Haiti faces the enormous challenge of recruiting qualified teachers and providing adequate infrastructure to students. The country has never had a strong tradition of universal public education. Meet the people who are fighting to create a new culture of education.
Haiti has remained such an isolated country; and has grown a people that have come out of nothing, slavery and isolation, totally without any frame for the past 200 years. Education is one of the most important factors in the future development of Haiti.
CHARLES TARDIEU [National Education Minister, 1990-‘91]
Now, post January twelfth, things are getting worse. We Haitians have to decide that we are going to rebuild our country, and then we can look for help from other countries.
PIERRE BONY [Chief Inspector of Schools, Kenscoff District]
There is no sustaining development in Haiti without education. Our government does not have the means to properly address education, even though it’s definitely a need. In the case of January twelfth, it’s not the earthquake that kills people. It’s not the concrete that kills you; it’s the lack of education. Young people didn’t know what to do.
MARYSE KEDAR [Director, Prodev Haiti]
The education sector in Haiti is in a very bad situation.
Teacher training and teacher qualification is one of the major problems in the system. The teacher force is about 65-70,000, and out of that, you have 35-40,000 who are not trained to do the job they are doing right now. They are just there because there are no other people to do it, and because you need somebody to be standing in front of the class.
My name is Phidlito Dieudonné. I’m studying at teacher’s college. This kind of education is very important for teachers because, hopefully, we’re going to be armed with the tools to do the job correctly and professionally.
So we cannot divide within political lines, within ideological lines. I think we definitely have to bring everybody together, whatever the position you’re coming from. Are you interested in rebuilding Haiti? Yes? Let’s go for it. Let’s do it.
If we want things to really happen and to be sustainable, the decision has to be made with Haitians, and in the most part, by Haitians.