Administrators and parents say schools have reopened in the city of Timbuktu for the first time since an Islamic faction seized control of the tourist destination last month and is working to impose Islamic law.
Mahmoud Djitteye, a member of the school district in Timbuktu, said that a small number of students headed to school Monday. He said that the Islamist faction, Ansar Dine, has agreed to pay the students' school fees.
Alpha Cisse, the father of a student, said that the Islamists are requiring the separation of the sexes in the classroom with boys and girls alternating between morning and afternoon classes. He also said that Ansar Dine has removed certain subjects from the curriculum, including evolution.
Timbuktu fell to the rebels on April 1. The Islamists, some of whom are foreigners, are imposing strict religious law, setting up a possible showdown with Tuareg nationalist rebels who say they want a secular state and who seized northern Mali in March alongside the Islamists.