Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ring the Bell!

Bell Day as it's called in Mongolia, is actually graduation!  The differences don't end with the name either.  Here it's held weeks before the school year finishes, and includes graduation from 5th, 9th and 11th grades.

each homeroom has their own uniform, this is 9D
All the students attend, rather like the opening day ceremony September 1st.  There are many speeches, interlaced with musical performances.  I especially love that different grades and homerooms have their own particular uniforms.  The 9th grade class of my teacher friend Chukka, chose a smart skirt suit for the girls with a lovely blue trim.  Boys wear shiny suits!
these younger students all have matching jackets and white shirts

these 9 class girls have cute plaid skirts, ties and jackets

The Mongolian school system has been changing to become more Westernized, albeit a 12 year education, instead of the current 10.  Right now kids attend separate kindergarten, then grades 1 - 5.  Grade 6 is to be added in the coming years, so right now 5th grade graduation moves a student from elementary school.

graduates sport their medals/awards

dorm student graduating from 9th grade

Grades 7 -9 are middle or secondary school, so the 9th grade graduation promotes a student to high school.  High school currently consists of grades 10 and 11.  Certain homerooms of students are earmarked for the change and will have the added years of education. 

Happy, me and Altai flanked by two graduating dorm guys!

only part of Happy's class, those that took English with me!
I spent a fun morning with my friend Happy's class of 11th grade graduates!  First the ceremony, then lots of picture taking in the classroom as well as a nostalgic lesson from a first grade teacher. 
requisite class photo on monastery steps

The students then continued on to lunch at the Wedding Palace, which I enjoyed with them.  At this point, I went home though they were going to the Horse Monument and many other photo op stops. The day's celebration was to conclude with a dance party at school.  As I told Happy's class,"Congratulations class of 2012!

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