June 20, 2021

In Senegal, a trainer dismissed after a school test around homosexuality

An official from the Senegalese Ministry of Education was “Relieved of his duties” for having floored future candidates for the baccalaureate English test on a subject around homosexuality, although he apologized, we learned on Tuesday 1is to the ministry.

The Senegalese press had made its “front page” this weekend on this text submitted to final year students of the Rufisque academy, near Dakar, as a mock exam preparing them for the baccalaureate.

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The text is a passage from More Tales of the City (“New Chronicles of San Francisco”), by contemporary American writer Armistead Maupin, himself an activist in the defense of homosexual rights, in which a character informs his mother of his homosexuality.

Ousmane Baldé, component coordinator “English” of the Regional Teacher Training Center in Rufisque, admitted in a video received Tuesday by AFP that it had transmitted this text to the teachers responsible for administering the English test.

“Western deviance”

But he assured that it was a ” mistake “ committed when selecting the files to send, and that he had attached ” by mistake “ a text “Which did not lend itself to the context” Senegalese, 95% Muslim country where homosexuality widely considered as a Western deviance.

In this video where he apologizes for having “Fault”, Mr. Baldé denies any link with homosexual associations. He says he took part in a recent demonstration to demand the criminalization of homosexuality.

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After being heard Monday by the academic authorities, Mr. Baldé “Has been relieved of his duties” responsible for the training of English teachers in the Rufisque academy, an official from the Ministry of Education told AFP on Tuesday.

Senegalese law punishes homosexual acts with sentences of one to five years in prison. The penal code speaks of“Immodest or unnatural act with an individual of his sex”, without making it a crime.

President Macky Sall, whose country is often cited as an example of the rule of law in Africa, has always invoked Senegalese cultural specificities to refuse a decriminalization of homosexuality, including in front of foreign leaders.

The World with AFP