Monday, March 17, 2008


Thus far this month the elementary school has been in session for 2 days because of strikes, religious holidays, and random government scheduled holidays. If there are no more strikes they will only have been in school for 6 days this entire month.
When I realized this I started talking to people in my town about it. Everyone agrees and knows that it’s totally unreasonable, but what’s to be done about it? They are flabbergasted when I explain to them that we have a minimum number of days we must be in school (180 right?) and that if there are unplanned cancellations (for strikes, blizzards etc) that we must make them up at the end of the school year. I also explain that we only have a 2 1/2 month long summer vacation, not 4, and that teachers cannot just cancel class to hold meetings.
These poor kids don’t even stand a chance. No wonder so many of them have to repeat grades, and drop out early, and can barely read at age 9. They’re NEVER in school!
And it’s frustrating for the teachers too (the ones who care that is) because there’s no time to teach anything!
I didn’t have a real purpose for writing this entry, I just needed to vent my frustration at my total lack of ability to teach this entire month. I’ve taught 1 class, on AIDS, in English, which went really but that’s absurd. Thankfully I’ve been occupying myself with translating our years worth of health radio skits into French so that we (and our replacement volunteers) can use them in the schools. Tedious and time consuming, but necessary and keeps me focused and gives me a task.

I know I’ve said this before but what this country needs is a total overhaul of its education system…PRONTO!

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