Policy Brief: Education and Vulnerability - The Case of the Talibés in Senegal

Author: Lauren Herzog

December 15, 2014

For years, Senegal has drawn attention for the many talibés (children who attend Qur’anic schools) in the streets who ask for money and sugar. This issue brief explores the controversies surrounding Qur’anic schools in Senegal and the care of their students, as well as actions taken by actors addressing the needs of the children. Most Qur’anic schools are considered part of the informal education system in Senegal; consequently, education quality varies widely, and monitoring is difficult. Although many local and international organizations are providing services to children in need and advocating for existing government standards to be upheld in Senegal, many challenges remain. This brief highlights the roles that parents, religious leaders, and the Senegalese government can play to ensure educational standards and child welfare in Qur’anic schools.

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