The new school year started this year in September. It is the seventh year for the school in Faidanana and the third for the school in Fiarenana.
Traditionally, the school was closed for the month of July, but this year was closed for the month of August. This was a result of the teachers strike in the rest of the country that delayed the national CEPE exam for a few weeks (see website and last years progress report). Since our teacher had been training students for the CEPE exam once again, he kept the school open until exam time. This year six students from our school participated in the nationwide CEPE exam, and three of them passed successfully. Our teacher and the students are very sad about this result, but we assured them, that they tried their best, and to remember that the national average failure rate is over 50%.
Note: We found an explanation of the Malagasy school system (which is based on a French model) on-line. Please note that in many rural areas there are no schools for the children to attend, despite the "right" to compulsory schooling.
Education is compulsory between 6 and 14 years of age. Primary education lasts for five years, leading to the Certificat d'Etudes primaires élémentaires (CEPE). Secondary education then covers seven years divided into a four-year first cycle and a three-year second cycle. On completion of the first cycle of secondary education in a general or technical Collège, pupils obtain the Brevet d'Etudes du premier Cycle (BEPC).
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