Abdoulaye, 15, is imprisoned at a Quranic school in Thies, Senegal, in May. The rooms have windows with security bars to keep the talibés, or students, from running away. Photographer Mario Cruz gained rare access to some corrupt Quranic schools in Senegal where students are being held against their will and forced to work for teachers.
Talibés read the Quran inside a school in Dakar, Senegal. They have to memorize different parts of the Quran each day before going to the streets to beg for their guardians, Cruz said.
A marabout, or teacher, whips a student in Rufisque, Senegal, after he made a mistake while reading the Quran. The students are also subjected to physical violence when they fail to get the daily quota imposed by the marabout, Cruz said.
A talibé reads the Quran inside a school in Dakar.
A talibé begs on the outskirts of Dakar.
A man gives money to talibés in Touba, Senegal.
Talibés wake up in Diamaguene, Senegal. Cruz said 30 children between the ages of 5 and 16 sleep here.