Democratic Stability in Senegal: The Effects of the Education System, Political Problems, and Religious Conflicts
Although Senegal is a relatively stable democracy, there are still many instabilities within the system of education, with its political and economic situation, and with religious conflicts in the region are challenging its attempts at securing strong democratic stability and strong international relations. There have been several studies and experiments done to address these problems. Many of these efforts have been made by international organizations, which have primarily focused on improving the education system in the hope that this can lead to political and economic development. In my research of these attempts, I discovered that some of the biggest issues lie in insufficient training and salaries for teachers, a lack of school supplies and safe school buildings, and problems with security and sanitation within the schools. Security has especially been a problem with the Islamic religious schools called <em>daara </em>which prevail in Senegal. There are tensions between this Islamic religious system of education and the democratic nature of the Senegalese government. Furthermore, the economic stagnation, especially compared to Senegal’s population growth, has led its many young people to feel desperate, sometimes turning to Islamic fundamentalism. Instead, particularly with the help of the United States and the international community, this situation can be improved, and Senegal could pursue its goals of democracy and religious and ethnic tolerance, making it an excellent ally to the U.S. and example of democratic ideals for the other countries of West Africa.