Starting School in January
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Maybe the biggest issue that the unrest (“Peyi Lock” or Locked Country is what people have called it) caused has been the disruption to the school year in Haiti. School was supposed to start on Monday September 2…It did not. In fact, for most students, school actually started last week.
Think about that. Schools were shut down for 4 months, literally half of the year.
Can you imagine that happening in Jacksonville, LaGrange, or wherever you live? Kids sitting at home just waiting for the opportunity to go to school. So many of the kids here in Haiti are already behind and they cannot afford to miss a whole year or even half of a year.
You may be thinking that it is the school’s fault, or you may be wondering why parents did not take their kids anyway and force schools to open. The truth is that education, and specifically the opening of private and public schools in Haiti, was a tool that was used but those opposed to the current President. If you opened your school during this time, you were putting your teachers and students in danger of being harmed by the people who were shutting down the country. The opposition wanted the entire country shut down and they were willing to do whatever it took to make sure it stayed that way. So schools were closed.
Here are the current consequences:
- Some schools are going from 7:30am to 4:30pm to catch up.
- Some schools are opening on Saturday and/or Sunday to catch up.
- Students in 9th grade or NS 4 (previously known as Philo or 13th grade) have tests that allow them to either graduate or move on in school. Their tests will still be held in June or July with the same amount of information covered.
It has been interesting to be here when school is just starting back up again. There is a cautious excitement amongst our kids and probably the rest of the community. Schools are scrambling to make a calendar that allows all of the material to be taught, and I am struggling to know how hard to push our kids to study compared to how much time they should have to be kids.
Our kids who go to Christianville School are having an even bigger issue right now, and it is one that I will write about as soon as I know a little more information. They were the last kids to go to school, and there is even the possibility that they will not be able to go again next week.
The bottom line is that things are getting back to normal here. In fact, we think that Jess will come down to Haiti soon and if things stay calm like they are now, we will start to consider bringing teams back again maybe even this summer.
Please be in prayer for our kids, for school, for the country, and for wisdom on how to handle all of the challenges that have come up and will continue to arise. Inflation is still almost incomprehensible, things are very expensive, and people are really struggling. Through all of that, this is a country that is used to taking hits and it continues to show itself resilient. Let’s pray that this continues.