Lycee Alexandre Petion a Pale Ghost

The Lycée Alexandre Pétion was founded in 1816 by its namesake, Haiti's third president. A high school located in Port-au-Prince, it educated the Haitian ruling class. Government ministers, Parliament members, and many of Haiti's rulers studied there. The school was established to educate the elite class and counted among its former students notable authors as well.


Lycée Pétion maintained its high academic standards for decades, but gradually became eroded by frequent government upheavals, and a stagnant economy as a consequence. For 150 years, the school boasted an excellent French-trained teaching staff. Math and science labs were fully equipped, and when textbooks frayed, or equipment no longer functioned well, it was replaced without hesitation.

Beginning in the 1940s, a Haitian entrepreneur gifted the school with a new laboratory, and two decades later it was time to replace its out-worn equipment. But it never happened. Tyrannous ruler Jean-Claude Duvalier was not interested in spending government funds to modernize Lycee Alexandre Petion, nor send teachers to France for their training, causing academic standards to fall.

The old school, located in Port-au-Prince's Bel-Air neighborhood, is a distressed relic of its former glory. Its library is gone, lack of Internet access keeps it in the dark ages, and teachers often don't show up to teach class. Assistant Principal Justin Joseph understands the poor economy is mainly to blame for the school's state of disrepair but says they ". . . will make every effort to reverse the trend and allow Lycée Alexandre Pétion to regain its past influence."

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