We had our first day of school. It was every bit as confusing and chaotic as last year, but this time we were ready for it.
School officially, according to the Ministry of Education, started on February 13. (Remember, I live in the Southern Hemisphere, our summer break was the same as Christmas break.) On February 14th, they had the Melsisi school opening. Everything here has to be opened and closed with a ceremony, so no classes could start on Monday, before the ceremony or on Tuesday, the day of the ceremony. That made Wednesday the first day of classes. The schedule as it stands right now has Jason’s – and therefore my – classes on Monday and Tuesday, making week 1 a wash.
We sort of figured on that happening. It happened something like that at the start of every term last year and seems to be normal across the schools, not just for Melsisi.
We chatted with the new Project Teach Vanuatu volunteers over the weekend and found out that there were, in fact, students at school. That was sort of unexpected. Ranwadi has less than half its students back but somehow Melsisi is a little over two-thirds. So, we enter week 2 with high hopes of having a class.
Teaching on Monday went fine. I did a “how do we get sick” intro class where each student had to name a kind of illness and say where they would go for it. For the most part, they chose the Aid Post and the Health Center, though one brave student chose the Kleva (kastom healer). Jason did a class about how to use a mouse. We start with the basics here.
Tuesday was a public holiday, thus ending the arduous second week of school.
Next week we should see a change in the schedule to put Jason’s classes back on Tuesday and Wednesday so we can help out with Sport class as well. He’ll find out in the Staff Meeting today, you know, the one where they will discuss the events and classes for the term.