“Great actions will be undertaken from next week to ensure a better back to school” [planned for Monday, October 1, 2012], announced Friday Vanneur Pierre, the new Minister of Education including a training support for 11.000 teachers that will begin next week in order to respond to the theme chosen this year “the turn towards quality” Directors of public schools, are also concerned by this program, which will focus on leadership in order to help them to better manage their schools.
The Minister then explained “[…] About the subsidies of extbooks, the State will pay 70% and the parents will pay only 30%. In terms of allocation for the next school year, we have more than 3 million textbooks, that we will give to the students and schools.
As part of subsidies of Program of Free and Compulsory Universal schooling (PSUGO), the State will support nearly 1.2 million children, who will be able to go to school for free [200.000 more than last year]. We are working on school canteens, because as you know there is a problem of poverty and hunger in the country, the government is working to improve the quality of education, but we must also ensure that children remain in school […] we will extend the school canteens, last year we had 904.000 children this year we will add 600,000, in order to have 1.5 million children that will have a hot meal.
Nearly one million children will benefit of school kits and and we will give 21.000 kits for teachers, including, among others, a dictionary. We will also give about 3,500 schools kits in priority to public schools.
We have the school transportation […] the State, the President, the Prime Minister and myself are doing everything possible to improve school transport […] twenty buses are in order to increase the current fleet [currently 230 buses dignité]”
The Minister also emphasized on the school supervision, that constitutes a major concern for the Ministry and indicated that inspectors will be deployed throughout the country to oversee all educational institutions.
In terms of infrastructure will be rehabilitated 200 schools, 50,000 chairs and more than 15,000 benches will be distributed to improve the learning conditions of students in classrooms. Starting next week, will begin a campaign of cleaning and painting of public and private schools.
The Minister indicated that the budget for the new school year was estimated to a little more than 4 billion gourdes. Note that this amount, only 50% of the funds come from the public treasury, the other 50% is awaiting the international community.
Note : USD$1 = ± 42 gourdes.