Education Key to Rebuilding Country, Haitian Education Minister says
“For Haiti to rebuild a strong nation, it will need strong citizens. And to build strong citizens, it will need a solid education system, supported by the technical knowledge and funding of international partners, including those of the Global Partnership for Education.”
– Haitian Education Minister describing the importance of education for his country during a recent interview with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
Three years after the devastating earthquake of January 2010, Haiti is still struggling to re-build the country. 230,000 people lost their lives, over 1.5 million were left homeless. Millions of houses, schools, streets, hospitals and bridges were destroyed. The international community rallied around Haiti to provide immediate humanitarian help and started the long process of rebuilding.
Haiti already suffered from abject poverty before the earthquake. In 2001, 77% of the population lived below the national poverty line. 48% of all 15-24 year old Haitians had not completed primary education. This percentage is at 86% when looking at the poorest populations.
GPE supported Haiti with a grant of $22 million in 2009 which was restructured in 2010 after the earthquake. The grant funded a wide range of education support including school feedings, school health programs, school grants (free education) and payment of teachers working in temporary schools after the earthquake.
According to Vanneur Pierre, Minister of Education in Haiti, the education sector is at the core of the country’s reconstruction. Thanks to the government’s commitment and the support from development partners, many schools have been reconstructed. For the 2012/2013 school year, the government has committed to pay school fees for 900,000 children while donors finance free access to education for another 230,000 children for six years of primary school. Through a national school feeding program, 2 million children receive a hot meal every day (World Bank).
But so much more remains to be done.
Watch the interview with Haiti’s Minister of Education.
How is the education sector helping to rebuild Haiti after the earthquake?
What is the vision of the Haiti government for the education sector?
How can the Global Partnership for Education support Haiti?
What does education mean to you?
World Bank: Haiti: Education for All project (Phase II)
Photos: World Bank/Michel Matera and Dominic Chavez