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Dakar Adapts to a Changing Environment

The coronavirus pandemic has shut schools across West Africa and beyond, but in Senegal a television channel has launched daily lessons to prevent children falling behind with their studies and to educate them about the virus. Those behind the initiative hope it will provide a dose of normality at a time when daily life in Senegal, which has so far confirmed 37 cases of the virus, is being upended by the closure of schools, mosques and the suspension of many flights abroad. The programmes could provide a template for other countries in the region, where many households do not have ready access to the internet, but whose children face weeks or longer out of school as the world fights to contain the epidemic. Teacher and TV presenter Massamba Gaye was planning the launch of “The Teachers’ Room” on channel TFM on Saturday and its first episode aired the next day. The daily programmes are designed for pupils hoping to pass exams at the end of the school year.