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Education in Haiti: A Teacher's Passion and Vision for Change
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Education in Haiti: A Teacher's Passion and Vision for Change
A former private school headmaster in Haiti, Alzire Rocourt was deeply affected by the earthquake. Her school was destroyed in the disaster, but now, she tackles the challenges of working in a tent city. The educator now teaches music classes in efforts to bring hope to Haitian youth.
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Produced and directed by Paul Franz.

Find out more about Haiti's education crisis.

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Segment 1

ALZIRE ROCOURT [Teacher]
Our children are extremely eager to learn. They seem to have, even though they are small, an intuition that this might be a way out of misery and poverty and isolation. My name is Alzire Rocourt. I am a teacher but mostly a musician, really. Our first concern after the earthquake was to provide some frame for these kids that had gone through such a trauma.
ALZIRE ROCOURT
Every parent must have a birth certificate. If you don't have your child's birth certificate, we won't grant admission.
ALZIRE ROCOURT
Even now, eight months after the earthquake, I believe our authorities are talking too much. Just talking too much, just planning too much. There are times in life when you have to stop planning and act, do something.
MAN 1
We can only take five people at a time.
ALZIRE ROCOURT
And they are not even providing a chance for the Haitian people who would like to act to do so. We feel paralyzed. The way we have been dealing with education for the past fifteen years, we are ending up with a nation where everyone is a child. They are just at first grade level, second grade level, and no one can move beyond. Is that an aim for a nation? Integrate everybody so everyone learns. We have seventy-five years to make it; if we don't make it we are going to disappear. And I'm not one that believes that countries don't disappear. If they say, for those that still say it, that our independence was a great deed, what have we done of it? Eight million people that are swimming in poverty in no way proves that we are a nation.
ALZIRE ROCOURT
So these are the kinds of things you will learn in high school music classes.
ALZIRE ROCOURT
I love my people. I want them to become a normal people; I want them to become a respected people. For me it is a matter of national survival.
ALZIRE ROCOURT
Now when you listen to the radio you can understand classical music. Do you understand? Thank you for listening today.