Monday, March 7, 2011

School in Honduras

My husbands blog is a CAN NOT MISS! Please take a few minutes to check it out here.

Education in Honduras is deplorable. There's just not a good way to say it. Last school year the public school kids lost 90 days of school due to teacher strikes - that's HALF their school year! The government considered not advancing the kids a grade level - and honestly - that would have been a better option. But, instead, all the children were advanced. Now, the private schools which are funded by private monies, never go on strike. Madison attends a private school (schools past 6th grade are private), with the exception of a few tech schools that receive government funds. Those tech schools are "public", and therefore also are absent when the teachers strike. Because of this obvious problem, along with the fact that kids can't afford school beyond 6th grade, we started a scholarship program that is funded by folks in the States. A child is scholarshipped, and are able to attend High School - a HUGE rarity (only 23% of kids go to school beyond 6th grade in the entire country). Unfortunately, because the kids are so behind by the time they get to 7th grade, it takes a lot of willpower on their behalf, a lot of studying, and a lot of commitment! But they have done great. Here is an article from Honduras News - an on-line newspaper I read about the school year this year and how's it's already being affected by teacher strikes:

Teachers union leaders have called for a national work stoppage on Wednesday for teachers, leaving once again, 2.3 million children in Honduras without an education for the day.

This is the fourth nationwide strike called so far this year. The first general strike was the first Friday of the school calendar. The second nationwide strike was declared during the third week of classes. In early March, i.e. in the fourth week of classes, the leadership of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Honduras (COPEMH) convened for the third time, asking educators to be absent from the classroom.

To the constant calls for work stoppages by teachers, the Minister of Education, Alejandro Ventura, reminded that each day the teachers do not work, they will not be paid. Already in March, teachers will have four days deducted from their pay for not holding classes.

Several parents associations have asked the National Congress to review the Teachers Statute, and have it repealed.

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