MIT STEM Education Initiative to Transform Education in Haiti

Haiti and MIT signed a joint initiative in digital learning in Kreyol. Kreyol is the most spoken language in Haiti and the initiative will promote education of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines in Kreyol language. Under this project, open education resources that are technology based and developed by MIT will be taken and translated to Kreyol and then provided to the Haitians to assess the effectiveness of the initiative. The work will be accomplished using the help of educators and professors from various Haitian institutions that will include Université Carïbe, State University of Haiti, Université Quisqueya, École Supérieure d'Infotronique d'Haïti, Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty and NATCOM.


Michel DeGraff, Haitian native and linguistic professor of MIT, has for long, believed that Kreyol has been marginalized and people think of it as a hybrid tongue compared to French and English and as a result, the language has been diminished unfairly. He believes that teaching in Kreyol will not replace the French language but will actually help the Haitians to build a solid foundation of the language that is their own. He says that the open education resources of the initiative will not promote rote learning techniques that are drill-based but in fact will promote 'active learning'.

The MIT STEM Education initiative is developed under Vijay Kumar's guidance who is the Director of MIT Office for Educational Innovation and Technology and the principal investigator of MIT-Haiti Initiative. Thomas Kochan, co-director of MIT-Haiti Education Initiative and George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management of MIT Sloan School of Management is also providing guidance.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe notice that post-earthquake Haiti needs educational reforms and since Kreyol is the language used by 90% Haitians, promoting education in Kreyol will help to spread quality education to all Haitians.

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Read more: Education, Creole, Haitian Creole, MIT, STEM Education, Michel DeGraff, Education

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