Steephenson has been living here at my place for over a year. Last year he was in ninth grade. In Haiti, ninth grade is an 'official' class, which means you have to take the government exam and pass it in order to move on to the next class. In June, Steephenson took his state exams. In July, we found out he passed! On to the next grade!
Erntz had lived here at my place for several years. Lately he's been staying up in the mountain community of Labaleine in order to attend school there...12th grade. (In Haiti there are 13.) Twelfth grade is also an 'official' class with state exams at the end. Erntz took his exams in June. In August, he learned that he missed the score he needed by a few points. Students who are close to passing the 12th grade exams are given a chance to re-test in certain subjects. Erntz spent another 4 days taking tests in August. A few days ago we learned he had scored enough points to pass 12th grade and begin 13th grade. This week he began classes at a school in Fon-de-blan.
School is tough in Haiti. It's all about passing (scoring 5 out of 10), and too often kids don't. The state exams are sometimes like a weird game where strong students don't score well and weak students somehow float to the top of the class. I've never trusted the state results, but every student must jump through those hoops. I'm happy that the two kids at my place were able to pass their exams and keep moving up the academic ladder.
Thanks be to God.
Missionary in Haiti.