About 551,000 children have returned to school in Senegal under strict COVID-19 preventive measures such as wearing face masks and observing social distancing.
The Senegalese government in March locked down schools so as to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Thursday’s reopening affects 551,000 children out of some 3.5 million in Senegal, with only pupils who are sitting exams this year returning to class.
“We have reduced the number of pupils in the classes, some of which have fewer than 20 (people),” said Abdoul Diop, a headmaster in the capital Dakar, where class sizes are often large.
Diop explained that all his students were wearing masks — which the school had made available, alongside hand sanitisers.
Senegal has recorded 6,233 coronavirus cases to date, with 94 fatalities.
Closing schools in March has disrupted Senegal’s normal school year, which usually ends in July. This year, examinations have been pushed back until late August and early September.
Other anti-virus measures, such as shutting universities, closing the land and air borders, and imposing a night-time curfew, remain in place.
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