The education system in Haiti faces shortages in educational supplies and qualified teachers, and the rural population remains underrepresented in the country%u2019s classrooms.There are many challenges. Currently, most Haitian schools are private rather than state-funded
Florida's education system and the federal government have been in a dispute, regarding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A rule stipulates students, who are learning English as a second language (ESL), must have standardized test scores counted as part of their grades after being in the country one year.
Pam Stewart, Florida Education Commissioner, and Governor Rick Scott, deeming the waiting period too short, asked for a waiver. The federal government denied it, causing the pair to request an amendment, asking for two years. They threatened a lawsuit if their request was denied. To avoid a lawsuit, the federal government approved the request with the provision Florida send test scores to the U.S. Department of Education of ESL students in the Florida system under two years.
All Haitian teachers are about to reconnect with their own roots as students. As part of the Government initiative to reform the education sector, all teachers will be required to pass a test if they wish to stay in the classroom. The test, daunting as it might be to some, will provide the necessary certification for teachers to keep doing their jobs.
The move is one of many to improve the country's literacy rate. Haiti, which has long suffered from a high rate of school drop-outs, is seeking to put an end to this, and the officials feel having uniformly certified teacher's is a step towards this. This plan is only one aspect of a greater project. According to Nesmy Manigat, Haitian Education Minister, it includes the issuing of provisional licenses to the teachers, allowing them two years in which to study and take the test. Manigat stated that what the government wanted was a new generation of teachers, as one of the biggest problems in education is the lack of qualified educators.
The Digicel Foundation recently opened its 150th school in Haiti Loads of sunshine and beautiful colors, a pleasant accompaniment to the smiles of the children of the newly opened school, Ecole Nationale de Grande Savane, in Haiti. The smiles were made possible by the Digicel Foundation, which has opened 150 schools in the country since the beginning of their construction plan in 2007, putting such smiles on scores of faces. At the opening of the school, chairman of the Digicel company and its patron, Denis O'Brien, spoke about the 50,000 children who have been enrolled in the 150 schools under the safety of learning-conducive facilities and hurricane and earthquake safety. Apart from the numbers being supplied with an education through the $30 million USD scheme, there was the employment of over 10,000 people for the construction of the buildings within the project.
The town of Petit-Goâve is soon to be subsumed under a new department, the Department of Palmes (DOP) that needs only the blessing of the Haitian senate. The lower chamber has already approved the draft law and forwarded it to the upper chamber. To signify to Petit-Goâve residents the importance of this new department, Mgr. Alphonse dedicated a mass on the feast day of Our Lady of the Assumption to the advancement of Petit-Goâve. With creation of DOP, the community will enjoy essential services the government will fund under the auspices of DOP.
In conjunction with the imminent creation of DOP, a cornerstone was laid for the building of the new Lycee Roseline Vaval of Vialet (LRVV). The construction company of Cyrus will erect the new structure estimated to take 14 months or more. The state treasury is funding the project at a cost of 48 million gourdes. Cyrus director, Nathalie Craan, commented at the construction site, "We will deliver a standard, modern, and sustainable building." The new structure will house classrooms, a dining area, administration annex, library, computer lab, garden, and playground.
The Government of Haiti in collaboration with USAID took part in the reopening up of some existing primary and secondary schools in Jacmel that were recently equipped with facilities for the handicapped. These schools, which are Ecole Nationale Edèze Gousse and Lycée Célie Lamour, have some items installed in them such as paved alleyways, adapted toilets, ramps and handrails.
The Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities in Haiti, Mr. Gerald Oriol, said that this rehabilitation of the schools opens up opportunities for the handicapped youth, and it is also a means of sensitizing the community on the importance of having such facilities and other public facilities accessible to the public as well as to the people with disabilities so that they are fully incorporated in the society.
Haitian-American and Technology Administrator at Massachusetts University Information Technology Department, Alexandrine Policar, is interested in collaborating with Haiti State University (HSU) to create an online education program. As the recipient of a Fulbright award, she will use it to fund her research and development of online curriculums.
Policar desires to apply computer technology for the localization of higher education for students in rural areas. Impetus for the project arose from Haiti's 2010 earthquake. Policar traveled to Haiti soon after the quake and discovered while holding webinars and classes online she could do so, even at 300 miles from Port-au-Prince. She got to thinking about possibilities of offering an online education curriculum to those in outlying areas too poor to reside in Port-au-Prince, where HSU is located. A second aim is to help overhaul HSU's outdated curriculum that does not meet demands of the 21st century's technology revolution.
Creole Gaining Acceptance in Classrooms
While French may be the official language of Haiti, Creole is what is spoken by over 90% of its citizens. However French is the language used to teach in nearly every Haitian classroom, yet instructors don't speak or write it fluently. Creole and French vocabularies and syntaxes differ to the point they are almost unrecognizable. People ask why continue an education system using a language uncomfortable to teach and learn in?
Haitian Creole is perceived as an inferior offshoot of French and its speakers as having no fluency in French, when in fact they are speaking Creole. For students, not being able to master French means not being able to do well in their studies.
The Minister of Education in Haiti has decided to take control over the administration of several schools that have been performing poorly while demanding that the Directors leave for a period of time to receive appropriate training.
According to Minister Nesmy Manigat, the academic staff at these institutions will have to participate in a training session for a period of at least 9 weeks, while their institution are under the control of the Ministry.
Here is a list of the schools that have been taken over by the Minister of Education under State of Emergency:
The presence of the Haitian community in the United States is undeniable. Whether in politic, school or at the work place, it is hard to avoid our influence. A recent report just released has discovered that the Haitian presence and influence in the U.S. has in fact increased during the past 14 years in America.
According to the survey, the number of Creole speakers in United States has increased by 73 percent from 2000 to 2014. In 2000, Creole was the 14th most common language spoken at home. In 2014, it is ranks 10th.
Creole speakers are found mainly in South Florida, Massachusetts, and in New York City.
The ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, together with a Finnish delegation, had a five-day mission investigating the progress in Haiti as far as education is concerned. The Director of International Relations at the Ministry of Education in Finland presented the positive assessment of the work that has been done by Haiti ministry of education to the Haitian press.
Jaana Palojarvi, the Director from Finland, spoke of her opportunity to get to the public and private schools. She said this has enabled her to know the areas that need cooperation with Finland so that they can give Haiti's education assistance. According to her statements, Finland is fully prepared to give support to Haiti as far as education improvement is concerned.
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