Monday, November 28, 2011

Schools in Haiti - teaching ecology continued

On Monday I returned to Fwa Kretyen where I taught last year. In all but the youngest class (preschool 3 – 4 year olds) the kids remembered me and that I taught about hawks (malfini) in June. When I asked ‘what do the hawks eat,’ their first response was chickens, but they also said rats. I reviewed that the hawks eat many more rats than chickens and that the rats also eat the chickens. When I asked what the kids do when they see a bird nest, they all said they protected the nests! Last year the response was that they always crush the nest. I taught 7 classes, 2 were in the same room (see pics of 1st & 4th graders). Class size ranged from 16 (preschool) to 47 (3rd grade). The younger grades were the ages we would expect in the US: 1st grade = 5 – 6 yr olds; 2nd = 5 – 7. But kids in the older graders were a lot older: 5th grade = 17 – 20 and 6th grade = 16 – 18. 3rd grade had 9 – 11 yr olds and 4th grade had 10 – 14 yr olds. I heard it said that you only need a 3rd grade education to be a teacher, and that many kids don’t go to school beyond 3rd grade. I suspect the older kids had to leave school and return later when their families had more money, but I don’t know.

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