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Haiti school Today, Haiti remains unstable and its educational system has been greatly impacted by past violence. A nationwide assessment conducted in March 2004 showed that the political conflict in Haiti has had a severe impact on Haiti’s children, particularly the most vulnerable.
During the period surrounding Aristide’s resignation, students in eight of 19 major cities received death threats aimed at preventing them from attending school or participating in public events. A number of schools and hospitals were the targets of violence and looting, and many schools were closed for months.
Haiti school
Haiti school Adding these political and violent variables to an already struggling education system makes it increasingly difficult for Haiti to provide a quality education for all of its children. Still, it is a commitment that the people of Haiti are not ready to relinquish.
Today, primary school enrollment is also dropping due to economic factors. 60% of rural households suffer from chronic food insecurity, and food must come before education.
Haiti school

With an adult illiteracy rate of 52% (48% of males are illiterate and 52.2% of females are illiterate), education remains a key obstacle to economic and social advancement in Haiti.

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United Caribbean Trust is committed to assisting with Haitian education and as such 1/3 of the Child Sponsorship Programme is dedicated to education.

Haiti Faces Major Education Challenge

This little boy is in school thanks to a Sponsor

Less than half of all Haitians can read and write. Over half of the nation's children fail to reach the fifth grade. And only one in five young people reach secondary school

This young boy is smiling, his life has been transformed by the Child Sponsorship Program.

You can help educate a child in Haiti.

These figures reflect an educational crisis found throughout the developing world, a situation that leaves one billion people illiterate, with girls outnumbering boys two to one among of those who receive no education at all. UNICEF is spotlighting this crisis in specific regions in the wake of The State of the World’s Children 1999, the agency’s wide-ranging examination of challenges to the right of all children to basic education.

"Haiti's educational system has utterly failed for as many as half of that nation's children," Sheldon Shaeffer, chief of UNICEF's Education Section, said. "It is a major violation of human rights to consign children, by denying them education, to lives of poverty and disease." < Read more >

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Our vision is to raise up godly leaders in Haiti through health and education to strengthen their families, communities and country; bringing relief of poverty and stimulating the economy; and to preach the Gospel so that lives will be saved and transformed for the betterment of Haiti.

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According to UNICEF figures, 58 per cent of Haiti's current educational facilities were not built originally to serve as schools. Many classrooms are so overcrowded that only one in four children has a place to sit. And almost two-thirds of all children abandon primary school before completing the six-year course.

In real terms, Mr. Shaeffer stated, more than one million primary school-age children in Haiti simply have no access to education. As a result, Haiti has an illiteracy rate of over 55 per cent, the highest in the Americas. In addition, the vast majority of schools lack trained teachers and less than half the children have access to textbooks.
"It is not unusual," the education chief added, "to find an unqualified first grade teacher who must deal with students who are six to 16 years old in a class with more than 50 children -- all clamoring for attention."
Mr. Shaeffer said UNICEF is working with the Haitian Ministry of Education to improve existing schools and reach children who have dropped out. But he said school reform in Haiti will require substantial input from donor nations. A major thrust should be to strengthen and empower free, public education through improvement of facilities, provision of adequate materials and radically upgraded teacher training.
A phenomenon in Haiti, common throughout the developing world, is that children are often forced into alternatives to school, such as domestic servitude, child labor or life in the streets. It is estimated that there are 300,000 Haitian children working as domestic servants, approximately 80 per cent of whom are girls under 14 years of age. Many of these children are maltreated.

Some 5,000 additional Haitian youngsters are street children. These include some who have escaped from domestic servitude and others who have come to the cities seeking opportunities that did not materialize.
"Education is central to providing these children with ways to improve their lives," Mr. Shaeffer noted. "Because so few educational opportunities exist for them, UNICEF has developed a highly flexible, informal approach to providing basic education which attempts to respond to the needs of individual children. School schedules are adjusted to children's availability and the curriculum offers them the opportunity to acquire basic knowledge along with personal and professional skills."

Girls should be given an equal place in Haiti's educational future, Shaeffer asserted. That will mean finding ways to deal with the economic realities, which force large numbers of girls into domestic servitude. UNICEF is working to improve the information base on girls' education, an effort that will help develop strategies to increase girls' attendance at school and the quality of girls' education. In addition, UNICEF has supported Haiti’s Ministry of Education in the recent establishment of a Commission on Girls’ Education.

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