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Campus tales of Senegal teachers

Senegal, the African republic named after its main river, is best known for its football and its cultural colossus Ousmane Sembčne.

But on Tuesday, Ranchi also learnt about the problems in their education system.

Under the banner of teachers’ exchange programme pursued as part of United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, four Senegalese teachers are currently visiting Ranchi, thanks to NGOs Arouse (India) and Le Collective (Senegal).

Led by Latif Diaw of Le Collective, visiting teachers are Amadou Thiam, Adiara Diagne Sy, Ahmediu Toure and Cheikh Mbacke. Adiara and Cheikh, who spoke in French, briefed 20 Indian teachers from six well-known Ranchi cradles who had assembled on St Xavier’s School campus on their country’s education system and problems.

Some, like early marriage of girls and shortage of quality teachers were so common in India that the ice was broken.

“Parents in our country take less interest in the education of daughters as they feel the girls will go to other families after marriage,” Adiara said. “Reasons for high dropout rate among girls include early marriage and pregnancy. Not too many girls pursue science education,” she added.

The delegation rued teachers of high calibre were too few as it was not seen as a lucrative career. There is an acute crisis of maths teachers in Senegal, they added.

“We have now sought Japanese help to upgrade science teaching, particularly mathematics,” Adiara said.

Teacher Bela Mohan of St Xavier’s School, who had earlier visited Senegal under the same exchange programme, said she had taken classes at a school there.

“The standard of students in your country was really very high,” said Bela. “You visited an exceptionally good school of our country,” Adiara intervened, smiling.

Through the talks, teachers of both countries realised that some problems were identical.

“We wanted to share our experiences so that we know how Indians attempt solving them here,” Adiara told The Telegraph on the sidelines of the event.

The interaction will continue on Wednesday.

“It’s a pleasure to watch teachers of two countries exchange their experiences,” Vivek Roy of Arouse said.

“After Wednesday’s interface, we will together mull if something can be adopted from here,” Le Collective’s Latif added.

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