Senegal has allowed students sitting for national exams back in schools but under strict guidelines that include hand-washing, keeping distances, temperature checks and wearing of face masks.

It’s taken weeks of preparation for schools to re-open, including cleaning and disinfection of classrooms.

Learning days will last for six hours ending at 15:00 local time.

School lunches have been cancelled and the sale of food in and around schools has been banned.

Parents and teachers are anxious to save the school year.

But safety is the priority as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country, especially community transmissions, are constantly increasing.

A High School student at the Lycee Blaise Diagne washes her hands as she arrives for her first day back at school in Dakar on June 25, 2020.

The seating arrangement is one student per table and a maximum of 20 pupils per room, about two times less than usual in some classrooms.

But not all schools have the capacity to implement the government precautions.

Some of the teachers say the new restrictions have made the task ahead daunting.

The main national examinations will take place in mid-August with a new timetable now in place.

After several weeks of lost classroom time, teachers are anxious about catching up.

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