Senegal reopens schools amid strict regulations

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Students are returning to class amid strict regulations. Image: AFP

Senegal has allowed students sitting for national exams back to school but under strict guidelines that include hand-washing, keeping social distance, temperature checks and wearing face masks.

It’s taken weeks of preparation for schools to reopen, including cleaning and disinfecting classrooms.

Learning days will last for six hours ending at 15:00 local time. School lunches have been cancelled and the sale of food in and around schools has been banned.

Parents and teachers are anxious to see the school year through. But safety is the priority as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country, especially community transmissions, is increasing.

Classroom set-ups have changed too. Seating arrangements allow for one student per table and a maximum of 20 pupils per room – about half the usual number.

But not all schools have the capacity to implement the government instructions.

Some of the teachers say the new restrictions have made the task ahead daunting.

Senegal’s main national examinations will take place in mid-August with a new timetable now in place. And after several weeks of lost classroom time, teachers are anxious to catch up.

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