Sunday, April 5, 2009



Public school is underway again (the school year goes from February to November). It started mid-week but only a fraction of the kids actually show up because the first week is “just for cleaning” (I was told this by both parents and teachers). The second and third week more kids show up but there were several days off because teachers have meetings – district and local. Plus, they took a day off to get their pay check 45 minutes away. Rain has only affected the school day once so far (if it rains or is very muddy school is closed). At the end of the first month, my friend told me, “I think they have more days out of school then in school.” I believe it.

Each year the government promises to provide each student with school supplies and a snack of bread. The supplies are rarely available on the first day of school (or within the first few months). Some are too poor to afford pencils and a notebook and are too embarrassed to send their kids to school without them. This year the government has run out of money and is trying to back out of its promise. This week the teachers went on strike (no school for three days) lobbying on behalf of their students.

There are evening (1st through 8th grade) classes offered to adults who were unable to finish their education. Two big reasons kids don’t finish (or start) school is because they live in a town without a school or they drop out to help around the house or in the field. Adult literacy is very low and people are “stuck” with lack of opportunities. It is really exciting to see adults swallow their pride and make time to go back to school.

Elementary school assembly

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