the study discussed the political activity and the strikes happened in the school in the period 1946 – 1951, and the causes and retelling the events and the attempts the school administrations and the ministry to tackle them, which was not isolated from the public political life it the Sudan at that time in coincide with the silver lining of signing self-governing agreement.
• Historical Background: Education in the Condominium Era
• Wadi Sayydna Secondary School
• Hantoob Secondary School
• Khur Tagat Secondary School
• The Strikes of Secondary Schools’ Students 1946 – 1951
The study focused on documenting the successful experience on public secondary education. These school establishment came as result of an expert committee’s recommendation that investigated the status of education in the Sudan and then recommended to upgrade Gordon Memorial College to be a university college and to build secondary schools to supply the new college.
It has been a unique attempt where these schools have played an essential role in providing both the new college which later on upgraded to a university and the Sudanese society by many pioneers in all fields.
The difficulties that faced the researcher was documenting the history of this attempt which is mostly bibliographies of some of the graduates of these schools and neglected may aspects of the history of these schools, and also most of the documents do not discuss the history of the schools apart from the history of secondary education in the Sudan.
The condominium agreement signed between Egypt and Britain in 1899 on Sudan was the beginning of a new era where the governor general replace the governor of the Turkish era, the difference between them is that the governor general has more privileges than in the Turkish era. Britain has obliged the Egyptian government to bear financial costs. Egypt used to pay a certain amount of money annually to bridge the deficit of Sudan budget. No doubt that such a weak budget does not encourage to spend generously in social projects including education, but the government has imposed tax on the Sudanese people and used some of tax money to spend it on education as same as the other British colonies all over the world. At the beginning, the colonizer left the development of education on the hands of the missionaries, and both Kitchener, the leader of Sudan Ivasion Campaign and the first governor general to Sudan (1900 – 1916) and James Carry who founded the educational policy in the Sudan at that time. Kitchener’s perspective to education in Sudan must be professional (1) , his opinion was in Sudan is to make a group of clerks.
Winged came after Kitchener and ruled for 16 years, he used to view that to achieve any progress, the government should qualify a group of citizens that are able to carry a great portion in the management, trade and agriculture and to establish a strong primary education.
James Carry had been appointed a director general of Education Department in 1900(2) and he stayed there until 1914. The historian Makki Shibeika said about Carry’s efforts in education in the Sudan “when he left the country, he left behind, Gordon College with its all departments, secondary and primary and vocational besides training teachers sharia judges and five other primary schools and a number of secondary schools and a military school. The purposes of civil education on that period only for providing a class of professional workers and spreading education among the people in a way that enables them to run the industry and training clerks that to be employed in lower grade position in the government. This is a summary of the efforts he has exerted during 14 years that Carry spent in the Department of Education”(3).
The educational objectives laid down by Kitchener, Winged and Carry with the praise and support of Cromer which lasted along the condominium period was as follows:
1. Creating a class of professional workers.
2. Spreading a kind of awareness and education among people in a way that contributes to knowing the basic rules of the state’s authority.
3. Training a class of citizens to hold lower-grade governmental positions in the administrative authority (1).
What encouraged the government to accelerate the disciplined educational system is its desire to get rid of Egyptians and Syrians that working in the administration and military and replace them with the Sudanese, also there spread the traditional religious education greatly and became the largest in the country. The government was very concerned over the increasing authority of Sheikhs, despite Carry’s attempt to reform religious schools (Khalwa) and standardize them.
Carry believes specially, after the revolution of Abdel Gadir Wad Haboba in 1908(*). These religious revolutions which follows from their followers believe in their Masters (Sheikh), cannot be removed except though a primary – secular-religious education (2).
The colonial government fears the increase of missionaries’ educational activities which will lead to increase the authority of other countries that support the missionaries. This fear pushed the government forward towards establishing inspection system missionary schools and put them under censorship. The establishment of Gordon College in 1902 was the great impact on laying down the cornerstone to the great educational development in the Sudan. This college laid the first nucleolus where most of the first generation that led the country in post-independence have graduated from. There established two schools in Sawakin and Halfa through fund raising that initiated by Kitchener and collected from the citizens in Britain.
When the construction of the college completed in 1903, the expenses had been increased and added new departments. In 1905 applied the secondary education system, it was divided into two sections, the first one for 4 years for graduating assistant engineers and observers while the second section for 2 years for surveyors. In 1906 a new section of 4 years has been added to graduate primary school teachers, according to that, the college had become a center for higher training (1) , and the main source to graduate administrative staff, technicians and teachers to serve government.
The secondary education started in the Sudan with the establishment of Gordon College and it aimed at preparing a sound and enough number of students to join both arts and scientific sections in the college so as to take the responsibility of senior positions in the government such as teaching, medicine, engineering, veterinary medicine, agriculture, management and police, after their graduation even during colonization. After the independence they started to feel obviously futile of the objective, so that they summon an international committee consisted of seven senior global educational experts to discuss the issues of secondary education in the country (2).
In 1918 the College includes 86 students in the secondary section. With the increase in the government’s need to trained employees in clerical and technical works, it has increased the number of students in the secondary sections in 1930 to 500 students, the syllabus is divided into two sections, there the students in the first two years receive general education while in the last two years they divide them into specializations such as engineering, survey, accounts, clerical works, natural sciences and Islamic sharia. When they graduate from college they work in the different government departments and few number of natural sciences students’ join the Faculty of Medicine.
De La Warr Commission
In 1937a commission has been brought to the Sudan chaired by Lord De La Warr to stand on the status of all educational stages and to end with a report on how to develop it. The commission visited some of primary and intermediate schools, Gordon College, School of Medicine and the Institute of Education in Bakht Alrudha. The commission was amazed by Bakht Alrudha and recommended the establishment of the same institution in every province, it also recommended to relocate the secondary school from its location in Gordon College to a rural area too far away from Khartoum social and political impacts. De La Warr has recommended to use the buildings of Gordon Memorial College for the development of Higher Education. They started building the new secondary school in the outskirts of Wadi Sayydna, to the North of Old Omdurman about 14 klm, but the secondary school in Gordon College has not been initially moved to the new site due to the World War II that necessitate the use of both buildings of Gordon College and the new school buildings in Wadi Sayydna to harbor military forces. Therefore the secondary school was moved to Omdurman Amiryya Intermediate School and the students were moved to rent houses in Al-Ardha and other places nearby the school. Meanwhile they started to build a new secondary school in Hantoob on the Eastern bank of the Blue Nile opposite to Wad Madani city. This has been done in accordance with the Department of Education’ action plan 1938 – 1946 (1).
The secondary of Gordon College was closed finally and Mohammed Ahmed Salih farwelled the secondary era with a poem.
Its scale leaned and sunset has come
Her time passed and will not come back
A minaret of knowledge that passed a half century
It’s like sharp-edged sword
Here emerged and stood tall (Wadi Sayydna)
And also there emerged (Hantoob)(2)
In 1946 the secondary school has been moved from Gordon Memorial College and the students have been divided into two sections, the first one was moved to Wadi Sayydna and the other to Hantoob. Wadi Sayydna Secondary School was opened in 29 January 1946 (1).
Wadi Sayydna School is located between Karari and Wadi Sayydna and stretching to Sarorab and Islanj Island. The buildings were designed for multi-purposes where they were used as a camp for aliens in World War II.
The Name Wadi Sayydna attributes, according to the story that the area of Om Marahi “a village of Jammo’eia tribe” that stretching from Hajar Al-Asal to the North ubtil Al-Arashcoal Mountain- where a number of kings were buried including king Ghanim- to the South. In reference to the story the residence off that village “Om Marahi” was a minaret of knowledge ad da’wah and teaching Quran and Islamic sciences, hadith and language until now. The people come from different places, the road crosses a valley (the area that known later as Wadi Sayydna). The area was a jungle like-full of trees and wild animals such as lions. Once upon a time the people who come to Om Marahi area to receive knowledge, they found at the entrance of the valley they cross to reach Om Marahi, a lion on the road and they were in perplex and did not know what to do with that lion. One of the group told them to return back and another person told them to take another path among the trees and leave the valley entrance for the lion. After some consultations, they sent two of them to pave a way among the trees and to tell Sheikh Al-Tayyeb Al-Bashir, what had happened and return back… when their messenger arrived to Sheikh Al-Tayyeb, he called one of the students and said: Oh Ibrahim” among the student there are many of them bear the same name, in the second time he called: “Common Ibrahim Al-Jammoei” he was one of his cousins who is a senior teacher, he is Khalifa Ibrahim Bin Thaer, he came to him and said: yes ”Mawlana” my master,….. Sheikh Al-Tayyeb told him to go and send the dog away from the road, while he mean the lion that guards the road of the students. Khalifa Ibrahim Bin Thaer went to the lion and sent it off the road, then the people gathered individuals and in groups to the area of Om Marahi. The educated man used to be called (Sayydna) “our master” and when the story of a man that sent away a lion off the road spread, and people started asking about who’s that man? They were told that he is (Sayydna) “our master” and the area where he sent away the lion in the road leading to Om Marahi is known as Wadi Sayydn ie. The place where our master, Ibrahim Bin Thaer sent away the lion, and then the area became known by that name, and some of sheikhs consider it as one of the miracles of that scholar who became later a predecessor of his father and he is Khalifa Ibrahim Bin Thaer, the grandfather of Nairab(1).
The school and its outbuildings were built like horse-shoe or the letter (U) in the form of aristocrat schools in England (2).
In Wadi Sayydna School there were many literature associations, such as the Islamic culture, science, and scouts and literature association. The school also has many sport activities such as football, volleyball and basketball (3). Wadi Sayydna School also was the spearhead in student’s political activity and there was a continuous coordination between its student’s federation and its counterpart in University of Khartoum (4).
At the beginning, the school proceed with the same names of the classes in the secondary school in Gordon Memorial College. The names were of the English administrators such as Kitchener and Winged, but in 1946 the school students’ protested against these names and then replaced to Sudanese and non-Sudanese figures.
The Names Boarding-Houses
In the school there were many boarding for students of different Sudanese states, “Carry” was one of them (the first director for education in the Sudan) and renamed to Wad Al-Badawi allocated to Khartoum students and “Stack” renamed “Jamma” Boarding for students from Omdurman, other are, the boarding of Abu Garja, Al-Mukhtar and Al-Dakhil boarding(5).
Lang was the headmaster of Wadi Sayydna and Mr. Hanks and Obeid Abdul Noor were his assistants. Salih Abdul Azim Khalifa, Abd Allah Bashir Sinada, Hassan Ahmed, Ahmed Al-Mardi Jubara and Bushra Abdel Rahman Saghir were the teachers from Omdurman besides a group of the British teachers, where Mr. Bright later became the head of the English Department in Bakht Al-Rudha. The number of students in Wadi Sayydna at that time was 322. In 1946 the number of Wadi Sayydna students registered for Cambridge Certificate were 74 students where 59 of them received the certificate and 17 passed the exams in London(1). In the period from 1968 – 1969 the school’s buildings were turned to be the military college.
The Most promenant Graduates
Many of prominent figures graduated from Wadi Sayydna in various fields such as Muzzamil Suliman and the world novelist Al-Tayyeb Salih whom Mr. Bright gave him the passion for English language. Also the school enriched the Sudanese society with a number of politicians, thinkers and poets, politicians like Al-Zubeir Mohammed Salih Mamon Awad Abu Zaid (member of May Revolution Council), Abdel Wahab Ibrahim, Abdel Rahim Hamdi (former minister of finance) professor Yousif Fadul Hassan (former Director of University of Khartoum) professor Al-Hibir Yousif Nour Al-Daiem (professor of Arabic language at the Faculty of Arts - University of Khartoum) professor Abd Allah Ahmed Ahbd Allah, major generalMohi Al-Din Mohammed Ali and Dr. Kamil Iddris. And the poets that studied in Wadi Sayydna, Hussein Bazaraa, Seid Ahmed Al-Hardalu (politician and poet) and Awad Malik. Also Abdel Wahab Ibrahim, Mr. Mohammed Al-Sheikh Madani and Captain Sheikh Al-Din Mohammed Abd Allah and the journalist Jafar Abbas were graduated in Wadi Sayydna(2).
The location of Hantoob has been selected according to the directive of Mr. Salih Buhairi the departed deputy director of education in the Province of Blue Nile during the British Administration. Through his position he knew that the British administration intends to divide the students of high secondary school in Gordon College to two new schools to be built soon, and Wadi Sayydna was the first but concerning the second one, Mr. Douglas Newbold the administrative secretary has invited the directors of province to a meeting on this regard. The education inspector of the Blue Nile attended on behalf of the governor and he suggested that the school to be built in Sinnar, this option is rejected due to the bad location with mosquitos that cause malaria, and the governor of the Northern Province suggested to be built in the Northern Province, but they did not reach a decision, and some of the citizens of the Blue Nile tried to meet the director to offer other options such as Al-Madina Arab, Al-Housh and Al-Shokaba area (1) . The late Al-Sheikh Abu Zaid Ahmed Al-Awad told him to build the school in Hantoob area and he has done very well to convince the British Administration with the characteristics of Hantoob location. In encouraging the governor and achieving the goal he has donated some of his lands in Hantoob and he convinced some of good landlords such as Azrag Tayba and Sheikh Abd Allah Al-Karib both donated their lands and compensated the owners of the small lands(2).
Hantoob area has been approved by the province’s director for the following characteristics:
1. It is a highland that is good for rainwater drainage
2. Healthy area with scarce insects that cause malaria
3. Close to the urban areas
4. Ensure safety and security (3).
There appeared many stories on the meaning of Mantoob, infact the closest one attribute to Al-Ashraf “grandsons of Sharif Balla” who has a boy called “Naggash”, Sharif Balla and his sons used to work in farming and grazing and they resided in the eastern bank off the Blue Nile in Hantoob area in an island in the middle of the Nile, and people can reach by boats from any direction so they call it (Hantoob, a paradise that has many gates). It has been said also that “Naggash” has a unique racing camel called (Al-Hantoob), that a scorpion stung it and died so that Sharif Naggash mourned and people gathered to condolence him in his camel and from that time people omitted the prefix and called this area “Hantoob” in poetry so as to adjust the rhythm (1).
Hantoob School located in a peninsula between the Blue Nile and Al-Rahad River on a longitude 34, 72 to the East and14, 12 Northern latitude. The buildings were designed by Mr. B.F. Lister the employee in the Engineering Department and implemented by Kalinji the Greek contractor in 1943(2).
The construction of buildings and facilities such as the classes, labs, art studios, library and theatre completed in 1946 on an area of 200000 Acres, includes gardens of mangoes, lemon and guava trees. Also the school includes five football playgrounds and a main playground specified for both internal external competitions, and then basketball courts and a big square for athletics and a number of extended houses that the British teacher have chosen to live in a private block named (the British block) which is located on the far north-east corner of the school. They also built different sizes houses for Sudanese teachers and houses for employees and workers, also they have built ten boarding for students. The school was completely open with no fence between the boarding’s, school buildings and classes as well, despite that nobody dares to come close to the school buildings even animals never come close to the school compound inspire of the trees landscape surrounding the school and makes it looks attractive (3) .
While the school’s tower that stands higher on top its roofs and administration’s offices in the main entrance of the school, and there is a working o’clock on the four directions of the tower to alarm the students about the time’s value, above the tower there is a windmill on top of it there is a hoopoe head which is considered as the distinguished symbol of the school.
The school has chosen the hoopoe as a slogan which the teachers have referred to in their poetry such as Ahmed Mohammed Salih. Also the telescope which the Greek contractor who was assigned to build the school has given it to the school was one of its symbols. The telescope was erected in the middle of the school’s southern playground. The boat that carries the people from the school and Wad Madani city (1) was called the “hoopoe” while the school’s buzzer was from the accessories of a British ship that Mr. Braiden the governor of the Blue Nile province has asked his government to send a bell that its ringing could be herd all around the school, and when they sent him that bell he sent it to the school at the same time of the students’ arrival from Gordon College (2).
In September 1946 Hantoob students transferred from Omdurman, and there were a mixture of unique nationalism and patriotism. The students used to come from Darfur, Kordofan Kassala and Port-Sudan and from the old province of the Blue Nile (El-Jazeera, Koasti, Dueim, Sinja and Al-Ruseiris). Also students from Sothern Yemen and the British Somalia were joined.
The Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony attended by Mr. Braiden, the governor of the Blue Nile Province and some of his staff and Mr. Williams the director of Education Department and the deputy dean of Gordon College and the headmaster of Wadi Sayydna School and Abdel Rahman Ali Taha, the deputy dean of the Institute of Education in Bakht Al-Rudha and some of the institute teachers and the chief of judges and the member of government and private education in Khartoum and Wad Madani and some of the workers of Sudan Agricultural Company that running Al-Jazeera Scheme. Also the ceremony was attended by Sharif Abdel Rahman Yousif Al-Hindi and a number of leaders of Wad Madani and El-Jazeera.
The opening ceremony started by the arrival of Mr. Herbert Head Liston the governor general and his wife at 10:30 am where they inspected the honor guard that consisted of military training students of the school and then cutting the silk tape with an archaeological Sudanese Spear, then he got into the school compound and rang the bell three times declaring the opening of the school. The governor general has delivered a speech and then the student Osman Ibrahim head of Al-Nujomi Boarding thanked the governor general on behalf of the students and give him the Sudanese spear as a gift.
The governor general and the guests had their lunch in the student’s meal room. Sheikh Abu Zaid Ahmed a trader and leader in Wad Madani had paid the costs of that meal in addition he has donated 120 pound, it was widely believed that the land where the school was built was his property. Perhaps the opening of Hantoob was the last great mission that the governor general had done, his tenure in the Sudan ended in 1947 and in May 1947 Mr. Robert Hoe appointed new governor general. It was the first time to appoint a diplomat from the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1).
In the afternoon the guest attended the athletic games races and marathons between boarding. The Somali Abdel Rahman Ahmed ”later he became Somali ambassador to Sudan” was the first in the race, and Ahmed Haj Doal , anther Somali student, was the second. They all moved to the school compound and they had a tea party where Ahmed Mohammed Salih said a poem that praised the occasion. Here he said:
Emerged to people like a minaret of knowledge
Her slogan is hoopoe and sound opinion
The people came from every where
Some come to learn and others to benefit
I have fallen in love with her and never fed up
Today I am crazy in love (2)
Mr. Williams the director of Education had delivered his speech in Standard Arabic Language, where he explained the importance of secondary education and remind student that secondary education is an advantage that not every can have, and those who has this should have to develop himself to be a good member in the group.
In Hantoob School there were non-class activities such as cultural and literature associations and sport competitions among boarding-housess in football, basketball and volley ball, swimming and athletics games under the supervision of the school teachers.
The class names in Hantoob School in the different stages, bear name of Arabs and Western figures in all different fields of science, such as Leonardo, Ibn Battuta and Magellan, and in latter times they were replaced by Sudanese figure such as Hashim Dhaif Allah, El-Abbadi, Sheikh Abdel Bagi and Sheikh Abu Zaid (3).
The Boarding-Houses Names
In the period of Gordon Memorial College, the boarding bear British names like Crammer (general British consul in Egypt) Carry (first director of education) Cocks (former director of education) Kitchener (former governor general), Mafi (former governor general), Stack (former governor general) and Archer (former governor general).
When Hantoob moved to its place in September 1946, there was four boarding: King Nimir, Zubeir, Osman Digna and Abu Anja. In early 1947, before the official inauguration in 4 March 1947, two boarding were added, Al-Nujomi and Wad Dhaif Allah “author of the classes of Wad Dhaif Allah book”. In later dates they built Ali Dinar and Abu Likailik bordings, and in 1959 the boarding of Wad Adlan was built in the area between Wad Dhaif Allah and King Nimir boarding. I was published in a press report in 14 March 1947 that the students expressed their pleasure in the replacement of the English names with heroes of Sudanese history, and this reflects their pride of their national Sudanization(1) , also some of boarding named with figures of Artistic activity such as Jamm’a and military leaders such as Digna and Al-Zubeir(2).
Lewis Brown was the first headmaster to Hantoob, before he was the headmaster of the Agricultural Junior Secondary School in Bakht Al-Rudha. Crayton and Ahmed Mohammed Salih were his assistants. The teaching staff coming from Omdurman consist of Nasr Al-Haj Ali, Abdel Halim Ali Taha, Amin Zaidan, Al-Sunni Abbas and Abd Allah Abdel Rahman Al-Amin. And the Egyptian teacher were Mohammed Ratib Al-Sidig, Mohammed Mohi Al-Din, Abu Al-Naja, Moneer and Wanees. And the British list consist of Hault (History), McBain (Geography), Styles, Johns, Robert and Doglas. In 1947 47 student sat for Cambridge Certificate in Hantoob, where 32 student succeeded (3).
The Department of Education considered this result is completely satisfying due to the unrest and state of instability that caused by the huge construction works that going in Hantoob and the movement of workers, foremen and etc.
Ahmed Mohammed Salih did not stay too long in Hantoob. In 1947 he was transferred to the headquarters of the Department of Education as an assistant director, and Al-Nasri Hamza had replaced him in Hantoob. In his farewell ceremony Abdel Rahim Ali Taha has delivered a long poem in which he said:
The hoopoe is sad for so many nights
His life changed and never sang his song
Imprisoned in the south and power faded away
Got tired of south, but in love with north
Speaking to the stars, he could no longer sleep
He who his heart stolen, cares noting to sleep (1)
Ahmed Mohammed Salih has farewelled Hantoob with a poem. Here are some of the verses without order:
What a beautiful life we have had in Hantoob
Unforgettable nights of laughter and joy
How can I forget true friends that stood by my side?
Real old friends that their glory is unparalleled
Young men raised with goodness and high morals
I loved them and I can’t see myself without them
Oh’ my fellows, the time has come and it seem inevitable
But I give you my word that I with be faithful to my promise
Remember me in good times, remember me whenever you go
Remember a faithful sincere friend that have never led you down (2)
The renowned astronomer Mohammed Ahmed Ka’ora was one of the successor headmasters (3). The British administration wanted to drive away Mr. Ismail Azhari from the capital because he was a political threat, so they transferred him from Wadi Sayydna School in Khartoum to the new school in Hantoob. Where he said his famous phrase: “even in Hantoob, we are not going to give up” that confirms his determination to continue anti-colonization political activity (1).
The Most Prominant Graduates
Many leaders and thinkers have graduated from Hantoob such as the former late president Jaffar Mohammed Nimeiri, Al-Rashid Al-Tahir Abakar, Mohammed Ibrahim Nugod, Omer Nor Al-Daim, Ibrahim Monem Mansor (former minister of finance) Faroog Abu Eisa, Fathel Rahman Al-Bashir, Mahjoub Obeid Taha, Mamon Sinada, Gen. Bahir Mohammed Ali, Abd Allah Zakaria, Musa Awad Bilal, Ahmed Sheikh Iddris Mann’a, Al-Tayeb Ali Al-Sillawi, Major General Khalid Al-Amin Al-Haj, Salah A;-Din Omer Al-Karib, Ahmed Ali Bagadi, Major General Engineer Babikir Ali Al-Toum, Babikir Karar Ali Al-Nour, Abu Bakr Osman Mohammed Salih, Salah Abdel Salaam Khalifa Abdullh Al-Taishi, Al-Tayyeb Abd Alla (former president of Al-Hilal Sports Club) the late professor Al-Jizoli Dafa Allah(former prime minister), LCol Babikir Al-Nor. Three students of Hamtoob School have become chief justice in the Sudan and they were: Khalaf Allah Al-Rashid, Fuad Al-Amin and Obeid Haj Ali. And four others became ministers of justice, they were: Hassan Al-Turabi, Abdel Samei Omer, Abdel Mahmoud Salih and Abdel Aziz Shiddo. Also four graduates have become Vice-Chancellors of universities they were: Professor Ali Fadul, Omer Mohammed Bilail, Al-Tangari and Professor Hassan Makki. The journalists that graduated in 1970s were Awad Allah Mohammed Awad Allah, Ahmed Hanga and Ibrahim Al-Buzaei. And also there were poets such as Hameid Abu Usher (school’s carpenter) who wrote “bye bye my beautiful garden” also poet Al-Hadi Adam who was an Arabic language teacher in Hantoob, he who Om Kalthoum sang his poem “Can I see you tomorrow”, and the most famous poems written by Mohammed Awad Al-Karim on the school was “Hantoob the beautiful”.
Hantoob’s offer has extended to abroad, where students from many African and Arab countries like Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia had graduated from, worth mentioning that Abdel Rahman Mohammed Daras the first Somali ambassador to Sudan had studied in Hantoub Secondary School(2).
Celebrating the School’s Silver Jubilee
In 1973 Hantoob graduates have celebrated the school’s silver jubilee, and its first headmaster and founding father Mr. Brown responded to the invitation and attended the ceremony where the school ground was filled with its old students headed by the president Jafar Mohammed Nimeiry during his leadership, and his school mate and political enemy that wanted by security service Mohammed Ibrahim Nugod has come out from his secret place to participate in the celebration, after granted permission to attend. He ran the final match as first-assistant-referee, where Nimei had played. And the poet Mohammed Awad Al-Karim Al-Gorashi the verses of “Hantoob, the beautiful” which Osman Al-Shafei had sung. Hantoob was the only and unique school that people sang on Sudan Radio (1).
Khur Taggat is located nearby Khur bay (1), 9 Klm North-East of Al-Ubayyid City. The location of the school was selected among many sites at that time such as Bara, Al-Ban Jadid, Abu Haraz, Kargail and Abu Zabad(2).
The school’s logo is a baobab tree in the fall season with no leaves and fruitless. This logo has been selected for cultural and social motives. Baobab tree in summer has great importance especially in an area where water is scarce and it is used to keep water. That why baobab tree is very important for Kordofanian people. While in autumn its leaves are used as foot and the fruits as drink, while its large shade is used as a place for vacation and tribal meetings and sometime for teaching students.
The School’s Structure
The school consist of five classes with a fence and main gate and also has five crescent-shaped boarding and houses for teacher and workers and health center and rest room dining room in the forefront of the kitchen, a canteen and a barber shop, mosque and a room for musical instruments and six football, basketball, volleyball playgrounds and a tennis table in every boarding and a teachers’ club, and the baobab tree is in the middle of these buildings (3).
The School’s Inauguration
Khur Taggat was inaugurated officially in 28 January 1950 by the Minister of Education Mr. Abdel Rahman Ali Taha, recalling that the administrative has called the minister of education, telling him that the governor general was going to inaugurate the school in person, then the minister told the administrative secretary that if it’s going to be inaugurated that way I would not attend the ceremony. The governor general decided to come so the minister has inaugurated the school (4).
The Minister of Education Mr. Abdel Rahman Ali Taha in his speech in the occasion of the opening ceremony welcomed the guests, and said that the great rally demonstrate the growing importance of education in the country. He mentioned the sacrifices that the people of Al-Ubayyid had provided such as giving their lands and increased water consumption. The minister has directed his speech to the student and urged them to work hard reminding them that the Sudanization of government jobs depend upon them. The minister explained that the number of students in Khur Taggat School will be 480 student by 1952, and a new fifth secondary school will be built in the Northern Province in 1954 and a sixth one in Omdurman, thereby another places in Khur Taggat will be for the students from the two Western Provinces and that needs a great increase in both primary and intermediate schools in Western Sudan… at the end of his speech, the minister said: (whenever we increase building schools and the number of student, the benefit will increase for both the Sudan and its people(1).
The deputy headmaster of Kur Taggat School, Abdel Halim Ali Taha has said a poem at the school’s opening ceremony. Here are some verses:
The trees of the fertile gully moved lovely…and the friends gathered in a mound
After drought there come the rain… the Nile overflow and sailors cheered joyfully
Khur Taggat applauded with joy… in intention to literacy and drive away ignorance
Regardless, of who immune you are….ignorance in his way to be defeated
If you want to improve, learn Quran…. you will find your way in the dark (2)
The activities in Taggat mostly dominated by academic associations in which students master their scientific and artistic talents. The school was rich of handmade, scientific, arts and technical activities to be done with joy and harmony. Every Monday is allocated for the activities scientific hobbies associations, such as photography, cinema and radio, theatre, drums music, guitars music, arts, gardening, baobab trees association, school journeys, religious, journalism, history and geography association, science and arts, debates, Sudan’s studies association. Also there was the tennis club, military training and public service association, and library friends association, also there was an activity called (Soug Okaz) where there lots of wall-newspapers that reflect the students’’ cultural activities such as radio and theatre where the radio broadcasting starts in the morning by presenting some programs. While the theatre activity was the most prominent, especially at the season of Boarding Nights (1).
Sports had a great importance as same as culture and politics. They provided many playground for all sports like football, volleyball and basketball. The sport activities were supervised by the teachers, while the political activity in Khur Taggat has no great impact, because the school was isolated and too distant from the cities while Soug Olaz was fulf of posters of Islamic and communistic orientations. Islamists had organized a famous march in 1979 on the occasion of the victory of Iranian Islamic revolution and fall down of Shah Regime, where the march had reached Al-Ubayyid lead by the Islamist student (Al-Musalami Al-Bashir Al-Kabashi).
The Names of Classrooms
• The names of the classed inaugurated in 1950 were:
• The first classrooms: Farabi, Galileo, Rashid and Tabari
• The second classrooms: Hatim, Ibn Rushd, Al-Razi, Al-Mauri and Al-Ghazali
• The third classrooms: Abu Musa, Abu Muslim, Al-Waleed, Al-Jabarti and Al-Nasri.
• The fourth classrooms: Sinai, Khayyam, Ibn Battuta and Tarig Bin Zayyad(2).
The Names of Boarding-Houses
Khur Taggat Secondary School has nine boarding for student from all around the Sudan, and they are: Dinar, Wad Al-Toum, Doulib, Wad Zayed, Wad Taktook, Abu Sin, Zaki Al-Din, Abu Anja and Al-Wali. Where students from Al-Ubayyid come to the school early and return at the end of the day by the school bus that driven by uncle Arban(3).
The most renowned headmasters of Khur Taggat School are: Al-Nasri Hamza and the deputy at the opening were Abdel Halim Ali Taha and Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Gadir. The geography teachers were Ahmed Faza’, Abdel Monem Ahmed Ibrahim and Mustafa Al-Haj. In the Department of Science and Mathematics the teachers were Mohammed Afandi Salih, Khalid Musa and Hassan Mudathir, while in Arabic Language department we find Al-Tayeb Shibeika, Ahmed Abu Digin and Al-Gasim Osman. In arts we find Abdel Gadir Taloudi, Iddris Al-Banna, Abdel Razig Mutwali and Abd Allah Muhi Al-Din Al-Jineid, and in history we find Tawfig Ahmed Suliman and Dhirar Salih Dhirar. The foreign teachers we find Ibrahim Al-Hadi and Milad Yousif from Egypt, and Mr. Craig, Mr. Judd, Mr. Johns, Mr. Bracy, Mr. Nil, Mr. Doll, Mr. Palmore and Mr. Crawford from Britain(1).
The Prominent Graduates
The prominent graduates of Kur Taggat School in the different fields we find, doctor Zaki Al-Din the internal medicine specialist and docor Al-Rasheed Al-Faki. Among artists we find the poet Mohammed Al-Makki Ibrahim and poet Fidail Jamm’a, among diplomats, Faroog Abd Allah, Hashim Al-Tinai and Yousif Mukhtar. We find some school graduates who joined military corps such as Major General Al-Fatih Bushara the former governor of Kordofan region during May Regime, and also field marshal Abdel Rahman Swar Al-Dahab the president of military council nor the transitional government for 1985 also General Mahadi Babo Nimir and Major General Fadl Allah Burma Nasir the former state minister at the Ministry of Defense. Among the renowned Islamic leaders, Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir the former speaker of the National Assembly and Maulana Mohammed Ali Al-Mardi the former minister of Justice and Ahmed Haroun, the governor of Northern Kordofan State(1). In addition to Jamal Hamza, Hamadna Allah Taha Taweel, Sideeg Ahmed Ismail, Mukhtar Al-Toum, Murtada Al-Mamoun Al-Dai, Mustafa Al-Rasheed Al-Jirifawi, Musa Salim Sabeel, Mohammed Ali Al-Awad, Bakri Ahmed Adeel (prominent politician in Uma Party)(3) , also professor Mukhtar Al-Assam, Major General Ibrahim Nail Eidam, and the Islamist leader Mahdi Ibrahim, Sideeg Abdin the minister of agriculture in the transitional government, professor Mohammed Ahmed Al-Sheikh the former vice-chancellor of University of Khartoum and the poet Al-Sir Doulib(4), and the late poet Abdel Rahim Ahmed Abdel Rahim(Abu Zikra) *(1) who wrote
The poem of Khur Taggat that was used as the school’s slogan at that time, where the student Babikir Al-Noor had presented this poem
In a vast area in Africa, the strongest country
From greater Taggat I will play declaring this poem
This beautiful poem is a symbol of peace and eternity
I will be working for co-existence between Islam and Christianity (2)
The Golden Jubilee of Khur Taggat
The golden jubilee of Khur Taggat was held on 28 January2003 to crown the good memories of the school. The Kordofanian singer Abdul Gadir Salim sung:
Oh’ Khur Taggat, our jubilees have come
Your festivals always lovely
Flying with lovely wings
Keep flying along the days
The celebration was attended by a great number of Khur Taggat School graduates. The last group that graduated from Khur Taggat Secondary School was in 1992(3), and later the school became the Faculty of Engineering, of University of Kordofan.
The students’ strikes have started since 1946, when the students of Gordon College and the other schools in Khartoum have demonstrated in consolidation with the Egyptian students killed in demonstrations in Cairo in February 1946. Then the unrest moved to Omdurman Scientific Institute and Wadi Sayydna Secondary School, that unrest led to closing the institute and secondary schools and dismissing the leaders of the strikes. The government has put the blame on the Egyptian government and the teachers and students of Faroog Secondary School in Khartoum. For Mr. James Robinson that the liberal policies that adopted by Cocks the supervisor of Gordon College was the reason behind this strikes.
The incident of 1946 has become a precedent to student’s strikes. The year 1949 has witnessed a series of strikes in both secondary and intermediate schools, because of the students’ conference that they want to form and managed by the students of Gordon College, that the ministry of Education has refused to give the permission of forming a student’s federation, and that led to the spread of strike at the end of the first semester. The strikes started a gain at the resumption of studies in August. The report of the Ministry of Education indicates that the decisive stance and dismissing the leaders have had the impact of the schools and for somehow restored environment among the students (1).
Due to these incidents the minister of education called for a meeting with education members on 9 April 1949 chaired by the minister and Mr. Williams, the director of education, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tahir the chief justice as the chairman of the supreme council of the Scientific Institute, sheikh Abdel Mahmood Abu Shama, the master of the institute, Mr. Theobald the deputy dean of Gordon College, Mr. Lang the headmaster of Hantoob School, Mr. Hodge king director the publishing office, Mahjoub Mudawi the inspector of education, Obeid Abdel Noor deputy headmaster of Wadi Sayydna School, and Abd Alla Bashir Sinada the chief-teacher of Wadi Sayydna School, Abdel Gadir Sharif the inspector of education in Khartoum Province, Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Gadir the headmaster of Ahlia School, Yousif Badri the headmaster of Ahfad School, Yousif Zumrawi, headmaster of the Junior School in Omdurman and Mr. Lee the chief inspector. The meeting concluded with several consensus decisions. They are, encouraging local unions among secondary students during summer holidays for cultural service and society reform, literacy. Secondary schools students that at the same level or below are not allowed to join the proposed student’s conference or any other external body, because this decrease the school’s administrative authority. The meetings opinion was that the freedom granted to Gordon College Students is not convenient to the students of secondary schools. If the conference of Gordon College student wanted to engage the secondary schools students in any cultural or social activity it would be highly welcomed.
On the other side, the students’ union of Gordon College has issued a statement on the formulation of the students’ conference. They mentioned that the minister of education has informed them by the decisions of the mandate of government and private schools after the students’ conference. The statement mentioned that the school authority’s objection of holding the conference uncovers clearly who the colonization’s educational policies are? The statement criticized the educational policy for creating mentally and socially disabled generation of employees, professionals and technicians. The statement explained that the conference aims at creating an opportunity to the Sudanese students of social works such as night education and literacy and bearing some of social and cultural responsibilities (1).
On March 1950 students’ strikes took place in Wadi Sayydna Secondary School that led to holding 330 students until the end of the school year in May 1950. The minister of education explained that the demonstrations that took place in Wadi Sayydna in fact was not a direct consequences of bad food or hiring unqualified teachers but due obvious instability that took place during school classes besides some of wrong rumors spread by small group of students to stir chaos and rebellion among others. The minister mentioned that the food in the school is supervised by a committee of senior teachers i9n the schools and five students representing the five boarding. The committee meets once a week to see students’ suggestions regarding improving food in accordance with the school’s assigned budget, but concerning recruiting newly graduated teachers from Wadi Sayydna, the reality is that, the intention was to fill a vacancy of a teacher of natural sciences by appointing Egyptian teacher, and he could not come during the school semester, so that the administration thought to make a use of the experience of two students graduated from Wadi Syydna last year has they successfully passed the certificated particularly in natural sciences. The school assigned one of them to teach a branch of natural sciences in the lower classes under the supervision of the specified sciences’ teacher, where the second one did not start teaching and cannot work in Wadi Sayydna permanently, because they were enrolled in Gordon College(2).
Another strikes broke out in Wadi Sayydna Secondary School in August 1951, and the school’s headmaster has dismissed immediately 22 student that leading the strikes. That was considered useful according to the British administration’s point of view in 1951 report, because the situation became stable at the end of September. Reports have confirmed that it’s not astonishing the students can be influenced by the political impacts due to the school closeness to Khartoum, perhaps it was inevitable to them to show their keenness to matters that affect the Sudan’s future.
The most furious and dangerous strikes took place in the new school in Khur Taggat, it is obvious that the students were affected by the period they spent in Wadi Sayydna before the completion of school buildings. The minister held a press conference at the Ministry of Education on 26th October 1950 on Khur Taggat incidents at the presence of the director of education and Ahmed Salih the deputy director and Al-Nasri Hamza the school’s headmaster and Mahjoub Al-Dawi the press officer at the ministry. The minister stated that his ministry’s policy concerned with creating a sound scientific sphere in the school, and they seek freedom of speech, thought, research and freedom to work, and said that they adopt this policy until the student became aware and mature enough so that the teacher can identify and develop his talent and solve his problems. In the ministry’s statement on the incidents of Khur Taggat that led to dismissing 119 student, the ministry stated that it’s working seriously to raise the scientific, health and social level in the schools and provided the freedom to speech, search and work with in limit that convenient with students’ age in the different schools. The minister mentioned that at the beginning they adopted a soft policy in schools, because they believe that violence does not help in creating the suitable school environment. And the follow the modern education approach that give the student a suitable amount of freedom that come by doing the right thing and don not succeed by wrong-doing(1).
The minister has explained precisely what happened in Khur Taggat School, between students’ refusal to take lunch with allegation that the food was not good, in the next day the students refused to enter the classrooms except 16 student while the rest have boycotted the study, food, games and night reading. After that the headmaster and teachers have studied individually each student stance and then they decided with the agreement of the minister to dismiss 119 students, who took the lead of the strikes and their behavior was not accepted during study. Concerning food the minister said that the amount of food is decided by the Ministry of Health, in addition to that t5he students were given extra choices of meals such as cheese, honey and milk. The school’s managements check out the meal within daily basis where the headmaster and teacher eat the same food with students. The situation in Khur Taggat became good and stable during the first period of 1951 that attribute to the Sudanese headmaster Mr. Al-Nasri Hamza and the teaching staff for taking a decisive tactical stance simultaneously to tackle the dangerous situation.
The British administration’s report indicate that the decisive approach that has been taken in suppressing Khur Taggat Strikes have had a useful impact so the general atmosphere in school witnessed an obvious development since that time, als0 the strikes had a negative effect on the students’ academic performance. The performance was very low in December examinations where a great number of students failed in four subjects and more.
Despite the unrest in Wadi Sayydna and Khur Taggat for some time, the real outbreak of unrest took place in Hantoob, from her part the government attributed the students’ unrests in late 1950s to the international communism accusing it by standing behind these unrests. Communism brought to the Sudan by the Sudanese students who travelled to Egypt for secondary and higher studies (1).
Hantoob strikes started on Friday 26th October 1951 where the students’ got out after dinner in marches shouting politically, so that the headmaster Mr. Brown came out to convince them to dismiss but they did not obey. The next day the school headmaster has blamed them on their behavior last night. He said he was sympathetic to their concern on the ongoing events and he did want to stop them from discussion and comments but strikes are abandoned. And despite the students’ continued challenge to his authority, but the headmaster decided to do what he can to keep the school open. He moved with his deputy around all the school classes and tried to convince students to behave well. In 28th October the headmaster allowed the students to hold a meeting, but the students did not wait for that permission, they gathered in the meeting place and the situation in the school developed when the headmaster decided to dismiss ten students immediately for waging the strikes. When the situation worsened, the headmaster called the police in Wad Madani, and when the students knew the coming of police, they hold sticks, chairs and broken beds and went to the river port waiting for the police. But when the police has arrived the students thought about the matter and returned back and the police had tackled the situation wisely. When the students dismissed, the headmaster told the police to return back and they did (2).
On 9th October in the evening the phone wires have been cut and the headmaster received reports that the students were intending to carry out destructive acts, so that the police has been called again and gathered all the British teachers and their families in two houses. Hantoob School spent that night in police guard. Five British teachers have resigned as a result of these incidents where two Sudanese teachers asked for transfer to another jobs because they cannot work in Sudanese secondary schools any more. At the end of the minister’s statement on Hantoob incidents he said: (as a citizen like the students, I am highly keen to Sudan’s political future and this future obviously appeared to me in the full self-governance that I deeply believe to happen in 1952 and at that time the Sudanese parliament can work freely to put forward plans for free Sudan and there nothing to believe that the British government opposes these plans. The British has explained clearly that they are ready to give the Sudanese their countries full sovereignty as soon as possible, so what’s the reason and purpose and what’s the goal for the strikes. The strikes hurt no one but the students and the citizens) also he urged the association members and journalists, students’ fathers and the students themselves (to help us create a good atmosphere and stability in the schools. We are about to undergo self-governance and independence and I believe this is the time to prove to the world that we are people of freedom and dignity) (1).
Firstly: Department’s Reports
1. Notional House of Documents, department’s reports, 6/10/87 a report on Secondary Education in the Sudan, prepared by Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb – deputy dean of Bakht Al-Ruda Institute, 1969.
2. Notional House of Documents, departments’ reports, 1/7/63 Ministry of Education, Wadi Sayydna Secondary School.
3. Notional House of Documents, department’s reports, report No 6/64/126 Education in the Sudan, Democratic Republic of Sudan, Ministry of Education, General Directorate of Educational Planning, Khartoum, 1981.
Secondly: Arabic Bibliography
4. Fadwa Abdel Rahman Ali Taha, the great teacher Abdel Rahman Ali Taha 1901 – 1969, T1 Kartoum, Azza and University of Khartoum Publishing House, 2004.
5. Mohammed Omar Bashir, the Development of Education in Sudan 1898 – 1956, translated by Henry Reyadh and others, Al-Jeel House, Beirut, second edition 1983.
6. Musa Abd Allah Hamid, Years’Echo (3), Khur Taggat Trilogy the first book, T1, Khartoum (d, n), 2000.
7. Musa Abd Allah Hamid, Years’Echo (3), Khur Taggat Trilogy the second book, T1, Khartoum (d, n), 2000.
8. Musa Abd Allah Hamid, Years’Echo (3), Khur Taggat Trilogy the third book, T1, Khartoum (d, n), 2000.
9. Awn Al-Sharif Gasim, Sudanese Encyclopedia of Tribes and Genealogy, Afro-Graph Printing Press, Khartoum, 1996.
Thirdly: University Desertations
10. Dawood Sagha Mohammed Abd Allah, Development of Education in Sudan, 1956 – 1970, Master thesis, unpublished, University of Khartoum, Faculty of Arts, 2005.
11. Safia Hassan Diab, Blue Nile Province during condominium, PHD dissertation, University of Khartoum, 2014.
Fourth: Magazines and Periodicals
12. Wadi Sayydna Magazine, Wadi Sayydna School’s students, first volume, 17/5/1948.
13. Al-Intibaha Newspaper, 10/3/2014.
14. Al-Ahram daily Newspaper, 5/3/2012, Nada Mubarak, interview with Al-Tayyeb Ali Abdel Rahman, a teacher in Hantoob, titled: a witness from (beautiful Hantoob) people reviews its historical events.
15. Faisal Abdel Rahman Ali Taha, an article entitled: the official crown of Hantoob, Tuesday 4th March 1947, date of entry, 16/10/2016, website: www.sudantribune.net.
16. An article entitled: (Hantoob) a school ruled and wrote the history of Sudan, publishing date, 22/9/2013, date of entry: 16/10/2016, www.alnilin.com.
17. Hassan Nour Al-Din, and article: (memories and brainstorming) Khur Taggat Secondary School and the slogan of Baobab tree, date of entry 1/11/2016, website: www.sudaress.com.
18. Sudan Digital Encyclopedia, website: www.sudanway.sd/education.