Week of July 9

07-09-2017Haiti News

Haitians still consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to attend school, where in many other parts of the world, education is considered a human right. Families are often willing to sacrifice up to half their income to send their children to school. Haitian public schools have the capacity to serve only one quarter of the school-age population. Even before the earthquake, 25 percent of Haiti's school districts, mostly in rural areas, did not have a school. Robillard had a fine school that year thanks to St. Rose. And Fr. Andre began his assignment to Notre Dame Parish. Vocational Education Schools are practically oriented. The biggest category of vocational training is the Skill Training Centers which often do not require prior education. The vast majority of them are private, operating outside the control of the government. St. Rose supports such: Notre Dame de la Merci Vocational Center. There are two areas of skills young men and women learn-culinary arts and tailoring; a 2-year course of study and practicum. Sewing is done on treadle machines as no electricity exists in the building. Hand work is done in the doorways with bright sunlight. Training in design, creating patterns and tailoring is also practiced. Tuition is $200 per year.

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Week of July 2

07-02-2017Haiti News

Less than 2% of Haitian school children pass the National Test at the end of grade 6. This is a reflection of the fact that the test is in French, which many children have not mastered. While listening and responding in French is used in some classrooms at Notre Dame de la Merci School in Robillard, the teacher may not be able to read and write well in French. Thus, students need more opportunities to master French by the 6th grade. Therefore, Fr. Andre has a summer school session that stresses acquisition of skills of reading and writing in French. Also, math skills are reviewed and practiced. Fr. Andre offers a meal to all those who come to summer school each day. Once that 2% of school children graduate from 6th grade, they move on to another private school or the public school in Robillard, A few take transportation to Cap-Haitien to enroll in a school. Imagine how few students graduate grade 12.

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