A university professor has earned praise for cradling his student's baby during his own lecture. He took to Twitter to share pictures of himself with his student's child as he taught, where he simultaneously praised student mothers for their efforts.
This is not a scene you will see everywhere: a college professor holding a small child while lecturing to his class. But when students, who are also parents of young children, do not have any other childcare options, then they should not have to choose between watching their children and pursuing an education.
A university lecturer in Senegal has become an online icon after he offered a heartwarming show of solidarity to student mothers across the country.
Labaly Touré, a professor at the University of Kaolack in Senegal, West Africa, took to Twitter to share pictures of himself with his student's child as he taught, where he simultaneously praised student mothers for their efforts.
J’ai eu, ce matin , le plaisir lors mon cours à l’Universitè, de porter le bébé d’une de mes étudiantes.— Labalytoure (@ToureLabaly) June 2, 2021
Je rends hommage et salue le courage de toutes les étudiantes mamans. pic.twitter.com/gKgjVs3IYa
Alongside the touching snaps, he wrote: “This morning, I had the pleasure of holding the baby of one of my students. I’d like to pay tribute to the courage of all student mums.”
Within five days his post started doing rounds on social media and racked up more than 111k likes and 15k retweets on the platform. The fellow Twitter users praised Touré for his moving display.
God bless you Sir ...Such compassion and empathy is rare to find https://t.co/0Y4951OGCD— Unrepentant Optimist (@KwiyuhM) June 3, 2021
I wish people like this existed in 1984. 😞— Fran tha Fine 阿谢尔 (@Saintcesca) June 2, 2021
My mom ❤️. https://t.co/3rHZIcn23V
The teacher, who is a doctor of geomatics, said he had been bowled over by the response to his message, which he hoped would raise awareness of the challenges faced by young women balancing motherhood with their studies.
In an interview with France24, he explained: “The predicament of these young mothers highlights a problem in Senegal – daycares and nannies are expensive, so they aren’t really an option for everyone, especially when you think about students who, very often, have limited financial means.
“Obviously, if my student could pay for a nanny, she would. She didn’t have a choice and I wasn’t going to send her away because she came to class with her baby.”
Last year, Senegal’s birth rate was 36.1 percent – one of the highest in the world – according to the news site. The country also has a soaring fertility rate, averaging at slightly less than five children per woman.
Explaining the circumstances around his now-viral tweet, Touré explained: “A student came to my class with her baby, who was less than a year old, tied on her back. She wasn’t able to concentrate on the course like that.
“She put the baby on her lap, and when I saw that, I offered to take the baby myself so that she could focus on class. I kept the baby with me for the entire class, he stayed very calm.”
“I want to show them that these two roles aren’t incompatible these days,” he told France24.
Admitting he had no idea his photos would attract so much attention, he added: “I didn’t think my photos would take off like they did on Twitter. I didn’t realize that so many people were thinking about this issue.
“For me, these photos ask a question: what solutions can we offer young women who come to university with their babies?
Article Source: vt.co