students in Haiti,
Students in Cap-Haitien’s during the first day of exams for 12th graders on July 1, 2022. Photo by Oldjy Francois for The Haitian Times

PORT-AU-PRINCE — The second part of Haiti’s official examinations began on a Friday this year so the 4-day test can be completed by July 6, ahead of commemorations for president Jovenel Moise, who was assassinated July 7, 2021.

“July 7th is a reminder of the assassination of president Jovenel Moise. As a result, we will not be working that day,” said Frantz Etienne Louisseul, director of education for the West Department. “We have moved up the date so that we could respect the school calendar.”

This second round of exams, often called Baccalaureat is for 12th graders. Passing the tests in all subjects determines whether they can go on to pursue a university degree. On the first day, July 1, the country’s 115,337 candidates took one of two sets of exams: either Philosophy and Chemistry or Philosophy and Biology, depending on which curriculum their school follows. Port-au-Prince alone has 56,213 candidates registered to take the exam. 

“I truly hope  the candidates will give the best of themselves to succeed,” said Bourgette Autrude, an inspector at Lycée des Jeunes Filles.

Last month brought the first day of exams for middle schoolers. The June 20 exams started with gunfire in Tabarre, Torcelle and Pernier, causing widespread panic in the Port-au-Prince area and preventing many students from traveling to their examination center. The Department of Education had to organize a special session the following week for those who were unable to attend. 

On Friday, no such incidents were reported.

“This morning’s exam was within my reach, but I was still under stress,” Givelin Pierre, a high school senior, said. “I did it because I have the will and did not want to miss this opportunity.” 

On its facebook page, the ministry of education, or, MENFP asked officials in all 10 departments to ensure students are able to take the exams.

Murdith Joseph is a social worker and journalist. She studied at the State University of Haiti and Maurice Communication. She first worked as a journalist presenter and reporter for Radio Sans Fin (RSF) then as a journalist reporter for Radio tele pacific and writting for the daily Le National. Today she joined the Haitian Times team and covers the news in Port-Au-Prince-Haiti.

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