The day I graduated high school in Mali – Boubacar’s goosebump moment
Boubacar: “Good morning. I come from a West African country called the Republic of Mali. My goosebump moment was the day I graduated from high school in the Republic of Mali, my country. The baccalaureate as it is called in my country is a very important diploma for anyone who needs to attend the next level of learning. The day the results were announced, I was travelling, and it was through a phone call that a classmate informed me that I had been admitted. My family and friends all contributed to my being able to see this day, so I can only take this opportunity to say thank you to all of them.”
A new stage
Graduating from high school is perhaps one of those moments that represents emotion for many, since hidden in a traditional celebration, feelings of joy and expectation are generated.
An amalgam of sensations come together in a formal exercise where a diploma is delivered, but more than that, the keys to the doors of a new destination that is presented are seductive and strange, but at the same time interesting as well.
The fear of the umbilical rupture of school and its protective company, the loss of class friends and the true ignorance of what awaits us at higher levels, is exchanged for the joy of a stage completed, the excitement of the unknown and the respite before a stage in which maturity and freedoms increase.
The tears of nostalgia and the moments turned into memories pass to a second plane because the break with school is the birth to new horizons.
Being a student in Mali
In Mali, the first six years of schooling are primary education, and the last six years are separated into two three-year cycles of secondary education. Education in Mali is free and compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16, until the end of the ninth grade. Even so, many children do not attend school because of the high ancillary costs of education, such as transportation, writing materials and uniforms.
For the second level of secondary education, students take an examination called the Diplôme d’études fondamentales at the end of the ninth grade. Secondary schools are mostly in urban areas, and many are private institutions, so accessibility is limited for poor rural children. However, there are organizations working to improve school attendance in this country.
At the end of twelfth grade, students take an exam called Baccalauréat, which must be passed to graduate. From there, students can attend a tertiary education institute, such as the University of Bamako, to study science and technology, medicine, humanities, arts and sciences, law and public service, or economics and management. However, in recent decades, the Malian government and the World Bank have promoted vocational training and apprenticeships as more accessible career paths.
The importance of graduation day
The graduation ceremony may be the day that every student looks forward to from the moment they enter school. It is a proud moment in a student’s life and for their parents, teachers, friends and all those people who care for them and value them during this transition. Graduation is the day they finish their studies and are free to enter the world and make their own decisions.
It is the day when all their hard work has paid off, a memorable and emotional event, full of happiness, laughter, photos, birettas in the sky and tears of joy and sadness for the farewell of friends.
You must consider that it is not only you who achieved everything, but also your family and all those who accompanied and supported you. You must make the most of this great event of your graduation because it is not an end, but the beginning of a new journey that will be as long and as far as you decide.
It is a day that invites us to take risks, and not be afraid of challenges to explore all the areas of opportunities that lie along the way. So, remember your graduation day is important, plan, and do not waste opportunities.
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