What can I do to help Haiti?

What can be done to help Haiti 1Photo Credit: chdefoundation.org

According to the Library of Congress Federal Research Division, the average literacy rate for Caribbean countries is 90%; however, Haiti has a 53% literacy rate.

The Education system consists of pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary schooling run by the Ministry of Education.  Haiti is limited in its ability to provide quality education for younger people of the country and the issues of the scarcity of qualified teachers and proper school supplies are overwhelming.  About 10% of the federal budget goes solely towards Haiti’s school system, specifically Primary and secondary education.

Most schools do not have the proper facilities and are under-equipped as according to the 2003 school survey conducted across Haitian schools, 5% of schools are housed in a church or an open-air shaded area and approximately 58%, 36% and 23 % of schools lack toilets, libraries and running water respectively. Regardless, Haiti enrols 67% of its students into primary schools and 21.5% into secondary schools.

According to the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2008-2010, it is reported that approximately 37% of children between the ages of 6 and 12, amounting to 558,163 children are not enrolled into the primary or secondary education and 40% of children between 5 and 15 years of age account for one million children. In 2004, sadly only 18% of 122,311 children were able to receive secondary education due to scarce space.

What can be done to help Haiti 2How then can Haiti rise from poverty and become developed when the majority of the population are unable to receive a proper education? Statistics indicate that 60% of enrolled primary school children drop out of school before achieving a basic school education. Results show only 6 of every 1,000 workers on the labour market have attained a diploma or certificate in the corporate world of work. (Photo Credit:www.blog.nj.com)

The Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. 2008-2010 constructed a plan to improve the literacy rates in Haiti. The strategy constituted plans under the 2nd Pillar for Human Development, included predominantly:

Reorganizing access to schools which is beneficial to children experiencing poverty

The objectives comprise of ensuring that one primary school is available in each commune-level section of the country; making education accessible and addressing student’s needs; reducing tuition. Strategies to meet said objectives include creating spaces for students at the primary and secondary level; initiating scholarship programmes and renovating the four vocational training centres.

Effective guidance of schools, teachers and parents

62.5% and 87.4% of parents between 31-55 and above 56 years respectively are illiterate.The system cannot guide students towards training areas, which adds to the low retention capacity the country faces. The student/teacher ratio is 78:1 which is clearly high on any one scale.

Objectives include the decrease in the teacher/student ratio; recruitment of new teachers; improve parent literacy.

Increase funding

Strategies include preparation of a law on education financing plan for the public education as well as restore a high level budget support received by the education sector.

With this strategy, hopefully measures can be taken to aid in the increase of the literacy level of the residents of Haiti.

What can be done to help Hait 3Photo Credit: publications.mcgill.ca

By Alexandra Daley

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