President Martelly knows Education reform needed to lift Haiti out of disaster- and he is working toward this now!

14/10/2013 – 11:32am

Education reform in Haiti is needed if the country’s youth are to flourish in the difficult post-earthquake reconstruction period.

However, despite the government making education one of its key priorities, the state “simply has no more money” to improve the situation further, one resident, who wished only to be identified by the name Hermine, told New Europe.

“Two years later, we are still rebuilding,” she says, referring to the January 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. “It is still a work in progress.”

Her comments come at the beginning of European Week of Action for Girls, which is calling on the EU to ensure that girls are visible in policies and programming, including development and emergency response.

“The economic system collapsed, which has an impact on the education system, by making if difficult to bring children to school, to pay for things like books,” continues Hermine.

In addition, she says, many families can not afford adequate food, meaning that many children go to school without first eating. Earthquake damage has also meant that in many cases, school canteens are no longer functioning.

But, she says, there has developed a sense of shared purpose amongst schoolchildren. “Solidarity is something that has increased. Children share their lunch with other children. Solidarity was not something that was embedded before the earthquake.”

Despite the situation, she says, “education fever is still there. Children are desperate to go to school.”

Although the government has made education one of its policy priorities, Hermine says that the state has so-far got its objectives wrong, and needs to concentrate on infrastructure as well as making sure children have access to education, which is the focus now.

Another Haitian resident, Dorie, agrees. “The main problem is infrastructure,” she says. “They are

making the same mistakes, putting schools in basic buildings that will collapse again if there is another earthquake.

She says that many NGOs and organisations have made some headway in discussions with the government, but political instability makes it difficult for any sustainable dialogue. “The ministries change every four to six months, so we have to start all over again. Staff turnover is one of our biggest problems.”

There also needs to be a reform of education quality, says Hermine. With a higher percentage of private schools, there is a danger of creating a two-speed education system. “In many public schools, there is a lack of teachers. The government is focusing on access to education, but they are doing this by building cheap and quick schools. My key message would be, think of overall quality instead of just access.”

“What is really missing is educational reform,” says Dorie, “reform of teachers and the curriculum. The sate is providing some help in getting children to school – for instance, one scheme gives $50 to mothers to send their children to school – but this is not development, this is not sustainable. If this stopped, they would just go back to poverty. It is short-term thinking.”

She also says that, despite efforts, gender imbalance is still in evidence, with girls often dropping-out during their secondary education. “They are leaving because of early pregnancy or to do domestic work. This is what we see. In the past it was ‘girls – you should stay out’, but you don’t see it like that any more, but the attitude is still engraved.”

“In books, you also see the stereotypes about girls and boys, so culturally, it is really rooted in people’s minds. This is why reform is needed.”


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2 thoughts on “President Martelly knows Education reform needed to lift Haiti out of disaster- and he is working toward this now!

  1. Education is the key that opens all doors in Haiti.
    If the government who hold the keys decide to open other doors…

    They then will be making their decisions for themselves based on themselves…..NOT THE PEOPLE.


    YOU SAY YOUR FOR THE PEOPLE? AND YOUR FOR YOUR COUNTRY… PROVE IT MR. MARTELLY, Mr. LAMOTHE, MR. LISSADE, Mr. SAJOUS….Your country is waiting for one of you to do what is NEEDED not wanted……..If I sacrificed all I have for your people to benefit……Then allow them to Gentlemen… GIVE THEM EDUCATION.


    Robert Dietrich BSW

  2. I understand the needs, but let us remember the commentators in the article kept saying in regards to education and infrastructure that “we need both.” The problem in Haiti has always been “what came first the chicken or the egg .” “Ayisien pa kon ki pie poul met devan.” During the earthquake in 2010 I was frustrated listening to the Haitian radio station. All the Haitian who called the radio were fighting with each other saying, “No we need water. No we don’t need water, we need food. No we need Doctors… and so on.” The real answer is, we need them ALL. In response to many Haitians that are criticizing the money being used in the Ile A Vache project and the International Air-portS projects let me enlighten you all from a political-science and economist point of view. First, Haiti is BROKE second, HAITI IS NOT IN POVERTY, HAITI IS IN MISERY. Therefore, Haiti is Very BROKE. Trust me I hate to say it but it is the truth. If we half-(the other word for donkey)Ile A vache then we are killing are fishing skills because Ile A vache is teaching us how to fish instead of giving us a fish. This will bring in a lot of money in the short and long run. This money can be used to build other things we NEED. Meanwhile it will create jobs and give HAITI a positive face. We will have education also, However, without generating money, there will be NO JOBS for our educated-young-population. As a result they will deliver their intellect to the likes of The Dominican Republic, The United States, Canada, France and so on. This is called a “Brain-drain.” WE would just be educating them for other countries my brothers and sisters. (lave menn siye ater.)When we have many international air-ports and Tourists destinations like Ile A vache we can use the money they generate to build Hospitals for our future Doctors and patients. We can build Hotels for our Hospitality Majors, We can build competent Courts for our lawyers and so on. Martelly/Lamothe is trying very HARD from what I have been seeing. However, do not forget that Haiti is BROKE! We are in Misery and beyond poor. What we need to do is a little bit of everything. Slowly we will walk instead of crawl. Many tourist including the Haitian-Diaspora DO NOT want to come through Port-Au-prince just imagine how comfortable a tourist will be when they know that they can leave their country and come directly to one of Haiti’s tourist destinations without having to go through Port-Au-Prince, the horrible road conditions and the lack or order. They will land directly in their picture perfect destination with sanitary water and flush-able toilets. They will get delicious Haitian-cuisine and Hospitals that nearby Haitians will can ALSO use. Education is huge but without the proper structure to receive our educated minds they like us will end up benefiting the Foreign nations and writing about this from abroad. We need a way to generate money and from our reputation we CAN NOT Half-(the other word for a donkey) the tourist that we desperately Need.

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