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Charity,  Faith,  Hope
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19 October 2017

Back to SCHOOL for 2017-2018

 AKAMASOA

    We started the new school year on 02 October 2017. We have already informed all parents for two weeks of the start of the school year. The last week we put in each school two big banners of encouragement for students mentioning the goods made of education and studies.   On October 02, only half of our students enrolled, that is to say, just over 6,000. This shows the difficulty we have every year in convincing parents to enroll their children in school.   For the past 6 years, we have not increased the parents' financial contribution for tuition fees. Despite this, many parents apologize that they cannot pay in one go for 5 to 6 children who have to go to school.   We always accepted the children even though their parents could not pay for the registration as well as the school fees. It is a fact that there is a certain indifference on the part of a minority of parents to educate their children.   Unfortunately, there are parents who do not hesitate to send their own children to work or to beg in the city. Every day we dedicate all our human and moral strengths to convince these parents to send their children to school. When we find strong resistance from them, we must remind them that they had signed a contract with Akamasoa to work, schooling their children and to accept the discipline of our community and that one who does not meet these three criteria could be expulsed from our villages.   On the other hand, we note a lack of authority of the Government to impose compulsory schooling of each child despite the existence of a law of the Republic explicitly requesting it.   We are in the third week of class and an unpredictable enemy who has mingled with our usual difficulties, that is to say, disturbs us: the plague epidemic.   We face this epidemic by raising awareness among our students about the cleanliness and hygiene of our homes, our villages and our schools.   We hope, with the help of God, to be able to escape this epidemic, which is already plaguing many victims throughout Madagascar.   Every year I will visit all Primary, Secondary, High School and Akamasoa Schools to encourage and give new impetus to all students and teachers for the new school year.   With a clear, strong and friendly word, I have invited both teachers and students to live up to their responsibilities and accept the new challenge and to fight against all the vices and incivilities that prevent personal and community progress.   In all the schools where I went, I was astonish by the warm welcome, the listening and the attention that everyone gave to my words.   I was surprise and please by the Andralanitra Primary School, which has more than 3,000 students in one place. This means that it is the largest school in Madagascar and throughout the Indian Ocean. Seeing all these children and young people who respect and love their parents, their educators, their neighbors, who love the common good, and who seek solutions, who have faith, I was pleased to see this great atmosphere of fraternity, the desire to study and progress.   However, if children do not go to school to acquire knowledge nor learn to respect their family. They will do like others by deteriorating public infrastructures and being indifferent to any progress. If so, I am pessimistic for their personal future as well as for the future of their own country.   That is why our challenges with our thousands of schoolchildren are immense. We must fight hard and win over indifference, laziness and selfishness.   Dear friends, you who follow the work of Akamasoa and who help us regularly in this struggle for the dignity of each child we are happy to make you participate in the evolution of our commitment and our work so that these children can have a better future.   Thank you for supporting us without tiring in this fight where we do not yet see the exit of the tunnel.   Father Pedro

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