New 5-year Education Plan to Raise Literacy in Haiti

Haiti suffers from a very low literacy level of 53%, well under the 90% average in other South-region countries. A plethora of reasons exist as to why this is so. Private schools teach 90% of the school population, operated by churches, non-government organizations, and communities. The government of Haiti (GOH) spends only a fraction of its budget, 10%, on education for primary and high-school grades.


Haiti's first Constitution stated ". . . education shall be free". And the Constitution of 1987 declares education is "a right for every citizen". But neither of these goals has been realized. Private schools, 75% of them, have received no accreditation from MOE, meaning they are not held to minimum standards.

Over half of Haiti's teaching staff has not received training, and only 15% have earned teaching certificates. Even worse, some of them do not earn a salary. Alarmingly, over half a million grade-school children do not attend school. And those that do, 60% leave before graduating the primary grades.

GOH has tried to reform the school system in 1978, 1997, and 2008. The most recent try, in 2010, has engaged the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). IADB will partner with MOE to develop a 5-year education initiative, and will use $4.2 billion to pay for private-school education. The idea is to determine the size of each school's infrastructure and fund it accordingly. Once in the monitoring system, such schools will be required to be in compliance with education standards set forth by MOE.

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