Saturday, February 11, 2012
In Tanzania, the students take national standardized examinations in grades 9 and grade 11 (11 is their last year at high school). The students who took the grade 9 examinations at the end of last year just received their results yesterday. Less than 25% passed their examinations. Our school ranked 311 out of 403 in our region. As you can see, these aren’t exactly bragging points. The government is recently trying to implement a policy where students who failed their grade 9 examinations cannot move forward with their education – essentially, they are held back until they can pass their examinations. That means, this year our grade 10 will have only 56 students, whereas our grade 9 will have nearly 500. This is why I haven’t started my health class. I initially wanted to do it with grade 9 students, but I need to figure out if it will be too large to do. Our school still has not made a final decision (it seems mostly because of a lack of direction from the government as to what they should do) so the grade 9 and grade 10 students are in a limbo, not really being taught. The highest English grade for my school was a 70, which equates to a mid- B in the Tanzanian grading system. No one at our school received an A average, the number one student was a B (and she is very smart! She is our neighbor).