School and Education in Senegal


As in the other French-influenced Africa, education in Senegal has been strongly influenced by the French system of domination of the French language. Various interest groups agreed in 1981 on certain reform requirements, which were codified in what was called Les États Généraux de l’Education in 1985, after which the reform process was started.

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Schooling is compulsory between 7 and 12 years in a general primary school. Absence is high, however; only 75% of children start school. Senegal has a considerable illiteracy. Reading and writing skills among the adult population (over 15 years) were estimated to be 50% in 2009 (62% for men and 39% for women). The primary school is followed by a 4-year lower secondary school and then by a 3-year higher secondary school that qualifies for higher studies. Hardly one in four pupils go on to secondary school. In 2008, 19% of government spending was spent on education.

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In Dakar there is a university, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, with seven faculties. In 1991, a university was also founded in Saint-Louis, Université Gaston Berger.

In 2011, Senegal cut off diplomatic relations with Iran, which the country accused of providing weapons to Separatists in the Casamance region. The weapons had been used for the killings of 3 government soldiers. In 2008, Iran had built a car factory in Dakar that could produce 10,000 cars annually.

Senegal Country Flag

Senegal flag source:

On January 27, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that Wade could stand for president. His first term in 2000 did not speak. The order promptly triggered demonstrations, and the next month leading up to the first round of elections, Dakar was characterized by demonstrations against Wade, who were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Macky Sall won the presidential election in March 2012 with 65.8% of the vote over the sitting Wade by 34.2%. In the first round in February, Sall had gained 26.6%, while Wade had 34.8%. There was talk that the entire opposition had joined behind Sall to secure Wade’s defeat. Sall was a long-time member of Wade’s PDS until November 2008, when he came into conflict with the president. He was then removed as president of the National Assembly, broke out of the PDS, formed his own party APR and joined the opposition.

Wade declared his defeat the same evening as the election results were available, thus giving way to Sall, who was deployed on the presidential post April 2. Sall appointed Abdoul Mbaye as his prime minister. Mbaye is a technocrat, former banker and politically independent. Internationally renowned musician Youssou N’Dour became Minister of Tourism and Culture in the new government. He had tried in January to run for president, but had been disqualified by the authorities. After the election, Sall proposed that Senegal amend the constitution, reducing the presidential term from 7 to 5 years (as it was before) and with a maximum of 2 periods.

In August 2012, Senegal and the AU signed an agreement to set up a special court in which Chad’s former president, Hissène Habré, is due to be charged with genocide. Senegal had refused to extradite him to the ICC. In July 2013, this court brought charges against Habré and the case was expected to start in May 2015.

In September 2012, the National Assembly decided to abolish the Senate, saving the state $ 15 million. US $ annually. That same month, the state-owned ferry Le Joola sank off the Gambia coast and killed 2,000 people.

In September 2013, the President replaced Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye with Aminata Touré. However, she only sat on the record for 10 months. In July 2014, the president replaced her with Mohammed Dionne after she failed to win a Dakar term in the local elections that month.

In March 2014, Senegal was subjected to the regular review of human rights in the country by the UN Human Rights Council. International human rights organizations had expressed concern in advance about the country’s security forces’ suppression of freedom of speech and assembly, the regular disappearances and the gross suppression of LGBT people’s rights. Senegal refused to do anything to improve the rights of the LGBT group, or to combat disappearances by security forces.