The weather in Tegucigalpa is getting cooler, and the sun is setting a few minutes earlier. But, final exams are the real indicator that the end of the year is nigh. In Honduras, the academic year starts in February and ends in mid-November, which means that school is wrapping up and graduation is around the corner.
At El Hogar, final exams started last week and many students are already finished. In math, Eddson, in the second grade, was tested on double-digit addition and subtraction, while Maria and Heydi, in the fourth grade, were tested on geometric shapes. Keydi, in the fifth grade, wrote about different sources of water and types of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
The students at the Technical Institute (ITSM) started their exams last week as well. Their first exam was in physical education and was held last Friday. Profe J.J. (Juan Jose) set them up to complete a set amount of sprints, then 100 sit-ups and 50 push-ups in a set amount of time. If they completed that, they’d earn 100%, which would go towards their final mark. This week, the students have time to recover from their sprints as they write their academic exams. The eighth-grade class writes an exam about composition in music class. The ninth-grade class writes an exam on the periodic table of elements in science class.
For the students who did not perform as well as they needed to on the first exam, they will get an opportunity to go to recuperation this week. There, they get a second chance to write the exams to secure their final grade.
In addition to their academic exams, students in the ninth to 11th grades have to write an exam, mandated by the Ministry of Education, about the Honduran national anthem. They must memorize the chorus, the seven verses, and their corresponding explanations. It’s high pressure at exam time; all students must be prepared to sing the entire anthem in front of all of their teachers who have gathered to moderate. One student is chosen at random to conduct the group. After their vocal chords are exercised, they must do a written exam, answering questions like: Who wrote the hymn? In which year was it first published? Why does the fifth verse reference France? In case you’re wondering, it’s because the three rights of man – liberty, equality, and fraternity – established after the French revolution, were used as principles when Honduras created their government.
When exams are over, the students will have some time to prepare for graduation, which will be celebrated on November 9 and 10. Afterwards, many of the students from El Hogar and ITSM will go home and spend the vacation with their families, while some will enjoy their vacation at El Hogar.
Another year is coming to an end, but preparations are already being made for 2019. There are lots of exciting things in store!
– Erika Skafel, Coordinator of North American Relations
To learn more about El Hogar, please visit our website at www.elhogar.org.